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Our Greatest Burden

Sin is the Christian’s heaviest
burden–and his greatest grief.

“We are lying if we say we have fellowship
with God–but go on living in darkness.”
1 John 1:6

Repentance is not only a sorrowing for
sin–but also a turning away from it;
the throwing down of the weapons of
our warfare against God.

If we truly love God, we will . . .
forsake our sins,
abandon our idols
and mortify our lusts.
An honest soul cannot do otherwise;
anything short of that would be hypocrisy.

The upright man is the one who “fears
God–and turns away from evil.” Job 1:8

– Arthur W. Pink

Source: Grace Gems


Teen Virginity Pledges Falling by the Wayside

This article on Yahoo News documents the futility in staving off sin through human willpower alone. Teenagers making the vow to wait until marriage for sex are just as likely to engage in premarital sex as those who do not make the pledge. In a society that promotes sexuality on every billboard and in every television show, it is no wonder that our young people are succumbing to their fleshly desires so readily.

Nothing we do can break our enslavement to sin. No pledge, vow, or effort of willpower will loosen its hold over us. This is why the popular teen virginity pledge is nothing more than a senseless work of the flesh. Sexual lust may be contained for a time, but inevitably it will return with an appetite more powerful than ever. For that matter, any sin can only be restrained temporarily. A dog always returns to its own vomit and a sow to the mud.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34, ESV).

The cords of slavery can only be cut by the righteous work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The atoning death and resurrection of Jesus is what will set anybody free.

HT: Slice of Laodicea

Growing worse and worse!

arthurpinkBy nature we are thoroughly in love with ourselves–but as the Divine work of grace is carried forward in our souls, we come to loathe ourselves. Those who have been saved from penalty of sin, are being made increasingly conscious not only of sin’s polluting presence, but of its tyrannizing power!

How can we explain the fact, that the Christian finds himself growing worse and worse–the more closely he endeavors to walk with God? The answer is because of increased light from God, by which he now discovers heart-filth of which he was previously unaware. The sun shining into a neglected room, does not create the dust and cobwebs–but simply reveals them. Thus it is with the Christian. The more the light of the Spirit is turned upon him inwardly, the more he discovers the horrible plague of his heart (1 Kings 8:38), and the more he realizes what a wretched failure he is!

The fact is, dear discouraged soul, that the more you are growing out of love with yourself, the more you are being saved from the power of sin. Wherein lies its fearful potency? Why, in its power to deceive us. It lies to us. It did so to Adam and Eve. It gives us false estimates of values so that we mistake the tinsel for real gold. To be saved from the power of sin is to have our eyes opened so that we see things in God’s light–it is to know the truth about things all around us, and the truth about ourselves.

But further–sin not only deceives, it puffs up, causing its infatuated victims to think highly of themselves. Sin ever produces self-love and self-righteousness. But when God takes us in hand, it is the very opposite–the workings of the Spirit subdue our pride. How? By giving increasing discoveries of SELF and of the exceeding sinfulness of SIN, so that each one cries with Job, “Behold! I am vile!” (40:4). Such a one is being saved from the power of sin–its power to deceive and to inflate.

– Arthur W. Pink, “A Fourfold Salvation“, 1938

Hating God

Online forums and blog discussion boards can be a nasty place. Comments are sometimes mean-spirited and usually don’t obey the rules of grammar. Insults are spewed forth like machine gun fire, and logic is regarded a strange, untamed beast. This heated textual warfare seems to bring out the most ludicrous and profoundly ignorant statements as commenters make their opinions known.

The atheist websites and discussion forums I frequent aren’t any different. Illogical statements about God and believers are commonly revered as unassailable dogma. No argument will persuade, or even soften, the stance of the most vocal, hard-hearted atheists. Nearly any logical fallacy or blatant untruth is embraced as long as it meshes with the materialistic worldview.

In short, Biblical truth of any kind will not be tolerated. They simply refuse to hear. Most of those who spend time in these type of environments are in no way interested in learning the truth at all. Any question posed comes not from a soft heart honestly seeking answers, but from a hardened one resisting the answers it already has. They wish to tear down the God of the Bible and erect in His place a god of their own making. One reader on the Suddenly Atheist blog commented:

Yehweh (sic) is one of the most blatantly viscious (sic) gods in all of religious history. The scripture waxes eloquent in this regard. Read Numbers 23. He is petty, evil, and angry. Pure and simple. He commands over and over for people to be killed. Epic Bible FAIL.

Why the hostility towards something that, to the atheist, doesn’t even exist?

The answer to this question can be summed up in one verse from the Book of John: “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” (John 3:20, ESV). These rather harsh words were spoken by Jesus Himself and testified as to why people would reject and hate Him. Like all sinners (I’m not just picking on the atheists, by the way), the atheist nurses hidden sins that God hates. This could mean anything from pride to pornagraphy – maybe something even worse. And what’s more, according to Romans 1:18-22, they know it. The light of Jesus Christ and the Gospel exposes their sins to the light of conscience, forcing them to either repent or bury the truth even further.

In hand with this is the innate knowledge of God’s righteous judgement. Again, Romans 1 indicates that each person, including the atheist, knows that they will be judged and held accountable for their works on this earth. On that day, the person’s own conscience will take the witness stand and testify against them. This witness will tell the court of every lie, every adulterous or hateful though, every theft, every blasphemy. Paul writes of this in Romans 2:15, “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them” (ESV). The verdict given by the Judge will be swift and without clemency: guilty. The punishment will be no less than an eternity in Hell – a fitting penalty for the violation of an infinite God’s holy laws.

While most atheists will vehemently deny these are the reasons why they despise Jesus Christ, nonetheless the their hatred springs forth from an unabashed love for sin. And like any other lover of sin, only Jesus’ work on the Cross can save them.

Are you enslaved to sin?

You will likely find this five minute clip quite sobering.

Secret Sins

Charles SpurgeonOne danger is, that a man cannot commit a little sin in secret, without being by-and-by betrayed into a public sin. You cannot, sir, though you may think you can preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone upon the cairn to-day, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, reared stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. See the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall stay its work. It will not build its rock just as high as you please, it will not stay until it shall be covered with weeds, until the weeds shall decay; and there shall be soil upon it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle. “But I am going to have a little drink now and then, I am only going to be intoxicated once a week or so. Nobody will see it; I shall be in bed directly.” You will be drunk in the streets soon. “I am only just going to read one lascivious book; I will put it under the sofa-cover when any one comes in.” You will keep it in your library yet, sir. “I am only going into that company now and then.” You will go there every day, such is the bewitching character of it; you cannot help it. You may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws: neither can you regulate sin. Once go into it, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed. You may be such a fortunate individual, that like Van Amburgh you may put your head in and out a great many times; reset assured that one of these days it will be a costly venture. Again, you may labour to conceal your vicious habit, but it will come out, you cannot help it. You keep your little pet sin at home; but mark this, when the door is ajar the dog will be out in the street. Wrap him up in your bosom, put over him fold after fold of hypocrisy to keep him secret, the wretch will be singing some day when you are in company; you cannot keep the evil bird still. Your sin will gad abroad; and what is more, you will not mind it some of these days. A man who indulges in sin privately, by degrees gets his forehead as hard as brass. The first time he sinned, the drops of sweat stood on his brow at the recollection of what he had done; the second time, no hot sweat on his brow, only an agitation of the muscle; the third time there was the sly, sneaky look, but no agitation; the next time, he sinned a little further; and by degrees he became the bold blasphemer of his God, who exclaimed, “Who am I that I should fear Jehovah, and who is he that I should serve him?” Men go from bad to worse. Launch your boat in the current—it must go where the current takes it. Put yourself in the whirlwind—you are but a straw in the wind: you must go which way the wind carries you—you cannot control yourself. The balloon can mount, but it cannot direct its course; it must go whichever way the wind blows. If you once mount into sin there is no stopping. Take heed if you would not become the worst of characters, take heed of the little sins, they, mounting one upon another, may at last heave you from the summit and destroy your soul for ever. There is a great danger in secret sins.

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Possessing the Treasure: The Horror of Sin

At Mike Ratliff’s blog, Possessing the Treasure, he writes:

God is Holy. However, at the fall (Genesis 3) Man fell into sin. This fall corrupted all of Adam’s line so that each is born with a sin nature and completely separate from God. Why? God is Holy and is completely separate from all that is not. Christians are not separate from God because, at their salvation, they are forgiven and declared righteous by God because of the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross. The Lord Jesus Christ paid heavily to accomplish the atonement for the sins of those for whom He died.

I always like to link to Mike’s resources, as they are usually rich in Biblical truth. I’d suggest reading this post as well. The rest of it can be found here.