It is far to often occasion for me, and perhaps you, that when I confess my sin to God it is so easy, quick, “Sorry, thanks” and move on, and I don’t really consider the weight of my sin, or what that might mean before the throne of God. What exactly does me sinning say to God? Why is it I don’t lament or cry over my sin like I see so many people do in the Bible? Perhaps I have become hardened to it, or am too settled in my righteous standing before God Almighty that I don’t stop and consider.
Let this quote become personal. Speak these things to God.
Bring your sin to the Gospel – not for relief, but for further conviction of it’s guilt; look on Him who you have pierced, and be in bitterness. Say to your soul, “What have I done? What love, what mercy, what blood, what grace have I deposed and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for His love, to the Son for His blood, to the Spirit for His grace? Do I then avenge the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the blessed Spirit has chosen to dwell in? And can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How should I hold up my head with any boldness before Him?
Do I account communion with Him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake I have scarce left Him any room in my heart? How will I escape if I neglect so great salvation? In the meantime, what can I say to the Lord? Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation, – I have despised them all, and esteemed them as nothing, so that I might harbour a lust in my heart. Have I obtained a view of God’s fatherly countenance, that I may see, and provoke Him to His face? Was my soul washed, that room might be made for new defilement’s? Should I endeavour to disappoint the end of the death of Christ? Should I daily grieve that Spirit by whom I am sealed until the day of redemption?”
Entertain your conscience daily with this thought. See if it can stand before this aggravation of it’s guilt. If this doesn’t make sink in some measure and melt your heart, I fear your case is dangerous.”1
Owen suggests that if this doesn’t break our heart when we sin or even consider our sin, then our “case is dangerous.” What case? A case of hardheartedness, coldness, friendship with sin, distance from God that is likely a sign of little to no intimacy with Him.
If it’s dangerous, what has got me to this place and what will get me out? – The first line of this quote says “Bring your sin to the Gospel – not for relief, but for further conviction of it’s guilt.” Though we are counted righteous before God, and we are guilt free, we still need to feel the weight of the guilt that sin should be causing in our hearts. It is this guilt that steeps us further into the Gospel, and our need for it.2
Once we are deeply convicted of the sin we have committed, we then take it, knowing it’s full weight, and place it on Christ. Which He then took and paid for, and in exchange gave us His righteousness. This transaction is one beautiful glimpse of the Gospel in our lives, daily. Not only should this cause us to lament, but to rejoice always.
Thank You Jesus, and “break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
1 | On the Mortification of Sin, John Owen, 1665. 2| 2 Corinthians 5:21