No human tongue can set forth the vileness and filthiness of sin. How indescribably horrible every sin is to God Almighty. Solomon said, "Fools make a mock of sin" (Proverbs 14:9). Fools are unregenerated men, those who are graceless and Christless. They speak lightly of sin, but those made wise unto salvation neither mock it nor belittle its seriousness. We understand that sin is missing the mark of perfection and must be dealt with by God in a manner consistent with His holiness. Judge the terribleness of sin by the greatness of the only sacrifice that could take it away - the substitutionary death of the Son of God. "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin" (1 John 3:5). In the death of the Son of God we are made to realize that sin is not a trivial thing to God. It is an affront to His holy character, an attack upon His throne; it is treason against Him and so He declares, "the soul that sinneth shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). We can best determine the foulness of sin by the value of the sacrifice that cleanses from it. "The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). If His bloody death was necessary to remove it, how unspeakably evil sin must be. Think of Who took it away - "the only begotten of the Father" (John 1:14) - and of what had to be done to take it away. He had to join Himself to our nature and become like unto those He came to save. He must step down from His lofty throne to live among people who hated God. He must bear their insults, be falsely accused, publicly humiliated, beaten and crucified. The iniquities of His people must be laid on Him and He must endure the wrath of God in our stead. He must be forsaken by the Father and suffer the fury of His judgment against sin. The awfulness of sin can only be determined by the worth of the only offering that could put it away, the substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
FREE AND SOVEREIGN GRACE
The doctrine of free and sovereign grace is rather an encouragement to awakened and brokenhearted sinners than otherwise. If you are most unworthy of mercy and destitute of every plea, should you not be glad to hear that the Lord does not expect worthiness in those whom He saves; but that He Himself has provided the only plea by which He will accept us and a plea which cannot be overruled – the righteousness and mediation of His well-beloved Son? None are so bad but the gospel affords them a ground of hope; none are so good as to have any just ground of hope without it.
--- John Newton
Every time we say "for Thy name's" sake, or for Christ's sake, we are making use of another's claim, another's merit, and conceding or ccepting the whole doctrine of imputed righteousness. Every man is daily getting, in some way or other, what he personally has no title to. When a son gets an inheritance from his father, he gets what does not belong to him, and what could easily and legally be diverted from him. When one who is not a son gets an estate by will, he gets what he has no claim to, simply by a legal deed. Human jurisprudence recognizes these transferences as competent and proper, not fictitious or absurd. Man daily acts on these principles of getting what he has no right to, simply because a fellow-man wills it, and law acknowledges that will. Why then should he speak of fictitious transferences in spiritual blessings, proceeding on precisely the same principle? Why should he deny the law or process of the divine jurisprudence, by which forgiveness of sins is conferred on him according to the will of another, and secured to him by the claims of another? If earthly law deals thus with him in earthly things, why should not heavenly law deal thus with him in heavenly things?
--- Horatius Bonar – 1808-1889
The Necessity of Right Doctrine
God uses His truth revealed, preached, defined and empowered by the Holy Spirit in regeneration and conversion to dispel the powers of darkness and bring lost sinners to a knowledge of Him (Rom. 6:17-18, Col. 1:12-14). True knowledge revealed and defined in the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, is the means which God uses to draw His people unto Himself so as to secure them in His fellowship (Rom. 1:16-17). It is this truth revealed that God uses to glorify Himself in our hearts, to exalt Christ and give Him all the pre-eminence and to exclude all ground of boasting in ourselves (2 Cor. 4:6). What does a sinner believe that would give evidence of his salvation? HE MUST BELIEVE GOD'S GOSPEL (Mark 16:15-16). This Gospel includes the very doctrines of God which actually invade our minds to overcome the sinful principles of works religion and to establish in us the principles of grace (2 Cor. 10:5). The Gospel is God's declaration of salvation conditioned on Christ alone wherein the very righteousness of God, the imputed righteousness of Christ, is revealed as the ground of salvation. No sinner is saved who is ignorant of this (Rom. 10:1-3). Can a person be intellectually brought into the kingdom of God? Everyone who is brought into the kingdom is brought in intellectually. Now, it is not intellect alone or the mind alone. It involves the affections and the will, the whole heart. And it is God the Holy Spirit who brings sinners into the kingdom (John 6:44-45). Is everyone who is brought into the kingdom an intellectual? No, but they all have a revealed, God-given knowledge of the only ground of salvation, of how God is just to justify the ungodly based upon the merits of the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ (2 John 9-11).