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Rejoicing in Salvation in Affliction

In your own times of severe distress, which are you more aware of - your suffering or your salvation? What the Puritan Thomas Watson recognized will always be true for us, "Your sufferings are not so great s your sins: Put these two in balance, and see which weighs heaviest." We can rejoice in our salvation even amid great affliction when we recognize how muh worse we deserve because of our sins.
C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross-Centered Life
p. 105

Sin: Dare of Justice, Rape of Mercy, Jeer of Patience...

"Sin is contrary to all the names and attributes of God. It sets itself in opposition to them all.

  1. It deposes the sovereignty of God...It will not [do] that the King of kings should be on the throne, and govern this world which he has made. It was by this instinct that Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I know no Lord above me; I will not let Israel go" (Exodus 5:2). It was from hence that the Jews of old said, "We are lords; we will come no more to thee" (Jeremiah 2:31). Thus it attempts to dethrone God.
  2. It denies God's all-sufficiency. As if there were not contentment and satisfaction enough to be laid in the enjoyment of God, but that vanity and wickedness had more of pleasure and profit than he, whose ways are all pleasantness, and whose service is the health of man! Every prodigal who leaves the Father's house says in effect, "It is better to be elsewhere."
  3. It challenges the justice of God, and dares God to do his worst (Malachi 2:17). It provokes the Lord to jealousy, and tempts him to wrath.
  4. It disowns his omniscience. "Pooh!" they say, "God does not see, nor does the most High regard."
  5. It despises the riches of God's goodness (Romans 2:4)
  6. It turns his grace into wontonness (Jude 4). It will make bold with God, and sin because grace abounds.

In short, "Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of his mercy, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, the contempt of his love," as one writer prettily expresses this ugly thing. We may go on and say, "It is the upbraiding of his providence (Psalm 50), the scoff of his promise (2 Peter 3:3-4), the reproach of his wisdom (Isaiah 29:16), and...it opposes and exalts itself above all that is called God (and above all that God is called), so that it [attempts to be God, sitting] in the temple of God, showing itself as if it were God (2 Thessalonians 2:4)."

The Sinfulness of Sin
Ralph Venning
pp. 31-32

Keywords: sin

How to Truly Cherish Grace

Ezekiel 16 was a part of my Bible reading today, and oh how this quote rings true after spending much time contemplating exactly what my sin means to God:

Only those who are truly aware of their sin can truly cherish grace."

C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross Centered Life
p. 88