The cause of all the
miseries in the world!
(J. C. Ryle, 1890)
It is my firm conviction, that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving religion. The first thing that God does when He makes man a new creature in Christ—is to send light into his heart, and show him that he is a guilty sinner.
I have an equally firm conviction, that a low and imperfect view of sin—is the origin of most of the errors, heresies, and false doctrines of the present day. If a man does not realize the extent and dangerous nature of his soul's disease—you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies. I believe that one of the chief needs of the Church, is for clearer and fuller teaching about sin.
Sin is the corruption of the nature of every man. Therefore, every person born into the world, deserves God's wrath and damnation! Once let a man see his sin, and he must see his Savior—in order to obtain rest for his soul. He feels stricken with a deadly disease—and nothing will satisfy him but the Great Physician. He hungers and thirsts—and he must have nothing less than the Bread of Life.
Sin, in short, is that vast moral disease which affects the whole human race—of every rank and class and name and nation and people and tongue! Sin is the plague of nations, the divider of churches, the destroyer of family happiness, the cause of all the miseries in the world!
It is my thorough conviction, that the extent and vileness and deceitfulness of sin—are a subject which is not sufficiently brought forward in the religious teaching of these days. It is not pressed on congregations in its Scriptural proportion. The consequences are very serious!
We may depend upon it—men will never truly come to Christ, and stay with Christ, and live for Christ—unless they feel their sins, and know their need of a Savior. Those whom the Holy Spirit draws to Christ—are those whom the Spirit has convinced of sin. Without real conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Christ and follow Him for a season—but they will soon fall away and return to the world. The words of one are most deeply true, "The consciousness of sin is the true pathway to heaven."