The sin of believers...

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Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26:74)

(Tim) In one of his more recent comments, Darryl wrote that I'd called his "profession" into question. This is not true. I've nowhere questioned Darryl Hart's faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

So how could he think so?

My guess is Darryl can't understand how I could accuse a man of discouraging the holiness and sanctification of believers without considering that man doing the discouraging an unbeliever, himself. In other words, such an accusation is so serious that the one making it must be holding another far more serious accusation in abeyance.

Not so.

Reading through the account of Passion Week from the Gospel of Matthew last night (as is our congregation's habit on Palm Sunday evening), we were confronted by the Disciples' utter failure as Jesus went to His death...

They slept through Jesus' agony, hacked off an ear, fled for their lives (all of them), and then Peter denied the Lord with oaths and curses. Or think of the nature of the Apostle Peter's sin bringing down on him the Apostle Paul's public rebuke among the Galatians. And this isn't even to go through the Patriarchs as Calvin does in his Institutes, magnifying God's glorious grace to them despite their awful sins.

Scripture is filled with the wickedness of God's sons, teaching us that we, too, are wicked. Regenerated and sleeping, hacking off ears, denying our Lord with oaths and curses, passing off wives as sisters, murdering, committing adultery, church officers and denying the doctrine of justification by faith, alone, in front of our congregations; these are the sins of our fathers in the faith, and they are yours and mine, today. Which one of us wants to claim we would not have joined our voices with the crowd of Jews crying out "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"

So please keep in mind that when you accuse me (quite regularly) of being Pharisaical and self-righteous and uneducated, I don't think you're accusing me of being unregenerate. Rather, I think you, like the Apostles Paul and John and our Lord Jesus Christ, are exhorting me toward repentance and faith. And I thank you for it. Conviction of sin and repentance are two of the Holy Spirit's most precious gifts.

(Actually, only Presbyterians might be misunderstood to be denying my justification when they accuse me of being uneducated. With others, it's more likely they're paying me a compliment.)