by Mike Ratliff
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 ESV)
God is Holy. However, at the fall (Genesis 3) Man fell into sin. This fall corrupted all of Adam’s line so that each is born with a sin nature and completely separate from God. Why? God is Holy and is completely separate from all that is not. Christians are not separate from God because, at their salvation, they are forgiven and declared righteous by God because of the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross. The Lord Jesus Christ paid heavily to accomplish the atonement for the sins of those for whom He died.
Those who are His, those who have been redeemed, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, are changed. They are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). As they grow up in Christ, becoming more and more mature, their character becomes more and more Christlike. They are becoming conformed unto the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This causes them to take on the same revulsion for sin that God has.
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD. Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law. Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. I remember your name in the night, O LORD, and keep your law. This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts. (Psalms 119:49-56 ESV)
The Hebrew word David used in v53 of Psalm 119 that is translated here as ‘Hot indignation’ is זלעפה זלעפה or zal‛âphâh zil‛âphâh. It literally means ‘hot wind’ or ‘raging heat.’ When referring to human emotion it is used to portray ‘vehement wrath.’ What is David telling us here?
My soul, feelest thou this holy shuddering at the sins of others? For if you do not, you lack inward holiness. David’s cheeks were wet with rivers of waters because of prevailing unholiness; Jeremiah desired eyes like fountains that he might lament the iniquities of Israel, and Lot was vexed with the conversation of the men of Sodom. Those upon whom the mark was set in Ezekiel’s vision, were those who sighed and cried for the abominations of Jerusalem. It cannot but grieve gracious souls to see what pains men take to go to hell. They know the evil of sin experimentally [experientially], and they are alarmed to see others flying like moths into its blaze. Sin makes the righteous shudder, because it violates a holy law, which it is to every man’s highest interest to keep; it pulls down the pillars of the commonwealth. Sin in others horrifies a believer, because it puts him in mind of the baseness of his own heart: when he sees a transgressor he cries with the saint mentioned by Bernard, “He fell to-day, and I may fall to-morrow.”
Sin to a believer is horrible, because it crucified the Saviour; he sees in every iniquity the nails and spear. How can a saved soul behold that cursed kill-Christ sin without abhorrence? Say, my heart, dost thou sensibly join in all this? It is an awful thing to insult God to His face. The good God deserves better treatment, the great God claims it, the just God will have it, or repay His adversary to his face. An awakened heart trembles at the audacity of sin, and stands alarmed at the contemplation of its punishment. How monstrous a thing is rebellion! How direful a doom is prepared for the ungodly! My soul, never laugh at sin’s fooleries, lest thou come to smile at sin itself. It is thine enemy, and thy Lord’s enemy-view it with detestation, for so only canst thou evidence the possession of holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. – C.H. Spurgeon.
A professing Christian who can partner with others for political, professional, or personal gain who support things such as abortion on demand or gay rights, et cetera is either not regenerate or they are so backslidden that the light of God’s truth is only a dying ember in their hearts. Genuine believers will never view sin as optional or anything less than a horror that is repugnant to their souls.
Those that make God’s promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God’s judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it. – From Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary of Psalm 119:49-56.
My brethren, what is your relationship to sin? Does it horrify you or are you comfortable with it? Did that last question strike a chord with your soul? Hurry to the throne of grace. Ask God to examine your heart and reveal to you the truth. Repent of what He shows you. Commit yourself to walking in repentance until God takes you home.
Soli Deo Gloria!