Have you ever considered the sin of ingratitude? That question might freeze us in our tracks. The “sin of ingratitude”? Is ingratitude a sin? Our Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that sin is “any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.” That is how we define a “sin” – it is contrary to God’s law – it is lawlessness.
In the Psalms, we often find David expressing his gratitude to God for protection and provision, for safety and for comfort. King David was a thankful person, and an excellent example of deep gratitude. But the Psalms go beyond simply modeling thankfulness. There are numerous places where we are exhorted and commanded to express our gratitude. One example is Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;For His lovingkindness is everlasting. In other places were are reminded of the propriety of giving thanks, like Psalm 92:1It is good to give thanks to the LordAnd to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
In view of who God is, what He has done, and how we have benefited from His grace and mercy, we ought always to give thanks. Paul exhorts his readers to this attitude in Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
So it stands to reason that a posture of ingratitude that refuses to give thanks to God is properly and rightly sin against God. And this is a typical mark of the unbeliever who is given over to sin. In Romans 1:21 Paul writes about the unbelieving “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
Dr. Albert Mohler observes from this verse that the refusal to give thanks is at the very heart of the fall, and at the heart of human sinfulness. He then suggests that ingratitude is the most fundamental of all sins. “Ingratitude is the primal problem of humanity from Genesis 3 forward,” he states. Every account of human sinfulness is an account of ingratitude to the gracious God who created and sustains us.
This insight helps us to evaluate many things correctly. First, it helps us to properly assess how fallen humanity operates, and the depth and breadth of their sinfulness. Every single time evil is transacted by a human being, it expresses wicked ingratitude to the Maker of all flesh Fallen men shake their fists in God’s face, rather than kneeling in humble thanks before His throne.
It is particularly helpful for reviewing our own choices and actions. When we choose to do things that are contrary to God’s revealed will, we inherently express ingratitude to the One who holds us in life. To lie, to cheat, to steal, to dishonor a parent, to break the Sabbath day, to murder or commit adultery in our hearts – it is all base ingratitude.
Finally, this enables us to see that although Thanksgiving Day is now past for another calendar year, every day is a day for giving thanks to our great God and Father through Jesus Christ. It is not hyperbole to say that we ought always to give thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. That is simply the normal pattern that every Christian should follow.
Last Sunday evening I preached the first installment of a mini-series on covenant family life. Colossians 3:18 deals with the calling of a Christian wife. To listen click here. As a follow-up, I included an article on submission in our church...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Our 2013 Reformation Conference took place this weekend and was even better than expected. God blessed and used Dr. David Murray to help us appreciate John Knox and his contributions to the Reformation. The preaching on Sunday was excellent....[ abbreviated | read entire ]
This is October, and October means that our annual Reformation Conference is fast approaching. Last year we had Mr. Bebo Elkin who spoke to us about the Westminster Assembly. This year promises to be equally edifying, as we have Dr. David Murray...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
In my daily devotions this year I’ve been using a wonderful resource called The Valley of Vision. This thin volume is a collection of prayers from the Puritans. It is published by the Banner of Truth Trust. Each day I read aloud one of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
In this sermon on the eighth commandment we look at the heart issues underlying the sin of stealing. Particularly, we consider the sin of greed. This sparked some discussion on the nature of greed and how it compares to godly industry. This...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
God is in charge! We say that, we know that, we believe that, and we forget that. But God is in charge! To remind the Israelites of His overarching and enduring sovereignty, God tells his servant Jeremiah that “At one moment I might speak...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
A friend from church recently suggested that I post an article I'd written for our church newsletter on the Regulative Principle of Worship. This is a link to my article entitled A Layman's Guide to the RPW. This is an important part of Reformed...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
If you expect that this blog will divulge the secrets of the Pastor’s study, you are going to be sorely disappointed. It is not that I am unwilling to describe the process I go through in preparing a sermon. It is just that my intention is...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
2 Peter 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. As Peter contemplated the coming day of the Lord, he focused on the future. According to God’s own promise, there...[ abbreviated | read entire ]