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Sin, Its Nature and Consequences.

Sin, Its Nature and Consequences.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.



" That sin by the commandment, might become exceeding
sinful.''— Rom. 7 : 13.
BY WILLARD PRESTON, D,D.



" That sin by the commandment, might become exceeding
sinful.''— Rom. 7 : 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 12, 2013
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SI, ITS ATURE AD COSEQUECES.BY WILLARD PRESTO, D,D." That sin by the commandment, might become exceedingsinful.''— Rom. 7 : 13.The leading object of the Apostle in this chapter,and indeed in much of his Epistle to the Romans, wasto show the nature, design, and tendency of the law of God with reference to the sinner's justification andsalvation, and its entire inefficiency as the means of either. The penalty must follow the violation ; andthat penalty must be endured either in the person othe violator, or in that of an approved and acceptedsubstitute. But under the economy of grace, the lawoccupies a most important place. While it exhibitsthe character and government of God as nothing elsecan, it "is the chief instrument to awaken and convictthe sinner, and the only perfect rule of conduct.'In the text and immediate context, the Apostlerefers to the law, as the means by which he was ledVOL. II, 218 SERMO I.to know his real condition, to have any just concep-tion of the true nature and real odiousness of sin, andby its application to himself felt that he was cut off from all hope. " For sin taking occasion by the com-mandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Where-fore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good madedeath unto me ? God forbid. But sin, that it might
 
appear sin, working death in me by that which isgood ; that sin, by the commandment, might become(might show itself) exceeding sinful." What was thustrue in the experience of Paul, in regard to the officeof God's law, in developing the true nature of sin, andexhibiting its exceeding sinfulness, or dreadful enor-mity, is no less true of all others to whom it isproperly applied. It becomes to all such the grandinstrument of true conviction of sin. And this is theonly way that the sinner can be induced to take onestep towards securing his salvation. Till he sees hisguilt, he will not feel his danger ; and till he feels this,he will not apply for the remedy the Gospel, prescribes.The lamentable truth with impenitent sinners is, thatsin is viewed as a small thing; and not "that evil thingand bitter which God hateth ;" or else, from its blindinginfluence, they have little consciousness of it. Whereis the impenitent sinner who realizes that one sinexposes to eternal death, and unrepented of, insuresthat death ? And yet this is the view which God h-asgiven us of sin. Without regard to numbers, or aggra-SERMO I. 19vations of sin, he has declared, " The soul that sinnethshall die." To deepen our impressions of what sin is,will be the object of this discourse. And,1. It is opposed to the infinite holiness and goodnessof God : to God in his whole nature, relations, andauthority as Creator, Benefactor, righteous Governor,and even more, if possible ; to all the tendei' andendeared relations of Father, Friend, and Redeemer.Every act of goodness on God's part aggravates thesinner's guilt. Sin is the only thing that has marredGod's universe ; and could it universally reign, it wouldturn the whole of it into unmitigated, unendingwretchedness, and even dethrone its Maker. Such is sin
 
in its own nature and direct tendency — its very aims.What then can measure, what words express, whatfinite mind adequately conceive the sinfulness of sin,its intrinsic odiousness? Sin, not in an}^ particularform which it assumes, or by which it is manifested,but sin in the abstract ; not what it has actually done,but what it is in itself, and, unrestrained, is capableof doing? What sin has actually done, is anotherconsideration from that which is here presented. Weare now contemplating it as God alone is concerned,his infinite holiness, his relations to man, and man'srelations to him. This was the particular viewwhich Paul had of it in the text and context; whichhe had at his conversion, as he looked at it by theclear and all-pervading light of God's law, by VvhichGod exhibited his own nature, and by w^hich alone20 SERMOX I.his nature and character could be fully exhibited.This view of it instantly extorted Paul's declaration," The law is holy, and the commandment holy, just,and good." It was this view of it which made itsapplication to himself the instrument of death, andutterly quenched every hope of life which he hadbefore so fondly cherished.It was not what the law threatened, — the merepenalty of violating it. It was not the mere conse-quences to him, personally, which gave him his viewsof sin, fearful and tremendous as they were ; butspeciall}^, and I may add, simply, as the law showedhim the inherent, infinite holiness of God ; in otherwords, what God is, and not what he threatened.Let this consideration be kept distinctly in mind,as it furnishes the principal ground of the applicationI purpose to make of this subject. All else that we

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