Friday, June 26, 2009

Quote on God's Holiness and Man's Sin -- Stephen Charnock

A 17th Century presbyterian Puritan pastor, Stephen Charnock, discussed God's Holiness and how much God hates sin. In one of Charnock's sermons he collected different analogies that the Bible uses to describe how much God hates sin. I'll quote a short passage from one of Charnock's sermon.

“[Because of God's holiness,] He cannot look on sin without loathing it, He cannot look on sin but His heart riseth against it.  It must needs be most odious to Him, as that which is against the glory of His nature, and directly opposite to that which is the lustre and varnish of all his other perfections... 

The vilest terms imaginable are used to signify [sin].  Do you understand the loathsomeness of a miry swine, or the nauseousness of the vomit of a dog? These are emblems of sin (2 Peter 2:22).  Can you endure the steams of putrefied carcasses from an open sepulchre? (Romans 3:13) Is the smell of the stinking sweat or excrements of a body delightful?  The word filthiness in James 1:21 signifies as much.  Or is the sight of a body overgrown with scabs and leprosy grateful to you?  So vial, so odious is sin in the sight of God.

It is no light thing, then, to fly in the face of God, to break His eternal law ... to trample the transcript of God's own nature under our feet, to cherish that which is inconsistent with His own honour, to lift up our heels against the glory of His nature... Sin, in every part of it, is an opposition to the holiness of God..." See Isaiah 1:5-6

(Charnock, "God's Holiness" p. 251, The Works of Stephen Charnock V. II -- Discourse of the Existence and Attributes of God).

Do you see your sin the way the Holy God sees your sin?

If you know your sin, Hebrews 4:13-16 is a great comfort.

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