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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sensible Sinners

"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24)

"They who are not sensible of their misery cannot truly look to God for mercy; for it is the very notion of divine mercy, that it is the goodness and grace of God to the miserable. Without misery in the object, there can be no exercise of mercy. To suppose mercy without supposing misery, or pity without calamity, is a contradiction: therefore men cannot look upon themselves as proper objects of mercy, unless they first know themselves to be miserable; and so, unless this be the case, it is impossible that they should come to God for mercy. They must be sensible that they are the children of wrath; that the law is against them, and that they are exposed to the curse of it: that the wrath of God abideth on them; and that he is angry' with them every day while they are under the guilt of sin.—They must be sensible that it is a very dreadful thing to be the object of the wrath of God; that it is a very awful thing to have him for their enemy; and that they cannot bear his wrath. They must he sensible that the guilt of sin makes them miserable creatures, whatever temporal enjoyments they have; that they can be no other than miserable, undone creatures, so long as God is angry with them; that they are without strength, and must perish, and that eternally, unless God help them. They must see that their case is utterly desperate, for any thing that any one else can do for them; that they hang over the pit of eternal misery; and that they must necessarily drop into it, if God have not mercy on them." - Jonathan Edwards

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been known to say those who hold a low view of their own sin, must hold to a low view of God's grace as well.

David McCrory
The Reformed Puritan

www.reformedpuritan.wordpress.com

Puritan Lad said...

Amen. A recipient of God's Grace must first be made aware of the need for such grace. This is where the modern day "positive self-image" teachings are utter failures. There is no redemption in "positive self-image" theology. It is the sick who need a physician, and the sinner who needs a Savior.

Bryan said...

I was just having a discussion with a friend the other day in which i said it's funny how the American church goes to two extremes when it comes to sin, yet both end up the same way--
The first concentrate on sin and never mention grace, which leads to legalism and works based salvation. The other is all grace and no sin, so you get a purely social Gospel wherein there is no true conversion because no one has any idea of what being a sinner means.

The trick is, as David implied above, is to have a high view of each-- what a miserable and wretched sinner I am, and how amazing is God's grace that cleanses me from all sin and keeps, and entreats me to come to His throne!

Puritan Lad said...

Amen. The Bible-believing churches of America today are full of zeal in dealing with the sins of society, such as abortion and gay marriage, but don't want to deal correctly with the issue of personal sin (especially our own). We need to take our sin seriously, and yet not beat ourselves up as we take God's grace even more seriously.

RJS said...

Superb quote of Edwards!!

Puritan Lad said...

Thanks RJS, and welcome...

Anonymous said...

I would only add than an individual must be quickened, or made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit BEFORE they will ever see that they are sinners. (1 Co.2.14)