Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Deceitful and desperately wicked



(William S. Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9

Man is the only creature on earth that practices self-deception. That we should sometimes deceive others is proof of our depravity; but that we should spend our lives in self-deception is truly astonishing! Men of the fewest virtues commonly have the highest thoughts of themselves. How strange and yet how common that he, whose heart has deceived him a thousand times, should yet confide in it as if it had always been honest! 

The human heart deceives every being but one--and it would deceive Him, if He were not omniscient. None but God knows all the depths of iniquity and duplicity within us.

Though the language of the Bible is strong, it is just. God declares, and every Christian knows by sad experience--that his heart is deceitful above all things.A perfect knowledge of the treachery of our hearts is possessed by none but God.

The heart is also VILE. It is "desperately wicked." 

It loves vanity, and folly, and sin. 
It hates holiness, and truth, and divine restraints. 

The heart is . . .
  a sink of iniquity,
  a pool of pestilential waters,
  a cage of unclean birds,
  a sepulcher full of dead men's bones. 
It is torn by wild, fierce, unhallowed passions. 
It rejects good and chooses evil. 
It is wholly corrupt. 
It is full of evil. 
There is no soundness in it. 

"For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander! These are the things which defile the man." Matthew 15:19, 20 

"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool!" Proverbs 28:26

Godly Sorrow

Godly sorrow is ABIDING.  - It is not a few tears shed in a passion, which will serve the turn. Some will fall a-weeping at a sermon—but it is like an April shower, it is soon over—or like a vein opened and presently stopped again. True sorrow must be habitual. O Christian, the disease of your soul is chronic and frequently returns upon you; therefore you must be continually medicating yourself by repentance. This is "godly sorrow."

Application: How far are they from repentance, who never had any of this godly sorrow! Such are:
(1) Deluded Papists, who leave out the very soul of repentance, making all penitential work consist in external fasting, penance, pilgrimages, in which there is nothing of spiritual sorrow. They torture their bodies—but their hearts are not torn. What is this, but the carcass of repentance?
(2) Carnal Protestants, who are strangers to godly sorrow. They cannot endure a serious thought, nor do they trouble their heads about sin. One physician spoke of a frenzy some have—which will make them die dancing. Likewise, sinners spend their days in mirth—they fling away sorrow—and go dancing to damnation! Some have lived many years—yet never put a drop of repentant tears in God's bottle, nor do they know what a broken heart means. They weep and wring their hands as if they were undone, when their estates are gone—but have no agony of soul for sin!