This is a Blog for those interested in following hard after His heart. Those willing to strive to live a moment by moment life as we go through the transformation process with Him. It is not an easy life but the Father expects each of us to become an offering for His pleasure. So, if this is you, then let’s journey together hand in hand. I am humbled that you have chosen to walk with me. Thanks!
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03 April, 2013
The Doctrine of Repentance - Part 10
By Thomas Watson, 1668
The Nature of true repentance
Question: What is there in sin, which may make a penitent hate it?
Answer: Sin is the accursed thing, the most deformed monster.
The apostle Paul uses a very emphatic word to express it: "that sin might
become exceedingly sinful" (Romans ), or as it is in
the Greek, "exaggeratedly sinful". That sin is an exaggerated
mischief, and deserves hatred will appear if we look upon sin as a fourfold
(1) Look upon the origin of sin, from whence it comes. It
fetches its pedigree from hell: "He who commits sin is of the devil!"
(1 John 3:8). Sin is the devil's special work. God has a hand in ordering sin,
it is true—but Satan has a hand in acting it out. How hateful is it to be doing
that which is the special work of the devil, indeed, that which makes men into
(2) Look upon sin in its nature, and it will appear very hateful. See
how scripture has pencilled sin out: it is a dishonoring of God (Romans 2:23 );
a despising of God (1 Sam. 2:30); a fretting of God (Ezek. 16:43); a wearying
of God (Isaiah 7:13); a grieving the heart of God, as a loving husband is with
the unchaste conduct of his wife: "I have been grieved by their adulterous
hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted
after their idols" (Ezek. 6:9). Sin, when acted to the height, is a
crucifying Christ afresh and putting him to open shame (Heb. 6:6), that is,
impudent sinners pierce Christ in his saints, and were he now upon earth they
would crucify him again in his person. Behold the odious nature of sin.
(3) Look upon sin in its comparison, and it appears ghastly. Compare
sin with AFFLICTION and hell, and it is worse than both. It is worse
than affliction, sickness, poverty, or death. There is more malignity in a drop
of sin than in a sea of affliction—for sin is the cause of affliction, and the
cause is more than the effect. The sword of God's justice lies quiet in the
scabbard—until sin draws it out! Affliction is good for us: "It is good
for me that I have been afflicted" (Psalm 119:71). Affliction causes
repentance (2 Chron. 33:12). The viper, being stricken, casts up its poison.
Just so, when God's rod strikes us with affliction, we spit away the poison of
sin! Affliction betters our grace. Gold is purest, and juniper sweetest—when in
the fire. Affliction prevents damnation. "We are being disciplined—so that
we will not be condemned with the world." (1 Cor. 11:32). Therefore,
Maurice the emperor prayed to God to punish him in this life—that he might not
be punished hereafter.
Thus, affliction is in many ways for our good—but there is no good
in sin. Manasseh's affliction brought him to humiliation and
repentance—but Judas' sin brought him to desperation and damnation.
Affliction only reaches the body—but sin goes further: it poisons the mind,
disorders the affections. Affliction is but corrective; sin is destructive.
Affliction can but take away the life; sin takes away the soul (Luke ).
A man who is afflicted may have his conscience quiet. When the ark
was tossed on the flood waves, Noah could sing in the ark. When the body is
afflicted and tossed, a Christian can "make melody in his heart to the
Lord" (Eph. ). But when a man
commits sin, conscience is terrified. Witness Spira, who upon his abjuring the
faith, said that he thought the damned spirits did not feel those torments
which he inwardly endured. In affliction, one may have the love of God (Rev.
3:19). If a man should throw a bag of money at another, and in throwing it
should hurt him a little—he will not take it unkindly—but will look upon it as
a fruit of love. Just so, when God bruises us with affliction—it is to
enrich us with the golden graces and comforts of his Spirit. All is in love.
But when we commit sin, God withdraws his love. When David sinned, he felt
nothing but displeasure from God: "Clouds and thick darkness surround
him" (Psalm 97:2). David found it so. He could see no rainbow, no sunbeam,
nothing but clouds and darkness about God's face.
That sin is worse than affliction is evident, because the greatest
judgment God lays upon a man in this life is to let him sin without control.
When the Lord's displeasure is most severely kindled against a person, he does
not say, I will bring the sword and the plague on this man—but, I will let him
sin on: "I gave them up unto their own hearts lust, living according to
their own desires" (Psalm 81:12). Now, if the giving up of a man to his
sins (in the account of God himself) is the most dreadful evil, then sin is far
worse than affliction. And if it is so, then how should it be hated by us!
Compare sin with HELL, and you shall see that sin is worse. Torment
has its epitome in hell—yet nothing in hell is as bad as sin. Hell is of God's
making—but sin is not of God's making. Sin is the devil's creature. The
torments of hell are a burden only to the sinner—but sin is a burden to God. In
the torments of hell, there is something that is good, namely, the execution of
divine justice. There is justice to be found in hell—but sin is a piece of the
highest injustice. It would rob God of his glory, Christ of his purchase, the
soul of its happiness. Judge then if sin is not a most hateful thing—which is
worse than affliction, or the torments of hell.