If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all... How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?
If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. ... How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?
When you cry out against a God who punishes people in a place like hell, you cry out against the God who has revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture. You cry out against His goodness, holiness, and justice; and all the while you minimize your own sinfulness or the sinfulness of others.
As Christ's ministry drew to its close, its severity and its gentleness both increased; its severity to the class from whom it never turned away. Side by side through all His manifestations of Himself, there were the two aspects: "He showed Himself froward " (if I may quote the word) to the self-righteous and the Pharisee; and He bent with more than a woman's tenderness of 'yearning love over the darkness and sinfulness, which in its great darkness dimly knew itself blind, and in its sinfulness stretched out a lame hand of faith, and groped after a Divine deliverer.
Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion - without transposing the enemy from the sphere of the monstrous... into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows [as the cross demonstrates] that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person's humanity and imitate God's love for him. And when one knows [as the cross demonstrates] that God's love is greater than all sin, one is free to see oneself in the light of God's justice and so rediscover one's own sinfulness.
They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say, "There is gross sin in them, and some benefits for people, but their sinfulness outweighs their benefit." And they ask you about what they should give: say, "The surplus." Thus Allah explains the revelations to you, so that you may think.
[Biblical counseling] Must insist that the image of God is central to developing a solid view of personality; that our sinfulness, not how we've been sinned against, is our biggest problem; that forgiveness, not wholeness, is our greatest need; that repentance, not insight, is the dynamic in all real change.
Dan B. Allender
Guilt is the sum total of: All the negative feelings we have ever had about ourselves! Any form of self-hatred, self-rejection, feelings of worthlessness, sinfulness, inferiority, incompetence, failure, or emptiness. The feeling that there are things in us that are lacking or missing or incomplete.
What he says, even on his knees, about his own sinfulness is all parrot talk. At bottom, he still believes he has run up a very favorable credit-balance in the Enemy's ledger by allowing himself to be converted, and thinks that he is showing great humility and condescension in going to church with these 'smug', commonplace neighbors at all.
C. S. Lewis
My beloved church misunderstood me. It preached the corruptibility of humanity when I came to demonstrate its potential for incorruptibility. It propounded the sinfulness of humanity when I suffered to reveal your godliness and to overcome your guilt by demonstrating that you can totally rise above the death of the body.
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Christians actually need to be confronted by their real need-an understanding of God's holiness and their own sinfulness-so they can be usable to Him for His Glory. When we have a right relationship to God, every aspect of our lives will settle into its divinely ordained place. ... We are still to need other needs but it begins with a high view of God.
John F. MacArthur
The devil makes many disciples by preaching against sin. He convinces them that the great evil of sin, induces a crisis of guilt by which "God is satisfied," and after that he lets them spend the rest of their lives meditating on the intense sinfulness and evident reprobation of other men.
The Adversary, of course, simply wants them to lay down their sins, guilt and all, and follow Him. But this type holds on to their sinfulness and their guilt for it, because otherwise, they'd have no relationship with Him at all. And, of course, no relationship can be based on guilt and survive.
When calling for authenticity, we need to take seriously the brokenness and sinfulness of the human heart. If to be authentic means to be who we really are or to express what we really feel, then in most cases I'm going to vote for hypocrisy. Our prisons are filled with men and women who acted on their feelings and impulses. If authenticity is about being true to yourself, these individuals should be our models of inspiration.
Erwin Raphael McManus
The nearer Christ comes to a heart, the more it becomes conscious of its guilt; it will then either ask for his mercy and find peace, or else it will turn against Him because it is not yet ready to give up its sinfulness. Thus He will separate the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff. Man's reaction to this Divine Presence will be the test: either it will call out all the opposition of egotistic natures, or else galvanize them into a regeneration and a resurrection.
Fulton J. Sheen
She was a logical child, as far as children go. She did not understand how such a nice, kind, good God as the one they preyed to, could condemn the whole earth for sinfulness and flood it, or condemn his only Son to a disgusting death on behalf of everyone. This death did not seem to have done much good.
If we had not experienced our deep sinfulness and Jesus' deep forgiveness through the cross, we will not love others well in the midst of their struggles. If we do not see the beauty and glory of God in our own redemption, we will not be able to offer a compelling redemptive vision for those who are hopeless and who doubt God's love for them.
The forgiveness of God is gratuitous liberation from guilt. Paradoxically, the conviction of personal sinfulness becomes the occasion of encounter with the merciful love of the redeeming God. "There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting... " (Luke 15:7). In his brokenness, the repentant prodigal knew an intimacy with his father that his sinless, self-righteous brother would never know.
The forgiveness of God is gratuitous liberation from guilt. Paradoxically, the conviction of personal sinfulness becomes the occasion of encounter with the merciful love of the redeeming God. "There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting..." (Luke 15:7). In his brokenness, the repentant prodigal knew an intimacy with his father that his sinless, self-righteous brother would never know.
The poor quality of Christian that grows out of our modern evangelistic meeting may be accounted for by the absence of real repentance accompanying the initial spiritual experience of the converts. And the absence of repentance is the result of an inadequate view of sin and sinfulness held by those who present themselves in the inquiry room.
Aiden Wilson Tozer
Buck Barrow, brother of Clyde Barrow (Bonnie & Clyde) was once asked "Where are you wanted by the law?" Barrow replied, "Wherever I've been." What a picture of our own guilt. We cannot escape our sinfulness because it follows us everywhere. Neither can we escape the mercy of God that is always there.
If it were not for the Eucharist, if it were not for this marvelous manifestation of God's love, if it were not for this opportunity to place ourselves in the very real presence of God, if it were not for the sacrament that reminds us of His love, His suffering and His triumph, which indeed perpetuates for us His saving sacrifice on the cross, I am sure that I could never face the challenges of my life, my own weakness and sinfulness and my own need to reach out to the Living God.
Theodore Edgar McCarrick
God prevented Adam & Even from ETERNAL SINFULNESS by giving them the gift of death, the ability to exit this life & arrive safely in the wondrous life to come. Death, though it would appear to be man's greatest enemy, would in the end, prove to be his greatest friend. Only through can we go to God.
Paul P. Enns
In the midst of demotion, our hearts are laid bare before us, and we see grime, chaff, and darkness rise up in what we thought were our pure and dedicated hearts. What we often overlook is the fact that being demoted did not cause sinfulness to arise in our hearts; it simply revealed what was brewing within. The Lord will often use seasons of demotion to bring to our attention what has been before His eyes all along. To the sincere heart, this is a priceless gift.
In a head-on collision with Fanatics, the real problem is always the same: how can we possibly behave decently toward people so arrogantly ignorant that they believe, first, that they possess Christ's power to bestow salvation, second, that forcing us to memorize and regurgitate a few of their favorite Bible phrases and attend their church is that salvation, and third, that any discomfort, frustration, anger or disagreement we express in the face of their moronic barrages is due not to their astounding effrontery but to our sinfulness?
David James Duncan
You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph. No matter how grandiose, how well-planned, how apparently foolproof of an evil plan, the inherent sinfulness will by definition rebound upon its instigators. No matter how apparently successful it may seem upon the way, at the end it will wreck itself. It will founder upon the rocks of iniquity and sink headfirst to vanish without trace into the seas of oblivion.
Consonance, says the dictionary, is the combination of several tones into a harmonic unit. Dissonance results from the deranging of this harmony by the addition of tones foreign to it. One must admit that all this is not clear. Ever since it appeared in our vocabulary, the word 'dissonance' has carried with it a certain odor of sinfulness. Let us light our lantern: in textbook language, dissonance is an element of transition, a complex or interval of tones that is not complete in itself and that must be resolved to the ear's satisfaction into a perfect consonance.
There is no tongue to speak his eulogy; Too brightly burned his splendor for our eyes; Far easier to condemn his injurers, Than for the tongue to reach his smallest worth, He to the realms of sinfulness came down, To teach mankind, ascending then to God, Heaven unbarred to him her lofty gates, To whom his country heres refused to ope. Ungrateful land! Well, too, does this instruct That greatest ills fall to the perfectest. And, midst a thousand proofs, let this suffice- That, as his exile had no parallel, So never was there man more great than he.
For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men- and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man. For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears.
In religion our only hope is to live a life good enough to require God to bless us, so every instance of sin and repentance is therefore traumatic, unnatural and threatening. Only under great duress do religious people admit they have sinned, because their only hope is their moral goodness. In the gospel the knowledge of our acceptance in Christ makes it easier to admit that we are flawed, because we know we won't be cast off if we confess the true depths of our sinfulness. Our hope is in Christ's righteousness, not our own, so it is not as traumatic to admit our weaknesses and lapses.
In spite of our sinfulness, in spite of the darkness surrounding our souls, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, conferred by baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, still shines in our hearts with the inextinguishable light of Christ ... and when the sinner turns to the way of repentance the light smooths away every trace of the sins committed, clothing the former sinner in the garments of incorruption, spun of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. It is this acquisition of the Holy Spirit about which I have been speaking.
Seraphim of Sarov
In spite of our sinfulness, in spite of the darkness surrounding our souls, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, conferred by baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, still shines in our hearts with the inextinguishable light of Christ... and when the sinner turns to the way of repentance the light smooths away every trace of the sins committed, clothing the former sinner in the garments of incorruption, spun of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. It is this acquisition of the Holy Spirit about which I have been speaking.
Seraphim of Sarov
Let there be no mistake in your mind as to the special character of the man who has come to Christ, and is a true Christian. He is not an angel, he is not a half-angelic being, in whom is no weakness, or blemish, or infirmity - he is nothing of the kind. He is nothing more than a sinner who has found out his sinfulness, and has learned the blessed secret of living by faith in Christ. What was the glorious company of the apostles and prophets? What was the noble army of martyrs? What were Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, James, John, Paul, Polycarp, Chrysostom, Augustine, Luther, Ridley, Latimer, Bunyan, Baxter, Whitefield, Venn, Chalmers, Bickersteth, M'Cheyne? What were they all, but sinners who knew and felt their sins, and trusted only in Christ? What were they, but men who accepted the invitation I bring you this day, and came to Christ by faith? By this faith they lived; in this faith they died. In themselves and their doings they saw nothing worth mentioning; but in Christ they saw all that their souls required. The invitation of Christ is now before you. If you never listened to it before, listen to it today. Broad, full, free, wide, simple, tender, kind, that invitation will leave you without excuse if you refuse to accept it. There are some invitations, perhaps, which it is wiser and better to decline. There is one which ought always to be accepted: that one is before you today. Jesus Christ is saying, 'Come! Come unto Me.