Skip to main content

How Ought We to View Other Men's Sin?

"...we are but dead men until God quickens us by his grace alone...we never cease fighting against God until he has brought us to his obedience by the Holy Spirit... 
...we see secret compacts, poisonings spittings, malices, treasons, and wicked practices. To be brief, we see some so devilish that they fling themselves altogether headlong, as though they meant to make war willfully against God. These are things that may astonish us. And although we are dull, yet we ought to have some remorse when we see things to be so disorderly in the world. Nevertheless, St. Paul says that if we consider what is done, and how all things are turned upside down, and what license the world takes to itself to resist God, it behooves us to apply the same to ourselves and to conclude thus: The same could happen to me, and just as much as I see to be the case in them that are most wretched. For when we look on the diseases that are around us how some are eaten with cancers and other evil diseases, and others have the worst possible sickness, we must look at ourselves and say, As ill, and even worse still, could happen to me, if God had not taken pity on me.  For all of us carry the seed of them about us, and that not only in our bodies. there may be some diversity of constitution so that some are stronger and more robust than others, but the soul of man is utterly corrupted and marred. So then, the sins that reign in us are all of them warnings to make us cast down our eyes and be ashamed before God and his angels, and even to cause us to hate and utterly abhor our persons.
Thus you see why St. Paul has added here that the devil is at work still.  He uses the word 'now', as if he should say, 'My friends, if in looking upon your present state, you find anything well, and that the same keeps you from humbling yourselves thoroughly and feeling how miserable you would have been if God had not shown pity and mercy towards you, see what is happening all about you; see how the unbelievers behave themselves, and you shall find them to be like wild beasts and enemies of their own salvation. You find them stark mad against all right. In short, you shall see such great enormities as shall shame men and make them say, Alas, is it possible that it should be thus? And so you see what you are. Do not say, Fie upon you, you wicked man! You may well find fault with such a one, but you must, at the same time, add presently for a sauce to season it, How great God's mercy been towards me!.
Let us never condemn the sin, then, that we see everywhere, without considering at the same time that if God had not checked us, we would have fallen as deeply as we see others have fallen; and therefore let it stir ourselves up immediately to pray God that he lead us not into temptation, [Matt 6:13] and let us acknowledge God's infinite goodness, in that it pleases him to check us in such a way that we do not fall into the horrible pits that we see all around us. For when we look upon the most wicked folk in the world, and even upon such as we are driven to abhor as monsters, we must (as I said before) conclude thus within ourselves, 'Alas, as much would have befallen us, if God had not remedied it'. And so you see how we ought to bring this teaching into use."
- John Calvin, Sermon on Eph 2:1-5, From John Calvin's Sermons on Ephesians


Popular posts from this blog

When God turns a deaf ear on prayers

Does God always hear people’s prayers, or do some pray in vain thinking that God hears them, when in reality He chooses to turn a deaf hear to their cries? Some may perhaps have a notion that all prayers are worthy, and God being who He is is by nature willing to listen and hear their prayers delightfully. They entertain the notion that it is their birth right for God to listen to their prayers and answer them accordingly. Also, there are some who come before the presence of the Lord with severe doubts, defeated by the devils whisper that they are such an unworthy soul that for them to lift up their cries to the Lord is an abomination. They are mute by their own wickedness, depressed and thus fail to pray.

What does the scripture say about God turning a deaf hear to prayers? It is to be said that God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer as He sees fit. He is altogether happy and never backed into a corner, God always does whatever He pleases for He is free to do as He wills…

What does it mean to live a godly life?

If you ever asked yourself the question, what does it mean to live a godly life? and if your not exactly sure what living a godly life involves, this extract taking from Charles Seet book 'A Christian in a non-Christian world' provides ample guidance on just what to do.

Now it is worth asking the question then, 'What does it mean to live godly?' It does not mean that we are just to confine ourselves within a set of rules and regulations. Some people reduce godly living to a list of 'do’s and don'ts.' But the meaning of godly living goes far deeper than that.

Godly living means living in the manner that God wants us to live. It means having the same feelings, attitudes and heart's desires that God has. It means that we love the things that God loves, care for the things that God cares for, and dislike those things which He dislikes. And since God loves righteousness, a godly person also loves righteousness. Since God hates sin, a godly person also hates …

Women of the Bible: Adah and Zillah

The Sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the fall of humanity. Every generation after them became wicked and that is why scripture affirms, ‘that there is no one righteous, no, not even one.’ Mankind became enslave to the passions of its flesh, its desires became its ruler and men followed the natural dictates of their hearts; and were it not for Sovereign grace, the race of men would now only be read of by angels in the library of extinct creatures. Adam and Eve witnessed the consequences of their sin in the death of their beloved son, Abel, by the hands of Cain who murdered his brother in anger and was thus sent away from the presence of God. My dear sisters, sin is not only sin when it is found in its extremes, sin is also sin in its subtlety and vanity. Sin is sin when one's affection is set on another and not on God, when one lives to please a thing or a being which is not God; this is also sin.
This becomes especially evident in the lives of Adah and Zillah the wives of Lamech. Th…