"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan
Friday, January 3, 2014
The Deceitfulness of Sin
SIN is the greatest evil in the universe. It is the parent of all other ills. All manner of evils draw their bitterness from this fountain of wormwood and gall. If a man had every possession a mortal could desire, sin could turn every blessing into a curse. And, on the other hand, if a man had nothing for his inheritance but suffering and stood clear from all sin, his afflictions, his losses, his deprivations might each one be a gain to him. We ought not to pray so much against sickness, or trial, or temptation, or even against death itself, as against sin! Satan, himself, cannot hurt us except as he is armed with the poisoned arrows of sin.
Lord, keep us from sin. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” There is no evil like the evil of sin—deliver us from it, O Lord! Alas, we are sadly prone to sin and evil has great influence over us. When I say this, I refer not only to those who are “dead in trespasses and sins,” in whom sin is the great reigning power—for they are the servants of sin—but I refer also to the people of God. Even we that have been born-again and are, in a measure, sanctified by the Spirit of God—even we, I say—have a fleshly nature whose tendencies are evil, whose desires draw towards sin.
How soon we slip! How much we need to be held up! How ought we daily to cry for Divine Grace lest we, also, should be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin”! Upon that subject I am going to speak this morning, dwelling, for the most part, upon “the deceitfulness of sin.” To God’s people this is a very important matter—for in the deceit of sin lies our main danger. If sin comes to us as sin, we are swift to hate it and strong to repel it, by the Grace of God. When we are walking with God, we only need to know that an action is forbidden and straightway we avoid it—we shun the evil thing when it is plainly evil.
But when sin puts on another dress and comes to us speaking a language which is not its own—even those who would avoid sin as sin, may, by degrees, be tempted to evil and deluded into wrong. It is well when sin carries its black
flag at the masthead for then we know what we are dealing with. The of sin is most ruinous. We have grave cause to watch and pray against secret sins, veiled sins, popular sins, fascinating sins, deceitful sins. May God grant that
the words which I may now utter may set us on our watchtower and excite all our faculties to enquire diligently, lest we be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
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