My pastor Jim Elliff on Wednesday has been taking us on a Puritan journey. I really never knew much about Puritan's aside from the fact that I knew they were very isolated-sin fearing people. I have recently listened to some reenacted sermons by John Bunyan which were very insightful and had the great opportunity to read some Puritan writings by Samuel Bolton D.D. and would love to share some insight that has helped me a lot in my relaxed view and tolerance of sin.
I never in my life have read anyone(recent) who views sin the way these people do and it was revelatory for me to see sin through this new view in which it has really helped me see my depravity in light of a Holy, Righteous, and Just God. How much so has sin become common place in our life, actions, conduct, and attitude. Sin, now think without a shadow of a doubt is the greatest evil unmatched forever. We have in our culture become so numb to sin that when we see it-it does not make us cringe as it should. Our love for God should make us have a unmatched hatred toward sin to the highest possible degree.One sin and one sin only separated us from God permanently if it were not for the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ-The Great Mediator, High Priest, Wonderful Counselor, Great I AM, and The Righteous One. I will forever love Him with all my heart, mind, and soul.
I think of all the Jehovah Witness', Mormons, Muslims, and other cults and feel sorry for them because they honestly think they can bridge the gap between God and men by doing futile works. See what Isaiah says about this.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
In the Hebrew filthy rags as I am sure you already know are speaking about menstrual rags from the monthly cycle of a woman. Women you know how filthy that is and men who have been around women or who are married know how disgusting it is. This is how our human righteousness comes before God if you are not saved through the blood of Christ.
Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
Here is a quote from Bolton in his paper. "They add the sin of their righteousness to the sin of their unrighteousness. They cover a blot with a blot-they add sin to sin, dung to dung" You see-without the work of Christ we are hopeless. Imagine trying to run full speed and try to jump over the Grand Canyon or better yet trying to leap from here to the moon with no assistance whatsoever-just your feeble legs. Impossible right! Even more so trying to reach God without Christ. Bolton also quotes
Gal 3:17 And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
He says: to show that we must not work that we may be justified, but be justified that we may work.Bolton says that all the righteousness(aside from God) that enveloped the angels in heaven before the fall was not enough to outweigh that of one sin that got them cast out of heaven."The least sin deserves and draws down an infinite wrath which neither you, nor all the angles in heaven, are able to stand under. The damned bear it in hell. They bear it and cannot bear it. They are slain with it but cannot die. Ever consuming, never consumed. And therefore, how much are you bound to CHRIST! who has borne sin, a greater evil than all other evils, and with sin, all the torments, wrath, and justice due to sin.
Praise God for His mighty works!!
Read this wonderful
Psalm 32 Blessed Are the Forgiven32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered.2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,and in whose spirit there is no deceit.3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted awaythrough my groaning all day long.4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah5 I acknowledged my sin to you,and I did not cover my iniquity;I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah6 Therefore let everyone who is godlyoffer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;surely in the rush of great waters,they shall not reach him.7 You are a hiding place for me;you preserve me from trouble;you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with my eye upon you.9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,which must be curbed with bit and bridle,or it will not stay near you.10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!