Reflections on The Sinfulness of Sin and Falling in Love Again with Your Lord

by Susan Sampson

Ralph Venning in 1669 wrote The Sinfulness of Sin.  I bought this book in the desire to see my sin more clearly so I can know the love of my Lord more greatly.  Listen to how our sin is described:  “In short, sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of his mercy, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, the contempt of his love…the upbraiding of his providence, the scoff of his promise and the reproach of his wisdom…It opposes and exalts itself above all that is called God.”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

I want to know the one who freely and completely pardoned me of this by allowing himself to be slaughtered in my place!  “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5). 

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (Rom. 4:7-8).

Jesus, the Son of God, is a person, not a philosophy!  Wow, do I need this continual reminder. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6).

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:24-25).

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!  I want to return to you, the Overseer of my soul.  I want Jesus to be in control of me!  “I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies” (Ps. 119:146).  I don’t want to live in my flesh any more.  I want to draw a line in the sand.  I don’t want to scoff like Namaan did when you told him to dip himself in the river 7 times.  Please give us grace to hear and believe and come up under your Word and do it because you have said so.  Your Word is truth.  Our feelings are not trustworthy!

We can’t do this apart from your grace.  We desperately need you!  Enable us by your grace to put our flesh to death and abide in you, the true vine.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).

Ralph Venning describes sin in another way: “sin is the Devil’s image.”  But in Christ we are to be renewed in God’s image (Col. 3:10) as God created us to be: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26a).

Heavenly Father, may we have much grace to enable us to do as we were instructed to do in the lecture and not go to sleep tonight without making an intentional declaration, choosing by faith to resolve (as Daniel resolved not to defile himself) to no longer serve our flesh, but instead serve our Savior.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:56).

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