"The first thing to do is: Turn to the Scriptures. Yes, turn to John Owen (never a bad idea!), or to some other counselor dead or alive. But remember that we have not been left only to good human resources in this area. We need to be taught from 'the mouth of God' so that the principles we are learning to apply carry with them both the authority of God and the promise of God to make them work." - Ligonier
Sermon no. 3109, delivered Lord’s Day evening, August 16, 1874, by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” –Galatians 6:7
I find, on reference to Luther’s Commentary on the epistle to the Galatians, and to Calvin’s Commentary on this passage, that both those learned expositors consider that this refers to the treatment of ministers by their people in the matter of their pecuniary support. They very properly point out the connection between the sixth verse and the seventh—“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
I suppose that there was a need for such an injunction in Paul’s day, and there is a need for it now. There were some hearers of the Gospel, then, who contributed generously towards the maintenance of the preacher, and the apostle says that what they gave would be like sowing good seed, in return for which God would give to them an abundant harvest, but there were others who gave sparingly, and who would therefore have a proportionately small return.
God uses even sin to develop us as Christians. That may sound like a bold statement, especially because God never wants us to sin (1 John 2:1); we should always seek to avoid it and not take it lightly.
God created Adam and Eve knowing they would sin. Their sin—which cast the entire human race into sin and resulted in a cursed universe—was nonetheless used by God to work a greater good. Because mankind was plunged into a lost condition, God would send His Son to redeem the world. Perhaps nothing brings glory to God like the atoning death, burial, and conquering resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ—the gospel message. Believers find themselves in a better position than Adam and Eve ever were!
There is a vast difference between God desiring sin and God using sin for spiritual purposes. Jesus said of the sinful woman who turned to Him, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Jesus is not encouraging us to sin rampantly so that we will love Him more. Instead, He calls us to come to Him now, whatever our state. But if we come to Him from an extremely sinful life, we will appreciate His forgiveness even more. But there is a downside: such persons will have more baggage and will have done more damage. I have known many folks to say, “I so wish I had come to the Lord at a younger age!” Sadly, many will never come to Him.
From The Cripplegate, with permission.
Some believe he was the greatest tennis player of all time. He finished as the world’s top-seeded player four years in a row and spent a total of 170 weeks in that top spot. He won Wimbledon three times and the US Open four times, and finished his career with 77 singles titles and 78 doubles titles, which remains the highest men’s combined total of the Open Era.
But most of us probably don’t remember him for those stats.
We know him for his harsh words fired mercilessly at umpires in fits of outrage and unbridled temper tantrums. Who else could I be referring to other than John McEnroe?
CHAPTER I — THE BIBLICAL CONCEPTION OF SIN
BY REV. THOMAS WHITELAW, M. A., D. D., KILMARNOCK, AYRSHIRE, SCOTLAND
Holy Scripture undertakes no demonstration of the reality of sin. In all its statements concerning sin, sin is presupposed as a fact which can neither be controverted nor denied, neither challenged nor obscured. It is true that some reasoners, through false philosophy and materialistic science, refuse to admit the existence of sin, but their endeavors to explain it away by their respective theories is sufficient proof that sin is no figment of the imagination but a solid reality. Others who are not thinkers may sink so far beneath the power of sin as to lose all sense of its actuality, their moral and spiritual natures becoming so hardened and fossilized as to be “past feeling,” in which case conviction of sin is no more possible, or at least so deteriorated and unimpressible that only a tremendous upheaval within their souls, occasioned perhaps by severe affliction, but brought about by the inward operation of the Spirit of God, will break up the hard crust of moral numbness and religious torpor in which their spirits are encased. A third class of persons, by simply declining to think about sin, may come in course of time to conclude that whether sin be a reality or not, it does not stand in any relation to them and does not concern them—in which case once more they are merely deceiving themselves. The truth is that it
Reprinted with permission from Faith Pulpit, November/December ‘05
This view teaches that one earns or keeps salvation by good works, and thus that the person who chooses to sin has forfeited any right to heaven. This view contradicts the Bible’s clear teaching on salvation as God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), purchased for us not by our works but by the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross (Romans 3:24-25, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24).