Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Sinfulness of Sin

Sin, the Plague of Plagues. Such was the title give to a work published by the English Puritan Ralph Venning in 1669, shortly after the Great Plague of London had killed an estimated 20% of the city’s population. This horrific event would have been fresh in the minds of his readers, and for them the comparisons were easy to make between those two fatal epidemics; each bringing widespread death and destruction, one physical, the other spiritual. Today it is rare for us to see firsthand death and disease on such a vast scale, yet sin, that plague of plagues is still with us. Bringing death and destruction with it sin saturates our modern, advanced society, infects every respectable home and drags the prospering multitudes of this world down into the depths of hell. 

The obnoxious nature of sin cannot be overstated. In the sight of man, many sins are acceptable, even regarded as part of a commendable lifestyle. Sin today is not deemed to be offensive, but is something which entertains and which sells well. To many people sin is worth billions. Yet in the sight of God sin is above all measure dishonouring and abhorrent to his holy nature. The words of the Psalmist speaking in Psalm 38:5-7 are not pleasing to the ear, yet they are an accurate description of the sinful condition of man:
My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
The guilty sinner displays nothing but ‘wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment’. The wickedness of our sin is more contemptible to God than finite man can comprehend; offensive to his nature, to his law, to his image and to his very being. This plague of sin is no respecter of persons, for ‘all have sinned’. It is unequivocally fatal, for ‘the wages of sin is death’. Yet despite this it is a plague the very existence of which is denied by many and for which others give false hope of recovery prescride ineffective medication. The prescriptions of good works and religion are but filthy rags applied to the infected wounds of man’s sinful nature, profiting nothing, but bringing further condemnation on the unregenerate soul. The venomous plague of sin infects you right now and has already sowed the seeds of death in your soul. The unavoidable truth is that you are a guilty sinner before God, deserving of nothing but his wrath.

The great tragedy of those who die in their sin is that they do it willingly. Though sin is exceptionally sinful and inherently fatal, a remedy has been provided in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Christ’s blood shed on the cross has provided a remedy for sin; why then will you continue on in it, with the sure and certain consequences that will follow. As our ‘wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness’, will greater foolishness be seen in our rejection of the Saviour? Such a rejection is foolish indeed for it displays a poor understanding of our true condition before God, of the consequences of our sin, and of the true cost with which our pardon was purchased. 
How foolish it would be for one aflicted with a fatal disease of the body to turn down the cure that was offered to them. What about sin, the disease of the soul? Why reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the healing power that is found in his precious blood? May you turn from your sin to Christ before it is too late ‘for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins’.

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