“In order that by means of the Commandment the unspeakable sinfulness of sin might be plainly shown.” Romans 7:13
“The Christianity which is from the Holy Spirit, will always have a very deep view of the sinfulness of sin. It will not merely regard sin as a blemish and misfortune, which makes men and women objects of pity and compassion. It will see sin as the curse which cursed God’s beautiful creation, the cursed thing which makes the whole earth groan and struggle in pain, the abominable thing which God hates, the thing which makes people guilty and lost in his Maker’s sight, the thing which deserves God’s eternal wrath and condemnation. It will look on sin as the cause of all sorrow and unhappiness, strife and wars, quarrels and contentions, sickness and death!
Above all, it will see in sin the thing which will ruin us eternally–unless we can find a ransom, lead us captive–unless we can get its chains broken, and destroy our happiness, both here and hereafter–unless we fight against it, even unto death.
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness
“See the evil effects of sin!
Sin has degraded us of our honor. God made us in His own image–but sin has debased us. Sin has plucked off our coat of innocence, and now it has debased us, and turned our glory into shame.
Sin disquiets the peace of the soul. ‘But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.’ (Isaiah 57:20-21). Whatever defiles, disturbs. As poison corrupts the blood–so sin corrupts the soul. Sin breeds a trembling at the heart; it creates fears, and there is “torment in fear.” Sin makes sad convulsions in the conscience. Judas was so terrified with guilt and horror, that he hanged himself to quiet his conscience. In order to ease his conscience–he threw himself into Hell.
Sin produces all temporal evil. It is the Trojan Horse, which has sword, and famine and pestilence, in its belly. Sin is a coal, which not only blackens–but burns! Sin creates all our troubles; it puts gravel into our bread, and wormwood in our cup. Sin rots the name, consumes the estate, and buries loved ones.
Sin unrepented of, brings final damnation. The canker which breeds in the rose is the cause of its perishing; just so–the corruptions which breed in men’s souls are the cause of their damning. Sin’s pleasure will turn to sorrow at last; like the book the prophet ate–sin is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Sin brings the wrath of God–and what tears can quench that fire?”
– Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity
“Sin is always sin in the sight of God—whether we are conscious of it or not. Sins of ignorance need atonement just as truly as do conscious sins. God is holy, and He will not lower His standard of righteousness to the level of our ignorance. Ignorance is not innocence. As a matter of fact, ignorance is more culpable now than it was in the days of Moses. We have no excuse for our ignorance. God has clearly and fully revealed His will. The Bible is in our hands, and we cannot plead ignorance of its contents except to condemn our laziness. God has spoken, and by His Word we shall be judged.
“And yet the fact remains that we are ignorant of many things, and the fault and blame are ours. And this does not minimize the enormity of our guilt. Sins of ignorance need divine forgiveness, as our Lord’s prayer here plainly shows. Learn then how high is God’s standard, how great is our need, and praise Him for an atonement of infinite sufficiency, which cleanseth from all sin.
‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).
– Arthur W. Pink, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, p.12
“Bring your lust to the gospel. Not for relief, but for further conviction of your guilt. Look on Him whom you have pierced, and let it trouble you. Say to your soul, ‘What have I done? What love, what mercy, what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this how I pay back the Father for His love? Is this how I thank the Son for His blood? Is this how I respond to the Holy Spirit for His grace? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, and the Holy Spirit has chosen to dwell in? How can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before Him? Do I count fellowship with Him of so little value that, for this vile lust’s sake, I have hard;y left Him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great a salvation?
‘What shall I say to the Lord? His love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation – I have despised all of them! I have considered them as nothing, that I might habour lust in my heart. Have I seen God as my Father, that I might provoke Him to His face? Was my soul washed that there might be room for new defilements? Shall I seek to disappoint the purpose of the death of Christ? Shall I grieve the Holy Spirit, Who has sealed me unto the day of redemption?’ Allow your conscience to consider these things every day. See if you conscience can resist the way in which these considerations aggravate guilt. If this does not cause your conscience to sink and melt, I fear that your case is very dangerous.”
– John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.78-79