Commenting on the great evil of sin, Samuel Bolton (1606-1654) said, “How great an enemy was this that God must send out His Son to conquer it? He can arm flies, lice, frogs, the meanest of creatures, to overthrow the greatest power and force on the earth; but no less than His Son was strong enough to conquer sin.” I wonder how many of us grasp the weight of that statement and ardently believe it? How bad, how evil, how degenerate, how ruinous, how offensive, how utterly grotesque, filthy, and loathsome is your sin? Is the least of your sins worthy of an eternity in hell?
Be honest with your own soul and with God: when was the last time you wept, grieved, groaned over your sin? Not because its nastiness, ugliness, or perversity shamed you; not because its humiliation and disgrace made you feel dirty; not because its consequences filled you with panic and fear; not because your guilt-ridden conscience kept you awake, gave you no rest, and would not stay silent—sin can certainly produce such experiences in our soul. But have you sorrowed for your sin because you, a creature made in the image of God, have chosen the evil of evils against a holy and good God?
How do you answer these questions? Are your eyes dry? Your lips silent? Your heart quiet, undisturbed? Has your view of grace become an anaesthetic that numbs your spiritual sensitivities, so that you shrug off sin rather than despising and mortifying it? Has grace become your license to live like the world or, at least, to take sin lightly? Do you really know what you are doing when you sin? I believe it safe to say that apart from those suffering forever in the flames of the unquenchable fires of hell, we rarely perceive the depths nor biblically respond to the sinfulness of sin.
With that in mind, we offer you this new issue of the Free Grace Broadcaster—The Sinfulness of Sin. This issue does not unfold the doctrine of sin: that awaits a future issue. The purpose of this collection of articles is to press our hearts to honestly consider before heaven the dreadfulness of sin and the only hope for its pardon—Jesus Christ.
Therefore, Arthur W. Pink begins with a brief, biblical definition of sin, followed by William S. Plumer’s excellent exposition of sin as an infinite evil. Pink offers us a second article, explaining that there is nothing so vile as sin, as he describes its nature. Puritan Thomas Watson teaches us from vivid biblical descriptions that sin is a heinous thing, worthy of God’s just curse; while another Puritan, Ralph Venning, labors to show us that the heart of the sinfulness of sin is its relentless opposition to God; in fact, Venning says that if it could, sin would “ungod God.” A third Puritan, Samuel Bolton compares natural evils—natural disasters such as plagues, hurricanes, and earthquakes—with moral evil—sin—to teach us that sin is the greatest evil known to man! Watson then takes on the vital issue of degrees of sin, for many in his day and ours are deluded into thinking that God does not view one sin as greater than another. Furthermore, many of us have weak views of sin, so Edward Payson helps us to see that our sins are infinite, innumerable, and monstrous; thankfully, he points us to Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross as the only remedy for the plague of our hearts. Again, pointing us to Christ, J. C. Ryle explains with great clarity our need for repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon displays the unknown depths of human sin and convincingly reveals that we really do not know what we are doing when we sin against God. The last word is from Octavius Winslow, who shows us that the one place where we may see our sins in all their depraved wickedness is the cross of Jesus Christ: from that extraordinary light, we will see our sins as they really are.
Pastors, do God’s blood-bought children under your care understand the sinfulness of sin? If not, how will they love Christ, how will they love holiness if they have low views of sin? Parents, do your children understand that God hates nothing in this universe but sin? That one sin is so infinitely evil that it will damn a sinner to an infinite hell? Dear people of God, do you really grasp the horror of sin by meditating on the Christ of God, hanging on Calvary’s cross? Oh, read this issue prayerfully and carefully; and, then, love Jesus Christ more intensely than ever before. Understanding the sinfulness of sin will drive you to a more profound love of the crucified and resurrected Savior.
In the love of Christ Jesus,
Jeff Pollard~Free Grace Broadcaster