O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire Thee with our whole heart; that, so desiring, we may seek, and seeking find Thee; and so finding Thee may love Thee; and in loving Thee, may hate those sins from which Thou hast redeemed us.
The difference between an unconverted man and a converted man is not that one has sins and the other does not; but that the one takes part with his cherished sins against a dreaded God, and the other takes part with a reconciled God against his hated sins.
In vain will ye fast, and pretend to be humbled for our sins, and make confession of them if our love of sin be not turned into hatred; our liking of it into loathing; and our cleaving to it, into a longing to be rid of it; with full purpose to resist the motions of it in our heart, and the outbreakings thereof in our life; and if we turn not unto God as our rightful Lord and Master, and return to our duty again.
As we grow in holiness, we grow in hatred of sin; and God, being infinitely holy, has an infinite hatred of sin.
A holy man knows that all sin strikes at the holiness of God, the glory of God, the nature of God, the being of God, and the law of God: and therefore his heart rises against all; he looks upon every sin as the Scribes and Pharisees that accused Christ; and as that Judas that betrayed Christ; and as that Pilate that condemned Christ; and as those soldiers that scourged Christ; and as those spears that pierced Christ.
If contemporary Christians ask themselves how much of their love reflects the love of God in its various dimensions, they should also ask themselves how much of their hatred reflects the hatred of God. Just as we can prostitute love, so we can prostitute hatred.
Moral indignation, even moral outrage, may on occasion be proof of love – love for the victim, love for the Church of God, love for the truth, love for God and his glory. Not to be outraged may in such cases be evidence, not of gentleness and love, but of a failure of love.
On the one hand, [we] are called to abandon bitterness, to be forbearing, to have a forgiving stance even where the repentance of the offending party is conspicuous by its absence; on the other hand, their God-centered passion for justice, their concerns for God’s glory, ensure that the awful odium of sin is not glossed over.
Throughout Scripture, God is seen as a faithful, devoted Husband who is intensely jealous for an exclusive relationship with His wife… The next time you sin, picture your husband (spouse) locked in a passionate embrace with a woman he met over the Internet… Try to feel the intensity of the shock, the rejection, the pain, the anger that would well up from the innermost part of your being upon discovering the truth. Then realize that what you would experience would be just a minuscule glimpse of the way God feels about our sin.
Sin is not an option for the believer. How can you continue in sin when that sin was paid for in the torn flesh of Jesus? How can you look longingly upon Satan’s offerings when the cross of Christ is in front of your eyes? Christ’s love constrains our hearts to seek holiness. The fact that sin has no lasting benefits remains true, but it is not simply because sin doesn’t pay that you are to turn your back on the tempter. The fact that sin will not get you what you really want in life is not nearly a powerful enough defense to guard you against the attractiveness of Satan’s lies and the fickleness of your heart. Only a deep grasp of the gospel has the power to bring about deep change in your heart. It is knowing the terrible price that has already been paid for your sin that enables you to say no to sin.
Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son. Hereby He showed Himself unappeasable to sin, and that it was impossible for Him to be at peace with it.
Oh cursed sin! It was you who slew my dear Lord! For your sake He underwent all this! If your vileness had not been so great, His sufferings had not been so many. Cursed sin! You were the knife which stabbed Him! You the sword which pierced Him!
If ever you wish to see how great and horrid and evil sin is, measure it in your thoughts, either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wronged by it; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to satisfy for it; and then you will have deeper apprehensions of its enormity.
On unbelievers, He will pour our His wrath because of their unrepentant hearts. On behalf of believers, He has already punished Jesus for our sins. His holy character demands that He hate sin, judge sinners, and pour out His wrath on those who sin. When we realize how much God hates sin, we will grow in our hatred for it, too.
The “size” of a sin is not ultimately determined by the sin itself, but by the one who was sinned against. Sin is infinitely wicked because it rejects the one who is infinitely holy and good. The more we recognized the perfection of God’s holiness, the more obvious this truth becomes.
If my father were weeping on his knees before me and my mother hanging on my neck behind me, and my brothers and sisters and kin howling on every side to retain me in some sinful course, I would fling my mother to the ground, I would run over my father, I would despise all my kin and I would tred them under my feet that I might run to Christ.
Will you give your hours to fantasizing about and dwelling on and longing for the vile things that nailed the Lover of your soul to the cursed tree?
It was our sins that put Jesus on the cross. Should we ever love sin, we would love the very evil that caused nails to be driven through our Savior’s hands and feet. Just as we would abhor the knife that was used to murder a child, so we should abhor the sin that caused Jesus to die.
It’s not really our sins that make us weep; they have a part in it… It is when we see the kind of Savior we have sinned against that really makes us weep.
The Danger of Spiritual Overconfidence. The sermon originally appeared at: www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-275/the-danger-of-spiritual-overconfidence at www.gty.org. © 1969-2008. Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
To gain entire likeness to Christ, I ought to get a high esteem of the happiness of it. I am persuaded that God’s happiness is inseparably linked in with His holiness. Holiness and happiness are like light and heat. God never tasted one of the pleasures of sin. Christ has a body such as I have, yet He never tasted one of the pleasures of sin. The redeemed, through all eternity, will never taste one of the pleasures of sin; yet their happiness is complete… Every sin is something away from my greatest enjoyment… The devil strives night and day to make me forget this or disbelieve it. He says, Why should you not enjoy this pleasure as much as Solomon or David? You may go to heaven also. I am persuaded this is a lie — that my true happiness is to go and sin no more.
Indeed, the more sanctified the person is, the more conformed he is to the image of his Savior, the more he must recoil against every lack of conformity to the holiness of God. The deeper his apprehension of the majesty of God, the greater the intensity of his love to God, the more persistent his yearning for the attainment of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, the more conscious will he be of the gravity of the sin that remains and the more poignant will be his detestation of it… Was this not the effect in all the people of God as they came into closer proximity to the revelation of God’s holiness?
Think of the guilt of sin, that you may be humbled. Think of the power of sin, that you may seek strength against it. Think not of the matter of sin…lest you be more and more entangled.
I do not understand how a man can be a true believer, in whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble.
I do not understand how a man can be a true believer unto whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow, and trouble.
We are ever prone to regard sin lightly, to gloss over its hideousness, to make excuses for it. But the more we study and ponder God’s abhorrence of sin and His frightful vengeance upon it, the more likely are we to realize its heinousness.
The awareness of sin, a deep awareness of disobedience, and painful confession of sin used to be our shadow. Christians hated sin. They feared it, they fled from it, they grieved over it. Some of our [forefathers] agonized over their sins. A man who lost his temper might wonder if he could still go to holy communion. A woman who for years envied her more attractive and intelligent sister might wonder if this sin threatened her very salvation… That shadow has dimmed. Nowadays the accusation, “You have sinned,” is often said with a grin and with a tone that signals an inside joke. At one time this accusation still had the power to jolt people.
The best evidence that a Christian desires (loves) something more than he desires (loves) God is his willingness to sin against God either in order to acquire that desire. “If you love Me keep My commandments,” Jesus said (Jn. 14:15).
How can we love sin, when we remember that because of our sins Jesus died?
Surely that man must be in an unhealthy state of soul who can think of all that Jesus suffered, and yet cling to those sins for which that suffering was undergone. It was sin that wove the crown of thorns; it was sin that pierced our Lord’s hands and feet and side; it was sin that brought Him to Gethsemane and Calvary, to the cross and to the grave. Cold must our hearts be if we do not hate sin and labor to get rid of it.
Let us ever learn from the story of the passion, to hate sin with a great hatred. Sin was the cause of all our Savior’s suffering. Our sins platted the crown of thorns. Our sins drove the nails into His hands and feet. On account of our sins His blood was shed. Surely the thought of Christ crucified should make us loathe all sin. Well says the Homily of the Passion, “Let this image of Christ crucified be always printed in our hearts. Let it stir us up to the hatred of sin, and provoke our minds to the earnest love of Almighty God.”
We must begin low, if we would build high, I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.
Surely that man must be in an unhealthy state of soul who can think of all that Jesus suffered, and yet cling to those sins for which that suffering was undergone. It was sin that wove the crown of thorns – it was sin that pierced our Lord’s hands, and feet, and side – it was sin that brought Him to Gethsemane and Calvary, to the cross and to the grave. Cold must our hearts be if we do not hate sin and labor to get rid of it.
No proof of the fulness of sin, after all, is so overwhelming and unanswerable as the cross and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole doctrine of His substitution and atonement. Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction.
It is evident that our conversion is sound when we loathe and hate sin from the heart.
The next time your heart is indifferent toward sin, think for a moment of what sin cost your Savior on the cross. Think about His lacerated back ripped open to the bone from the Roman scourge. Think how He suffered for a breath of air as He extended His bloody body up the vertical beam of the rugged cross. Think about the splinters that dug deeper into His freshly cut wounds with every movement. Think about the large spikes that pierced His hands and His feet penetrating deeply into nerve endings. Think of the slow suffocation as Jesus hung there in the nude, mocked by the onlookers. Jesus didn’t die for His own sin; He died for ours. “[He was] pierced through for our transgressions… [He was] crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). Does the love of Christ compel you to turn from that which brought Him unspeakable anguish?
Every sin, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is an act of rebellion against the sovereign God who reigns and rules over us and as such is an act of treason against the cosmic King.
If Christ has died for me – ungodly as I am, without strength as I am – then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it?
Look to the cross, and hate your sin, for sin nailed your Well Beloved to the tree. Look up to the cross, and you will kill sin, for the strength of Jesus’ love will make you strong to put down your tendencies to sin.
A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Savior’s blood.
Grace and sin are quarrelsome neighbors.
While I regarded God as a tyrant I thought my sin a tyrant; but when I knew Him to be my Father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against Him. When I thought God was hard. I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon by breast that I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so, and sought my good.
I know this, that the death of all that is sinful in me is my soul’s highest ambition, yes, and the death of all that is carnal and all that savors of the old Adam. Oh, that it would die. And where can it die but at the feet of Him who has the new life, and who by manifesting Himself in all His glory is to purge away our dross and sin?
We must keep from sin. If Christ has indeed saved us from sin, we cannot bear the thought of falling into it. Those who take delight in sin are not the children of God. If you are a child of God, you hate it with a perfect hatred, and your very soul loathes it.
The truly loving child of God, though he knows sin is there, hates that sin; it is a pain and misery to him, and he never makes the corruption of his heart as an excuse for the corruption of his life; he never pleads the evil of his nature, as an apology for the evil of his conduct. If any man can, in the least degree, clear himself from the conviction of his own conscience, on account of his daily failings, by pleading the evil of his heart, he is not one of the broken-hearted children of God; he is not one of the tried servants of the Lord, for they groan concerning sin, and carry it to God’s throne; they know it is in them – they do not, therefore, leave it, but seek with all their minds to keep it down, In order that it may not rise and carry them away.
Sin, a little thing? Isn’t it poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Don’t little foxes spoil the grapes? Doesn’t the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Don’t little strokes fell lofty oaks? Won’t continual droppings wear away stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer’s head with thorns, and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. If you could but weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Savior and you will see it to be “utterly sinful.”
This day, my God, I hate sin not because it damns me, but because it has done Thee wrong. To have grieved my God is the worst grief to me.
If I had a brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I…daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother’s heart; surely I too must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?”
A sight of His death – if it is a true sight – is the death of all love of sin.
We cannot bear sin – when it is near us, we feel like a wretch chained to a rotting carcass; we groan to be free from the hateful thing.
Sin to a believer is horrible, because it crucified the Saviour; he sees in every iniquity the nails and spear.
Sin has been pardoned at such a price that we cannot henceforth trifle with it.
Too many think lightly of sin, and therefore think lightly of the Savior. He who has stood before his God, convicted and condemned, with the rope about his neck, is the man to weep for joy when he is pardoned, to hate the evil which has been forgiven him, and to live to the honor of the Redeemer by whose blood he has been cleansed.
Remorse, regret, sorrow, and the pain provoked by sin will only increase and intensify the longer we are Christians. Maturity in the faith does not lead to less sorrow over sin, but more. The pain does not diminish; it deepens.
I go further and say that there is a great need in the contemporary world for more Christian anger. We human beings compromise with sin in a way in which God never does. In the face of blatant evil we should be indignant not tolerant, angry, not apathetic. If God hates sin, His people should hate sin too. If evil arouses His anger, it should arouse ours too. What other reaction can wickedness be expected to provoke in those who love God?
I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!
The glum, sour faces of many Christians. They rather give the impression that, instead of coming from the Father’s joyful banquet, they have just come from the Sheriff who has auctioned off their sins and now are sorry they can’t get them back again.
In our sufferings for Christ there is joy, not so when we suffer for our sins.
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed, as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.
We are to find as much bitterness in weeping for sin as we ever found sweetness in committing it.
Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.
Many are ashamed to be seen as God made them; few are ashamed to be seen what the devil hath made them. Many are troubled at small defects in the outward man; few are troubled at the greatest deformities of the inward man; many buy artificial beauty to supply the natural; few spiritual, to supply the defects of the supernatural beauty of the soul.
None can hate [sin] but those that love the law of God; for all hatred comes from love. A natural man may be angry with his sin, but hate it he cannot; nay, he may leave it, but not loathe it; if he did, he would loathe all sin as well as any one sin.