Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Deadly Foe: Sin

Courage, courage! He has not brought you out of Egypt that you may be destroyed. What would the heathen say concerning your God, if after all you should fall and perish? You shall win the day, you shall have every inch of the promised land, only be ye strong and be very courageous, for the Lord will surely drive out your sins, and take your body, soul, and spirit, as a consecrated and holy possession for ever.

But there is a notion among some Christians, who are but little instructed, and who know nothing of experience, that sanctification is an instantaneous work. There are some who think that the moment they believe in Jesus they shall never be troubled with any sin again, whereas, it is then that the battle begins. The moment sin is forgiven it ceases to be my friend, and becomes my deadly foe. When the guilt of sin is gone, then the power of sin becomes obnoxious, and we begin to strive against it. Every now and then we hear of friends who cannot understand my teaching on this point. They say they do not feel anything of uprising sin within themselves. Oh, beloved, I wish you did, for I am afraid you know nothing of the gospel-life if you do not. I will not give a penny for your religion, if it has no inward conflict. Even virtuous heathens have got farther than that, for some of them have written that they felt themselves to be as two men contending or fighting; and surely Christians have got farther still, or ought to have done. This, I know, be it what it may with you, I have to fight every day to get but one inch nearer to heaven, and I feel it will be wrestling to the last moment, and that I shall have a scuffle upon Jordan’s brink with my corruptions.

From a sermon entitled "Secret Sins Driven Out By Driving Hornets," delivered January 28, 1866. Image by chantrybee under Creative Commons License.

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