August 31, 2016

Unbelief, the Greatest Sin...

John 16:9
Of sin, because they believe not on ME;
The unforgiving sin, is whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, & the root of the problem is
UNBELIEF = the Greatest Sin...

Unbelief, the Greatest Sin...
John 16:9
Of sin, because they believe not on ME...

1. The Spirit convinceth of all sins, but chiefly of a state of sin — of unbelief;
(1) As the fountain of all sin. It was the first sin of Adam. It was the cause also of all the sin that grew up to such maturity in the old world. The faith of Abel is applauded (Hebrews 11:4); consequently the unbelief of Cain is marked. If Abel's sacrifice was more excellent in regard of his faith, Cain's was more vile in regard of his unbelief.
(2) As the ligament and band of all sin (John 8:24).
2. Unbelief is the greatest sin, because(1) God employs the highest means to bring men to a sense of it. The odiousness of sin to God appears by His sending Christ to expiate it; the odiousness of unbelief by His sending the Spirit to reprove it.
(2) It is a sin against the gospel, which is so holy a declaration of God's will that there cannot be an holier; so good in itself, that nothing can be better; the sin therefore against it is so bad, that nothing can be worse.
(3) It is a sin against the highest testimony (John 8:17, 18).
(4) As faith is the choicest grace, so that which is opposite to it must be the greatest sin. Note —
1. Negatively.
(1) Not a want of assurance. Drooping spirits may be believers. There is a manifest distinction made between faith in Christ and the comfort of that faith; between believing to eternal life, and knowing we have eternal life (1 John 5:13Isaiah 50:10).
(2) Not every interruption of the act of faith. Faith may lie asleep in the habit, when it doth not walk about in the act. Fogs and mists darken the sun, but put not out that eye of the world.
(3) Not doubts. Such there are in the beginnings of faith, when the state of the soul is like that of the twilight, a mixture of light and darkness (Psalm 126:6, 7). This is rather infirmity than unbelief (Psalm 77:10Matthew 14:31;Psalm 56:3).
(4) Not temptations to unbelief and unbelieving thoughts injected. If these be not entertained, formally they are not acts of our unbelief (Matthew 4:3;Psalm 73:21).
(5) Not unbelief of some truths through ignorance, provided they be not fundamental (Mark 16:11-14). Errors in the head do no more destroy the truth of faith than miscarriages in the life through infirmity nullify the being of grace, or every spot upon the face impair the beauty and features of it.
(6) Not a negative unbelief which is in the heathens, who never had the means of faith.
2. Positively it is —
(1) A denial of the truth of the gospel; when men assent not to the doctrine of the gospel by an act of the understanding.
(2) A doubting of the truth of the doctrine of the gospel as many do who will not openly deny it. Since all men are in the rank of believers or unbelievers, a suspension of our belief of the doctrine of the gospel cannot be ranked under the banner of faith; it is at best, for the present, a more modest refusal, rather than a downright rejection.
(3) Refusal to accept heartily of Christ upon the terms of the gospel, which is opposite to justifying faith, when there is not a fiducial motion to Christ as the centre.
1. It is against God.
(1) It is the greatest reproach and undervaluing of God (Isaiah 7:11-13). As faith "gives glory to God" (Romans 4:20), so unbelief casts reproach and scorn upon Him.
(2) It robs God of the honour of all His attributes.
(a) It blemishes the truth and veracity of God. He that believes "sets to his seal that God is true" (John 3:33). It makes God guilty of perjury (Hebrews 6:17, 18Ezekiel 33:11).
(b) It casts a black aspersion upon the wisdom of God. Unbelief charges God with folly in regard of the unnecessariness of it. If men think they have ability to save themselves, what a needless work was this in God, to make His Son a sacrifice for man's salvation! Or, if men do account the coming of Christ necessary, and so free God from the charge of folly, they at least charge His wisdom with a mistake in the means of salvation, as if it were undertaken without precedent consideration. And further, by this sin the unbeliever doth, as much as in him lies, frustrate the design of God's glorious wisdom, in not consenting to that which the wisdom of God hath contrived.
(c) It slights the goodness of God. No greater act of love could spring from boundless eternity, than the parting with His only delight in heaven out of His bosom for the redemption of man (Isaiah 5:4).
(d) It disparages the power and sufficiency of God. First, In not coming to Him. Secondly, In trusting to something else. What then we trust unto, besides God and above God, we render in our thoughts more powerful than God.
(e) It strikes at the sovereignty and authority of God. It is a debt we owe, as subjects, to God as our sovereign, to give credit to what He cloth reveal, and to obey what He cloth command (1 John 3:23). It is a contradiction to the resolute and fixed will of God. All unbelief is a dislike of God's terms (Romans 10:3). And it renders God, as much as in it lies, unworthy of any sovereignty.
(f) It affronts the holiness and righteousness of God. If the setting forth Christ to he a propitiation for sin was to declare His righteousness (Romans 3:25), what doth unbelief signify hut that this act was unrighteous in God?
(g) It is a stripping God, as much as lies in man, of all His delight. The service Christ did, which was delightful to God, is contemptible to an unbeliever. First, It is a refusal of Christ, the "man that is God's fellow," His "daily delight." Secondly, It is a privation of faith, a grace so pleasing to God (Hebrews 10:38). Thirdly, It is a refusal of His mercy in Christ (Micah 7:18).
2. It is a sin peculiarly against Christ. It is a piercing Him again (Zechariah 12:10).
(1) It is a nullifying the work of His meditation and death.
(a)  It renders the design of His coming a vanity, when it receives not the fruits of it (2 Corinthians 6:1).
(b)  It is a vilifying the price of redemption (Hebrews 9:28).
(2) It is a denying of the love of Christ.
(3) It denies the wisdom of Christ. It chargeth Him with folly and inconsiderateness, in undertaking a task that was not worth His pains.
(4) It wrongs the authority of Christ. It receives an aggravation from the greatness of the person that published the doctrine of faith (John 5:43).
(5) It denies the excellency of Christ (Philippians 3:8).
(6) It denies the sufficiency of Christ: the greatness of His priesthood, the fulness of His satisfaction, His prevailing intercession. Where no trust is reposed in Him, it implies that no benefit can be expected from Him.
(7) It denies Christ His right and reward (Isaiah 53:11).
(8) It puts Christ to the greatest grief. His soul was never more deeply impressed with grief before the hour of His passion than when He saw men would not come to Him that they might have life.
3. It is also a wrong to the Spirit of God (Acts 3:51: Hebrews 3:10, 17).

The Work of the Spirit in the Conviction of Sin:
I. THE SPIRIT'S DEFINITION OF SIN. Notice that unbelief in Christ is —

1. The radical and essential sin. Christ did not begin to be when He became man, nor did His relation with men begin with the Incarnation. He was in the beginning with God, and was God, and was the light that enlightened every man that came into the world. And so now, every good tendency comes from God through Him. Whoever therefore opposes such tendency resists the influence of Christ, and sin is the result of that resistance.

2. The ultimate form of sin. We need go no further than this to convict a man of being a sinner. Why is it that men are saved or lost? Not by keeping the law of Moses, for "by the deeds of the law shall no man be justified," &c.; "we are not under law, but grace." The terms of salvation or damnation are now belief or unbelief. As there is now no other saving righteousness but that of faith in Christ, so there is no other fatal sin but that of unbelief. "This is the condemnation," &c.

3. The all-inclusive sin. It may be said truly that there are other sins — theft, murder, &c. But note that the law is summed up in two precepts — "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." &c. Now when that love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost we love God and our brother also, and so keep the commandments. When we have not that love we break the whole law; but it cannot come save by faith in Him who is the revelation of Divine love.


1. It is one thing to convince of a sin and to convince of sin. A man may acknowledge the existence of and remove a fruit or a branch while ignorant of the root.

2. The conviction too in the two cases is distinct. In the one case the impression may be very superficial; in the other it is a deep and awful sense of wretchedness and want.

3. This form of conviction is not easily effected. It comes not from the words or wisdom of men. Though the speaking of the truth by a human messenger may be the occasion, yet the Holy Ghost must be the agent.

4. In this conviction the Spirit —

(1) Gives evidence of sin to the conscience — tells man of his fault.

(2) Remonstrates and rebukes; and the effect of this is to convince of error, and to convict of criminality in following that error.

5. It is as the Comforter that the Spirit convinces. He is at once the comforting Convincer and the convincing Comforter. What true comfort can there be for a man, who knows he is a sinner, till the whole matter of his sin has been probed; and what greater comfort is there in any hour of weakness and infirmity than that of knowing that the whole matter has been sifted to the bottom? And then the operation of the Spirit mingles a revelation of the remedy with the revelation of the sin. The Spirit convinces us of the righteousness of that Christ in whom we should believe.

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated ME before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted ME, they will also persecute you. If they kept MY word, they will keep yours also. Read John 15:18–20

1 Peter 4:13–14 But to the degree that you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of his glory you may rejoice and be glad. If you are reviled on account of the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Read 1 Peter 4:13–14

Matthew 5King James Version (KJV)

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I have come in MY FATHER’S NAME, and you do not receive ME. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him....
John 5:43