Appearance of Sin

” ‘Sin, that it might appear sin…’ Romans 7:13

To many men sin does not appear sin…It needs the power of the divine omnipotence, the voice of the same Majesty, which said, ‘Let there be light…’  …Moreover, such is the power of self-esteem that though sin abounds in the sinner he will not readily be bought to feel or confess its existence. …In a great measure, our inability to see sin as sin arises from the exceeding deceitfulness both of sin and of the human heart. Sin assumes the brightest forms even as Satan attires himself as an angel of light. …We are all very quick-sighted to perceive something, which, if it does not quite excuse our fault, at all events prevents its being placed in the first class of atrocities.”  — C. H. Spurgeon, Sermon “The Monster Dragged to Light”

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Thoughts on the Last Battle

From C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon “Thoughts on the Last Battle” 1 Cor. 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But, thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  

“The strength of sin is the law…The law will not abate one tittle of its stern demands.  …There is a curse but no provision made for pardon by the law. The law requires perfection and nothing short of it.  For every transgression the law will exact a punishment. ..The law speaks not of sin and mercy; but sin and punishment.  Mercy comes in the gospel. …I am God’s Justsice, stern and unflinching, I will not alter, I will not mitigate the penalty.  Christ has taken away the strength of sin in this respect, that he has removed the law. …Christ has removed the law in this sense, that he has completely satisfied it. The sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law, and Christ gives us the victory by taking the sting away, and removed the strength of sin by his perfect obedience.”  

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God and the Law

From “A Puritan Theology” by Joel Beeke & Mark Jones:  p. 563 and p. 564

“For to be God and sovereign are inseparable; he could not be God, if he were not supreme; nor could he be a creator without being a lawgiver.” (Charnock)

“Law is embedded so deeply in human nature that our radical and pervasive sin cannot change our orientation toward God’s moral law; whether in rebellion against it or obedience to it, we cannot escape the rule of law.”

“The law’s teaching about piety toward God and love toward our neighbors and self-control toward ourselves ‘is moral and eternal, and cannot be abrogated.’ The law is ‘the express idea, or representations of God’s own image; even a beam of his own holiness, which cannot be changed or abolished.’ “

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Lessons from Ecclesiastes

“”That generations come and go without remembrance by the next is a sober reminder that life will go on without us and that none of us is the center of the universe.”  –“Family Worship Bible Guide” p. 471
“As we experience life under the sun, death is always something that happens to someone else. But the Preacher reminds us of the sobering reality that sooner or later we will be the ‘someone else’ that will be preaching the brevity of life to others by our own deaths.”  –“Family Worship Bible Guide” p. 475

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Getting Ready

From Oct. 21 “Streams In the Desert” devotional:

The owner of the tenement which I have occupied for many years has given notice that he will furnish but little or nothing more for repairs. I am advised to be ready to move.
At first this was not a very welcome notice. The surroundings here are in many respects very pleasant, and were it not for the evidence of decay, I should consider the house good enough. But even a light wind causes it to tremble and totter, and all the braces are not sufficient to make it secure. So I am getting ready to move.
It is strange how quickly one’s interest is transferred to the new prospective home. I have been consulting maps of the new country and reading descriptions of its inhabitants. One who visited it has returned, and from him I learn that it is beautiful beyond description; language breaks down in attempting to tell of what he heard while there. He says that, in order to make an investment there, he has suffered the loss of all things that he owned here, and even rejoices in what others would call making a sacrifice. Another, whose love to me has been proven by the greatest possible test, is now there. He has sent me several clusters of the most delicious fruits. After tasting them, all food here seems insipid.
Two or three times I have been down by the border of the river that forms the boundary, and have wished myself among the company of those who were singing praises to the King on the other side. Many of my friends have moved there. Before leaving they spoke of my coming later. I have seen the smile upon their faces as they passed out of sight. Often I am asked to make some new investments here, but my answer in every case is, “I am getting ready to move.”

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Faith Takes God’s Word

“Everything that God reveals of Himself transcends man’s comprehension; every doctrine, therefore, must of necessity terminate in mystery, and man must humbly acquiesce in having it so. God does not tell men more of His purpose than man needs to know; and, just because man’s knowledge of what God is doing is always incomplete, His actions will often appear to man to have precisely opposite characteristics to those which He Himself ascribes to them. But in such cases it is man’s part deliberately to accept God’s interpretation in preference to his own. Faith will not lean to its own understanding of the appearance; faith will take God’s word as a safe index to the reality, and will wait patiently till contrary appearances dissolve away with the coming of greater light. –Martin Luther, “The Bondage of the Will”  

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What Exhortations Could Not Do, God Did

From the testimony of George Muller:

“What all the exhortations and precepts of my father and others could not effect; what all my own resolutions could not bring about, even to renounce a life of sin and profilgacy; I was enabled to do, constrained by the love of Jesus.  The individual who desires to have his sins forgiven, must seek for it through the blood of Jesus. The individual who desires to get power over sin, must likewise seek it through the blood of Jesus.”  

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