Where It Starts

John Brown, a nineteenth-century Scottish pastor, theologian, and author of several commentaries says: 

“The wages of sin is death. Until the condemning sentence is executed, a person is subject to sin, both in its power to condemn and its power to deprave [or exert dominion]. But let the penal consequences be fully endured, let the law’s penalty be fully paid, and the person is at once delivered from sin’s condemning power and its depraving influence or dominion. It’s in this way that all that are in Christ Jesus, all that have been justified by his grace, have died, not in their own persons, but in the person of their surety. They are therefore delivered from the reign of sin—from its power to condemn, and therefore, also from its power to rule in the heart and life.”

You hear considerable criticism of those who condemn sin. They are blasted as judges, narrow-minded, lacking love, and on it goes. Of course, that is possible. But all have sinned (Rom. 3:23) and its wages is spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). The only escape from condemnation and the wrath of God is forgiveness. That is the message of the gospel.

Why should anybody object to the gospel?

Before one will seek forgiveness he must be persuaded he needs it. Until one realizes his doomed condition he will not do what he must do to be saved. He won’t even care about it. So the condemnation of sin is necessary to lead people to seek salvation.

When someone condemns sin and warns a sinner he is manifesting great love. He could let the sinner go on his wicked way, die and go to hell without ever knowing he could be saved. Condemning sin is the beginning point of the road to heaven. Rather than criticize those who preach this part of the gospel, we should thank God there are those who will do it.

Proverbs 6:16-35 KJV

These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 

[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 

[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 

[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 

[20] My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 

[21] Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 

[22] When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 

[23] For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 

[24] To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 

[25] Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 

[26] For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 

[27] Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 

[28] Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? 

[29] So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. 

[30] Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 

[31] But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. 

[32] But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 

[33] A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 

[34] For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 

[35] He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.


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