Sermon four covers Psalm 119:3. This sermon would pair well with Romans 7:1-25. Essentially the Psalmist is addressing the same issues as Paul. If we love God, we will hate sin. If we love God and long to walk in his ways--and not our own ways--then we will not tolerate sin in our own lives. John Owen, a fellow Puritan to Thomas Manton, deals with this issue in one of his books. I've been sharing quotes from it all year long. He speaks of sin, temptation, of the importance of mortifying--or crucifying--sin. If we love God and want to obey Him, we will not let sin be a habit.
Essentially, Manton is saying that no Christian can totally, completely, absolutely avoid sinning altogether. But to tolerate sin, to cling to sin, to make sin our habit and lifestyle--that is out of the question for any believer who genuinely loves God. When was the last time you heard a contemporary preacher talk of mortifying sin?!
- What it is to do iniquity? If we make it our trade and practice’ to continue in wilful disobedience. To sin is one thing, but to make sin our work is another.
- None are absolutely freed from sin, but it is not their trade, their way, their work. When a man makes it his study and business to carry on a course of sin, then he is said to do iniquity.
- Who are those that are said to do no iniquity in God’s account, though they fail often through weakness of the flesh and violence of temptation? Answer—All such as are renewed by grace, and reconciled to God by Christ Jesus; to these God imputeth no sin to condemnation, and in his account they do no iniquity.
- If a man be constantly, easily, frequently carried away to sin, it discovers a habit of soul, and the temper of his heart.
- A child of God may be carried away, and act contrary to the bent and inclination of the new nature; but when men are drowned and overcome with the return of every temptation, and carried away, it argues a habit of sin. And partly, because sin never carries it away clearly, but with some dislikes and resistances of the new nature. The children of God make it their business to avoid all sin, by watching, praying, mortifying.
- They that are and shall be blessed are such as make it their business to avoid all sin.
- If this be the character of a blessed man, to make it our business to avoid sin, then here is caution to God’s people: 1. To beware of all sin. 2. To be very cautious against gross sins, committed against the light of conscience. 3. To beware of continuance in sin.
- Christ came to take away sin, and will you bind those cords the faster which Christ came to loosen? Then you go about to defeat the purpose of his death, and put your Redeemer to shame. You seek to make void the great end for which Christ came, which was to dissolve sin. And, besides, you disparage the worth of the price he paid down; you make the blood of Christ a cheap thing, when you despise grace and holiness; you make nothing of that which cost him so dear—you lessen the greatness of his sufferings. And it is a wrong to his pattern.
- It is not enough only to avoid evil, but we must do good.
- In every command there are precepts and prohibitions, that we might own God, as well as renounce the devil; and maintain communion with him, as well as avoid our own misery.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible