Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The time for the final deliverance of God's people from this world of sin is just before us! Where are the Daniels of our day who are earnestly searching the Scriptures with fasting and humiliation, seeking God for light and guidance? Those who follow Daniel's example will be taught of God through His Word, and by His Spirit. You are called to be among them.
We too are living in a time when it seems that the church of Christ is thwarted and baffled on every side, as the Jews were troubled during their captivity in Babylon. It will not help for us to begin to accuse one another, "to beat" our fellow servants (Matt. 24:48-50) in fault-finding. Better let us do as Daniel did: though he was a man with whom even his enemies could find no fault, he took the sins of Israel upon himself, as it were, and confessed them as his sins. "We" have sinned, he says. "We" have committed iniquity; "we" have rebelled (Dan. 9:4, 5).
We are told: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). By taking his people's sins upon himself, Daniel was experiencing a repentance for the sins of others, as though they were his sins (he had not joined in their apostasy!). This is the kind of repentance that Jesus experienced in our behalf. When He came to John the Baptist requesting baptism, John refused Him, for he knew that Jesus was sinless. But Jesus had to explain to him that He has come as "the Lamb of God" taking upon Himself the sins of the entire human race. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21).
John was not permitted to baptize anyone except "for repentance." This repentance that Jesus experienced in our behalf was a corporate repentance--repenting for the sins of others, putting Himself in our place. As soon as we begin confessing "our" sin as Daniel did, realizing that the sin of others would be our sin but for the grace of Christ, revival and refreshing of the Holy Spirit will sweep through God's people.
In Daniel 9:23 we note that "at the beginning" of his supplication the angel was sent to help him. Likewise, at the beginning of a heart-broken prayer of humble confession on our part, help will be sent to us.
--Robert J. Wieland
From: The Gospel in Daniel, 2004.
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