Christ Preparing our Hearts 29

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

Did I ever see sin odious, black and hellish, defiling and damning? Have I seen it in the glass of the law, bloody and killing? But in [light of] Christ’s blood exceeding and above measure sinful?

One of the ways that the Lord Jesus Christ prepares the hearts of His people is by showing them the nature of sin in several aspects. He shows them their sin as to what it is to them, but also in light of the law and in light of the blood of Christ. There is an academic or letter of the law approach which will show men their sin to some degree, but when Christ teaches men about their sin He seems to dangle them over the fires of hell and makes them to feel the awfulness of their sin. With some He will give them just a little taste of their sin, but with others He will give them several meals and even feasts of it. Someone said, a few centuries ago, “Until we taste sin as bitter Christ will not taste sweet.” The Lord Jesus will have His people taste Him as sweet.

The very nature of sin is that it is odious to God and in the more obvious aspects of it is also odious to men. The idea of odious is something which deserves hatred or repugnance. Sin is hated by God and sin is repugnant to God. Sin is despicably black in the eyes of God and is the offspring or even vomit of hell. Sin is what defiles all it touches and makes men worthy of eternal damnation. Those who are unrepentant sinners are those who are throwing sticks upon their own fires as they treasure up wrath for the day of wrath. These words and concepts describe the true nature of sin and what sin is in the eyes of God, yet unregenerate man loves sin. Unregenerate man may see sin as harmful in some ways and some sin will be seen as immoral, but unregenerate men will not hate sin as sin. It is only when Christ is teaching the heart by His Spirit that the soul comes to understand something of the very hellishness of sin.

Unregenerate sinners are in darkness and as such they cannot see the true nature of sin. Unregenerate sinners are dead to the spiritual nature of things and as such they don’t see the horror of the spiritual nature of sin. Sinners must be taught the nature of sin and they must be taught the nature of sin in light of the law and of the blood of Christ, but we must know that the unregenerate will not know the depths of sin unless Christ Himself opens the eyes of the heart and teaches them. It is one of the “jobs” of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and only as He illuminates sinners in accordance with the prophetic office of Christ will sinners begin to see.

People can be quite against a lot of sin and join forces with groups for morality and still have no true concept of sin. We see Roman Catholics as opposed to abortion and yet they stand firmly against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This shows that men can stand against sin in one sense while they truly have no understanding of the nature of sin. These people can know that something is wrong and can know that it is wrong in the eyes of God, yet they have no sense of the odiousness of sin themselves or what it is in the eyes of God. Each person must ask him or herself the question from the top of the page. “Did I ever see sin odious, black and hellish, defiling and damning?” Am I just against outward sins because down deep I know they are wrong? Am I just against some sins because the Bible says that they are wrong? Has God in His great mercy ever opened my eyes to see the true nature of sin? Has the Holy Spirit truly convicted me of my sin as against God and the true hellishness of the nature of it? Have you ever known and felt deeply in you soul just how worthy of hell that you are and that truly you deserve nothing but hell? You see, it is not just slight feeling that is conviction, but a true conviction comes with something of horror to it.

While it sounds so nice to think of Christ preparing hearts for Himself, it is truly a painful thing. Our hearts must be stripped of pride and of self, especially of religious pride and self. We must see that no only are our obvious sins hateful in the eyes of God, but our religious acts apart from Christ are perhaps even more obnoxious to Him. Our righteousness is as filthy menstrual cloths to Him and we have no way or making up for our past sins. The Lord Jesus will begin to open our eyes to sin and it will be painful to see ourselves in the eyes of God as we are in truth. We deserve nothing but wrath upon wrath and that forever. We have no way of making up for the least sin and our every effort to make up for sin is just more sinful. We are helpless in the hands of the one and only sovereign God who alone can teach us about sin and who alone can take our sin away and give us a right standing in His presence in Christ by free-grace alone. Salvation is caused by Christ and nothing we can do helps our case.

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