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Death Unto Sin.

Death Unto Sin.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HENRY ROBERT REYNOLDS, D.D.



RoM. VI. 2 and 11.

How shall we, that are dead to rni, live cmy longer tJterem ? ....
Likewise rechon ye also yourselves to ie dead indeed wnto sin,
but alive imto Ood through Jesus Christ owr Lord.
BY HENRY ROBERT REYNOLDS, D.D.



RoM. VI. 2 and 11.

How shall we, that are dead to rni, live cmy longer tJterem ? ....
Likewise rechon ye also yourselves to ie dead indeed wnto sin,
but alive imto Ood through Jesus Christ owr Lord.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 18, 2013
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DEATH UTO SI.BY HERY ROBERT REYOLDS, D.D.RoM. VI. 2 and 11.How shall we, that are dead to rni, live cmy longer tJterem ? ....Likewise rechon ye also yourselves to ie dead indeed wnto sin,but alive imto Ood through Jesus Christ owr Lord.In a former discourse the two lives have been de-scribed and contrasted^ life in sin and life unto God.It would be difficult to conceive of two modes of Hfemore obviously opposed to one another. They cannotcoexist in the same spirit. If sin is delighted in^God is dreaded. If sin is mocked at, extenuatedand excused in self or others, if sin is regarded asvenial, insignificant or harmless, the eye is blinded,the conscience is seared, and the .faculty by whichman can see God is rendered hopelessly imbecile.There is no tendency in human nature by means of which the evil can be remedied or undone. The greatprmishment of sin is death ; that is, moral alienationof heart from God, sinful habit, bias, and tendency.Consequently every sin carries in itself its ownperpetuation and the germ of further transgression.DEATH UTO SI. 25The constitution of human nature, which renders thisreproduction and aggravation of sin as certain as thelaws of growth and decay, is a heneiicent arrange-ment. It cannot be altered or modified without amodification of those blessed and beautiful processesby which the righteous waxes stronger and stronger,and the path of the just brightens into perfect day.It is the peculiarity of nature by which all that con-stitutes character is evolved,, and without which pro-gress would be impossible in the education of the race,in the practice of virtue, in the divine life. If man didnot by every one of his actions affect his own being,increase his powers or diminish them, augment orreduce some of the tendencies and dispositions which
 
go to make up his earthly character, there would beno practical basis for virtue; his moral and intel-lectual nature would be brought to a stand, andresponsibility be inconceivable. The natural conse-quence therefore of a "life in sin," the upshot andoutcome of it, is death,, separation from God. Thesinner, left to the forces and bias which he is per-petually augmenting by sin, — like a planet that islosing its hold upon the central sun, — wanders far-ther and farther from the living God; blasphemes,and then forgets His name, and runs in imminentperil of eternal severance from the source of light,love, and blessedness.A life unto God supposes a spirit to whom thenearness, the perfections, the work of the Lord areunutterable delights ; to whom the whole universe is26 SERMO 11.a transparent medium^ through, and behind which isseen the face of the Eternal God. The life unto Godonce begun within the soul, brings,, by the samenatural peculiarity of which we have spoken, its ownreward with it. The eye that sees God at all, seesever more of the eternal light, and becomes moreapt to discern in the heaven above and in the earthbeneath, in temporal blessings and inward struggles,in the mysteries of Providence and revelation, thehandiworking and the glory of the Father.The question recurs then with added interest, howshall those that are living in sin ever learn to be aliveunto God ? Before proceeding to answer this question,let me remind you that the charge had been broughtagainst the gospel of Christ, in the form in whichit was proclaimed by Paul, that that gospel lookedleniently on sin, that the grace of God in JesusChrist overlooked the heinousness of transgression,that it was antinomian, and made light of the conse-quences and doom of the evildoer. Because a wayof pardon was announced, because a complete andperfect righteousness was given even to the imgodlyby faith in Christ, unbelief urged the ruinous accu-sation that it would be safe to continue in sin, che-
 
rishing meanwhile the hope that grace might aboundthrough righteousness unto eternal life. The sameobjection has been often taken by those who havemisunderstood the blood of Christ, by those who havedared to make the atonement an indulgence to futuresin, by those who have failed therein to perceive theDEATH UTO SI. 27deep sources of the heavenly life, and by those whohave been ready with their imitations of its excel-lence, with their stlbstitutes for its sanctifying power.The world, impregnated in Christian countries withChristian ideas, often acts upon this delusive supposi-tion, summing up its faith thus: 'We believe thatour Saviour came into the world to save sinners,therefore we poor sinners may go on as we have done,and it wiU be all right at the last/ Some theologianspoint to the impurity of the lives of Christians, andsay that the gift of righteousness by a declarative actof God's justice and grace violates all moral propri-eties, and they reiterate the charge, " Ye go on in sinthat grace may abound/' There are other theolo-gians, who represent the ground of acceptance at thebar of God as the holiness wrought within the soulby, the grace of God, rather than the infinite worthi-ness of the blood and obedience of Christ ; and theyoften reiterate the charge that the evangelic doctrinespeaks merely of a fictitious salvation, and is, in otherwords, the craving of unregenerate hearts, that gracemight abound although they continue in sin.ow the Apostle boldly takes up the accusation,admits its seeming plausibility, anticipates its possi-ble force, and answers it, not by withdrawing hisbroad statements touching the power of divine g^ace,not by lowering the standards of holiness, not bytransferring the ground of justification from the crossof Christ to the infused , righteousness of the rege-nerate, but by shewing what was involved in, that.28 SERMO II.

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