From The Christian’s Daily Walk. Headings are not the author’s.
Now you may be assured that if the justice of God could have been satisfied, and your sin expiated and done away by a less price, then Jesus Christ, His only Son, would never have had to pour out His soul as a sacrifice for your sin (Isa 53:10, 12).
This looking (by the eyes of your faith) upon Christ whom you have pierced (Zech 12:10) will at once show you the greatness and hatefulness of your sin, which required such an infinite ransom, and the infinite love of God in Christ towards you, even when you were His enemy. It will provide for you a sure remedy, which will free you from both the guilt and power of this sin. Such thoughts will (if anything will) even melt your heart into godly sorrow for sin and give hope (in the use of means) of mercy and forgiveness.
That the former aggravations maybe more pressing [and effectual], observe these directions:
- You must consider sin in particulars, one after another; for generals leave no impressions; therefore, David cries out of his sin in particular (2 Sam 24:10 & Ps 51:14).
- You must judge the least sin to be damnable (James 1:15) until it be pardoned, and repented of in particular, if known to you (and at least in general, if not known).
- The greater any sin is (Heb 10:29), the greater you must judge the guilt and punishment to be.
- Sins committed long since, unrepented of, and the punishments deserved but deferred, are to be judged to be as near, [as] lying at the door (Gen 4:7), and exposing you to condemnation, as if committed at the present, so that you may look for God’s hand to be upon you [at] this present moment. They, like the blood of Abel or sins of Sodom, cry as loud to God for vengeance now as the first day they were committed; indeed, louder, because they are aggravated by impenitency and by the abuse of God’s long-suffering (Rom 2:4-5).
- Your humiliation must, in your endeavour, proportion your guilt of sin (Ezra 9, Ezra 10:1-14, & Matt 26:75): the greater the guilt, the greater the humiliation.
Know, therefore, that sins against God (i.e., of the first table), all things considered, are greater than those of the second (1 Sam 2:25 & Matt 22:37, 38).
The more grace that has been offered you by the gospel (Matt 11:21-24) and the more means you have had to know God and His will, the greater is your sin – if you be ignorant, impenitent, and disobedient.
The number of sins, according as they are multiplied, increase the guilt and punishment (Isa 59:12, 13 & Ezek 16:51).
The more bonds are broken in sinning, as committing it against the law of God, of nature, and nations (Jude 10 & Jer 34:17-18) against conscience, promises, and vows, the greater the sin and punishment.
All these things known and considered, now judge yourself (1 Cor 11:31). Pass a condemnatory sentence against yourself. Then, through the grace of God, will follow affliction of soul. Now you will see that you are base and vile, and that you may justly fear God’s judgments; now you will see cause to be grieved, ashamed, indeed, even confounded in yourself, and to have an holy indignation against yourself.
You will now think thus: Ah! that I should be so foolish, so brutish, so mad, to commit this, to commit these sins (thinking of particulars), to break so holy a law, to offend, grieve, and provoke so good and so great a Majesty; so ill to requite Him (Deut 32:6); so little to fear Him, vile wretch that I am! That I should commit not only sins of common frailty, but gross sins, many and oft against knowledge, conscience, etc. (still keeping in mind particulars). Jesus Christ, my Saviour, shed His precious blood for me, to redeem me from my vain conversation [i.e., behaviour], and do I yet again and again transgress, O miserable man that I am? What am I in myself, at best, but a lump of sin and pollution, not worthy to be loved, but worthy to be destroyed, one that may justly expect to have my heart hardened or my conscience terrified, and that, if God be not infinitely merciful, He should pour upon me all His plagues. Wherefore, remembering my doings that they are not good, but abominably evil, I loath myself for mine abominations (Ezek 36:31), and abhor myself, and repent, as in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6).