Pursuing Purity Pt.3 – Sin’s Ultimate Aim

19 01 2007

A couple of years ago I had my first shot (pardon the pun) at clay pigeon shooting. It was at once an exhilarating (I got to fire a real shotgun!) and humilitating (out of the first 28 clays I hit 3!)experience. As the evening went on, however, my aim got better and I began to pose more of a threat to the clay pigeons, and less of a hazard to those around me. The main lesson I learned was the importance of keeping my eye on the target at all times.

As Christians, when it comes to pursuing purity, we find that sin never has a problem with focussing on the target. Our enemy and our own sinful inclinations combine to mount a strategic, sustained, and focussed campaign against our spiritual welfare. But I wonder how aware we are of the single-mindedness with which sin preys on us, and the ultimate goal that it is pursuing in our lives?

Once again Owen is more than helpful. He states ‘sin aims always at the utmost every time it rises up to tempt or entice…every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression; every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head’. The point being made here is of tremendous importance. If we hold iniquity in any way lightly, if we believe that we can integrate a favourite transgression into our normal living, then we are failing to realise that personal sin is an enemy which aims at our ultimate and absolute destruction as believers. The trifling failure which we so readily put down to a small weakness in our character, is in itself determined to derail and destroy; to bring us and the name of our Saviour into reproach. John MacArthur preached a remarkable sermon on this which is available to purchase on CD here under message number CD80.235. In ‘Cauterizing the Conscience’ MacArthur proves convincingly that the major public sins which emerge in believers’ lives come as the result of a process in which ‘lesser’ sins are indulged and treasured, thus searing the conscience and opening up the personality to more public and prominent moral failure. How closely we need to guard our own hearts, from an enemy within who seeks our complete moral and spiritual failure!

‘Sin aims always at the utmost’ and thus we need to ‘be killing sin’ or it will be killing us!

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