Thursday, March 6, 2014

Whose Sin Captures Your Attention—Yours or Others?

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  (Luke 18:13)

I preached about the unlawfulness of speaking ill one of another, when I furnished you with a sure subject for self-accusation, suggesting that you should speak ill of your own sins, but should not busy yourselves about those of other people, when I brought forward the saints as accusing themselves indeed, but sparing others:

  • Paul saying I am the chief of sinners, and that God had compassion on him who was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, [1 Tim 1:13, 15] and calling himself one born out of due time, and not even thinking himself worthy of the title of apostle [1 Cor 15:8-9]
  • Peter saying “Depart from me because I am a sinful man” [Luke 5:8]
  • Matthew styling himself a publican even in the days of his apostleship [Matt 10:3]
  • David crying out and saying “My iniquities have gone over my head, and as a heavy burden have been burdensome to me” [Psa 37:5]
  • Isaiah lamenting and bewailing “I am unclean, and have unclean lips” [Isa 6:5]

John Chrysostom,  Three Homilies on the Devil 1


Vanessa said...

Good post :) We are to help our brothers and sisters, calling out sin through and with love, pointing them to repentance, but we all too often forget to point the mirror back on our own sins. (And often I find the sins we so readily see in others are those we refuse to acknowledge in ourselves).

Steve Bricker said...

Vanessa, Chrysostom is a favorite of mine (I agree with Will Weedon here). He cuts to the heart of a matter.

And you are so correct that we find the sins of which we are most guilty. "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"