Chapter Eight of Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Don Whitney
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I am convinced that the first step toward attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin.
Key Passage: Psalm 51
1. The closer you get to Christ, the more you will hate sin; for nothing is more unlike Christ than sin.
- Even the apostle Paul recognized his own sinfulness, even with his closeness to Christ (1 Timothy 1:15).
- John Hannah: “The closer one comes to Christ, in one sense the more miserable he becomes.” We become more aware of that which is unholy and sinful in us.
- Do you find yourself more aware of your sin than you did years ago? “Our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God” (Thomas D. Bernard).
2. We must have the correct proportion between knowing the sinfulness in our Christian life and the freedom of forgiveness and grace found in Christ.
- Jesus tells us that we as Christian will mourn for sin (Matthew 5:4).
- For the Christian, repentance is not a one-time transaction, but an ongoing part of our Christian walk.
3. There is a right way and a wrong way to grieve over sin (2 Corinthians 7:8-11).
- Worldly sorrow: where one is sorry for their sin, but no repentance nor change takes place (Genesis 25:27-34; 27:36-38; Hebrews 12:17).
- Godly sorrow: where the sorrow one has for sin brings about a humble repentance to God (Psalm 51:4) and change (Romans 8:23, 29-30).
4. What should I do if I do not grieve over sin?
- Make sure you understand the gospel of the New Testament.
- Ask God to show you the reality of your sin.
- Pray slowly through Psalm 51, making it your own heartfelt prayer.
- Meditate on the fact that it was your sin that nailed the holy, sinless One from Heaven to the cross.
- Preach the gospel to yourself every day.