“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
“I know your thoughts!” Job 21:27
Do we pay sufficient attention to our thoughts? Every thought has a character–it is either good or bad. Every thought produces an effect–it either sanctifies or depraves.
Sin begins in thought; holiness begins in thought; misery begins in thought; happiness begins in thought. Thought decides the state of man–hence the Bible says, “As he thinks in his heart–so is he” [Proverbs 23:7].
We cannot tell what a man is by his words, nor always by his acts–but if we could get at his thoughts, we could. God attends to our thoughts, and he wishes us to do so. He asks, “How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?” He testifies, “I know the thoughts that come into your mind–every one of them!” Not only so–but Jesus has declared, “I am He who searches the thoughts and the heart!” [Revelation 2:23]
Reader, God knows the thoughts that come into your mind!
– James Smith
“Jesus is the model and the exemplar of what it means to love one another. ‘By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers’ [1 John 3:16]. Here John lays down a pattern that is imbedded throughout God’s Word: God’s commands to us are rooted in the wonder of his grace to us in his Son.
“What constrains obedience is not merely the fact that God himself commands us, though that would be a sufficient motive. Being the God of grace that he is, our Father seeks always to give us further powerful reasons for obedience. We see this pattern in Exodus 20:1-17 when God, through Moses, gave his people the Ten Commandments. Before he says, ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (verse 3), he says, I am the LORD [the covenant Lord] your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’ [verse 3]. What a glorious incentive to obedience! God had rescued and redeemed them; he was their God, the covenant Lord who has made them his people.”
– Iam Hamilton, Let’s Study the Letters of John, p.44
“In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs, drawing sailor irresistibly towards the rocks and certain shipwreck. Odysseus filled his crew’s ears with wax and had them tie him to the mast. This is like the approach to legalism. We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation. Orpheus, on the other hand, play such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the seduction of the Siren’s song. This is the way of faith. The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have the faith to hear its music.”
– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.57
I am not what I ought to be. Ah! how imperfect and deficient. I am not what I might be, considering my privileges and opportunities. I am not what I wish to be. God, who knows my heart–knows I wish to be like Him. I am not what I hope to be. Before long, I will drop this clay tabernacle, to be like Him and see Him as He is! Yet, I am not what I once was–a child of sin, and slave of the devil! Though not all these–not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was–I think I can truly say with the apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am!” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
– John Newton