unaccompanied by the following elements, this recognition may manifest itself in fear of punishment although as yet there is no hatred of sin. This element is indicated in the Scripture phrase eJpi>gnwsiv aJmarti>av
<195103> Psalm 51:3, 11 ? ?For I know my transgressions; And my sin is ever before me... Cast me not away from thy presence, And take not thy Holy Spirit from me?; <450320>Romans 3:20 ? ?through the law cometh the knowledge of sin?; 32 ? ?who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the sane, but also consent with them that practice them.?
It is well to remember that God requires us to cherish no views or emotions that contradict the truth, He wants of us no false humility. Humility (humus) ? ?groundness? ? a coming down to the hard pan of facts, a facing of the truth. Repentance, therefore, is not a calling of ourselves by hard names. It is not cringing or exaggerated self-contempt. It is simple recognition of what we are. The ??umble? Uriah Heep is the arrant hypocrite. If we see ourselves as God sees us, we shall say with <184205> Job 42:5, 6 ? ?I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; But now mine eye seeth thee: Wherefore I abhor myself(And repent in dust and ashes.?
Apart from God?s working in the heart there is no proper recognition of sin either in people of high or low degree. Lady Huntington invited the Duchess of Buckingham to come and hear Whitefield, when the Duchess answered: ?It is monstrous to be told that you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth, it is highly offensive and insulting.? Mr. Moody, after preaching to the prisoners in the jail at Chicago, visited them in their cells. In the first cell he found two, playing cards. They said false witnesses had testified against them. In the second cell, the convict said that the guilty man had escaped, but that he, a mere accomplice, had been caught. In the last cell only Mr. Moody found a man crying over his sins. Henry Drummond, after hearing the confessions of inquirers, said: ?I am sick of the sins of these men. How can God bear it??
Experience of sin does not teach us to recognize sin. We do not learn to know chloroform by frequently inhaling it. The drunkard does not understand the degrading effects of drink so well as his miserable wife and children do. Even the natural conscience does not give the recognition of sin that is needed in true repentance. The confession ?I have sinned? is made by hardened Pharaoh ( <020927>Exodus 9:27), double minded Balaam
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?