As we have been exploring Boston’s fifth question to himself, “Why the Lord suffereth sin to remain in the regenerate?”, we have seen how God uses evil for good. But have you ever considered of the level of heinousness of certain sins to other apparently benign sins. For example, compare the violation of the fourth and sixth commandments. Keeping holy the Sabbath Day verses murder. If you conducted a man on the street survey, you would find that most would respond that murder is worse from God’s perspective than to work on Sunday. But what if you asked the church the same question? What if a regenerate person, who has the benefit of the illumination of the Spirit of God, being washed by the blood of the Lamb, and accepted by the Father into his family does, week after week, treat Sunday like Saturday. Aside from spending a couple of hours at the church building, the rest of the Lord’s Day is spent as a day for recreation, and yard work just like the day before. Now contrast the careless treatment of the Sabbath with a murder committed by the most vile unbeliever you can imagine. Which sin is most heinous? Which sin deserves the most wrath of God?
The sins of the regenerate man are far more heinous than those of the ignorant. The unregenerate mind and soul is under a delusion, a barrier to their recognizing the heinousness of sin. Though not an excuse to relieve the guilt of sin, the dead heart of the unbelieving murderer makes his sin less of an affront to God. The believer who, week after week, fails to honor God by flippantly treating the Lord’s Day as some antiquated tradition rather than an imperative command, is so much the vile offender. We, who are the called by God, can offer no excuse for our outright rebellion against God. We do it with malice aforethought. We conspire against Him, by making plans with ourselves as to the justification for what we do. Just as Abraham told Sarah to lie about who she was to him if asked, we justify our sins by trying to downplay their seriousness. Every sin we commit, knowing it to be sin, is felonious. As the Pharisee should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the regenerate should be the last to turn a blind eye to the law of God.
Considering this perspective, how great is the power and glory of God to pardon our sin. How wonderful his mercy and how endless his grace to look past our transgressions. God loves to display his attributes. How better to display them than the forgiveness of our sins, those of us who should know better.
God’s strength is manifested in the rooting out of sin. God shows his power when, after many years of backsliding and continuing in deeply held sin, he pulls from the marrow of our bones, these idols of sin we have held so tightly to. How glorious the savior appears when that day arrives and we can say God has delivered us from that body of death and the love of what God hates.
Our remaining sin and our struggle with it magnifies who Christ is and what he accomplished. Christ’s sinless life should humble us and show us what weak creatures we are. Our inability to go a moment without sin should prove to us the worthiness of Christ to receive all laud and honor. Our weakness should cause us to be more inclined to forgive those who sin against us. The remaining sin of the most devout follower of Christ is good for keeping him humble. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me.”