ALL sins are great sins, but yet some sins are greater than others. Every sin has in it the very venom of rebellion, and is full of the essential marrow of traitorous rejection of God. But there be some sins which have in them a greater development of the essential mischief of rebellion, and which wear upon their faces more of the brazen pride which defies the Most High. It is wrong to suppose that because all sins will condemn us, that therefore one sin is not greater than another.
I shall this morning first of all endeavor to describe presumptuous sins, then secondly, I shall try, if I can, to show by some illustrations why the presumptuous sin is more heinous than any other, and then thirdly, I shall try to press this prayer upon your notice the prayer, mark you, of the holy man the prayer of David. “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.”
First, then, WHAT IS A PRESUMPTOUS SIN? Now, I think there must be one of four things in a sin in order to make it presumptuous. It must either be a sin against light and knowledge, or a sin committed with deliberation, or a sin committed with a design of sinning, merely for sinnings sake, or else it must be a sin committed through hardihood, from a man's rash confidence in his own strength. We will mark these points one by one.
A sin that is committed wilfully against manifest light and knowledge, is a presumptuous sin. A sin of ignorance is not presumptuous, unless that ignorance also be wilful, in which case the ignorance is itself a presumptuous sin. But when a man sins for want of knowing better for want of knowing the law, for want of instruction, reproof, advice and admonition, we say that his sin, so committed, does not partake to any great extent of the nature of a presumptuous sin. But when a man knows better, and sins in the very teeth and face of his increased light and knowledge, then his sin deserves to be branded with this ignominious title of a presumptuous sin.
Again, when a man continues long in sin, and has time to deliberate about it, that also is a proof that it is a presumptuous sin. He that sins once, being overtaken in a fault, and then abhors the sin, has not sinned presumptuously; but he who transgresses to day, to-morrow and the next day, week after week and year after year until he has piled up a heap of sins that are high as a mountain, such a man, I say sins presumptuously, because in a continued habit of sin there must be a deliberation to sin; there must be at least such a force and strength of mind as could not have come upon any man if his sin were but the hasty effect of sudden passion.
Again: I said that a presumptuous sin must be a matter of design, and have been committed with the intention of sin.
The highest saints may sin the lowest sins, unless kept by divine grace.
There is enough corruption, depravity, and wickedness in the heart of the most holy man that is now alive to damn his soul to all eternity, if free and sovereign grace does not prevent. O Christian, thou hast need to pray this prayer.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible