by A. W. Pink
This is discovered by a contemplation of the law, for “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). Where there is no enforcing and expounding of the holy law of God there can be no true, deep, saving knowledge of sin; as the apostle Paul so plainly affirms, “I had not known sin, but by the law” (Rom. 7:7). The exceeding sinfulness of sin (Rom. 7:13) is only exposed when the Spirit turns the light of God's law upon our conscience and heart. But this is preeminently an age of lawlessness, and that in every respect. And it cannot be otherwise: where the law of God is flouted, where thousands of preachers are declaring that the law has no place in this dispensation of grace, we cannot expect people to have much respect for human law. God has caused the people to reap that which they have sown: having sown the wind, they are now reaping the whirlwind. Bolshevism and anarchy are the inevitable rebound from having slighted and rejected the Ten Commandments!
Practical godliness consists in a conformity of heart and life to the law of God, and in a sincere compliance with the gospel of Christ. But it is only as we rightly understand both the law and the gospel that we can discern wherein a conformity to the one and a compliance with the other really consists. Now the requirements of the law are summed up in that word, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut. 6:5;cf. Matt. 22:37). Observe carefully the three things here specified: first, the duty required, namely, love to God. Second, the ground or reason for this, namely, because He is the Lord our God. Third, the measure or extent of this duty, namely, to love Him with all the heart. Nothing other than this, nothing less than this, will ever meet the righteous claims of God upon us.
Now that which is implied in and required unto a real love to God is, first, a true knowedge of Him. If our apprehensions of God are wrong, if they are not formed by Scripture, then it is obvious we have but a false image of Him, framed by our own fancy. By a true knowledge of God (John 17:3; I John 5:20) we mean far more than a correct theoretical notion of His perfections: there must be a heartfelt realization of His personal loveliness, His ineffable glory. And where that truly exists, there will be a delighting of ourselves in Him (Ps. 37:4) and a desire and a determination to please Him. And self-love naturally causes us to magnify self and seek to promote our own interests, so a true love to God causes us to put Him first and seek His interests.
Table of Contents
The Necessity of Repentance
The Nature of Repentance
The Implications of Repentance
The Fruits of Repentance