16 May 2016

All Sorts of Sins

Thomas Goodwin:
God hath ordered his elect, take the whole body and bulk of them, to fall into all sorts of sins, one or other of them; so as there is no sort, kind or degree of sin, no way of sinning, manner of sinning, or aggravation of sin, but in some or other it shall be pardoned, and he doth it to magnify his grace in Christ, in whom he gathers them. 
--The Works of Thomas Goodwin, 1:156, commenting on Ephesians 1:10


John Byrne said...

I think I see what he's getting at - that no sin is so bad as to be beyond the reach of God's grace. But there's a danger in the wording, 'God hath ordered his elect ... to fall into all sorts of sins,' that could be taken as saying that God is the author of sin.

JOB said...

A doctrine of absolute divine sovereignty does not make God the author of sin, but that is not the issue here (unless one is objecting to absolute divine sovereignty). The statement is intended to glorify the power of the cross of our Lord and to magnify the extent of the grace of God. He will triumph over every kind of sin in all the permutations and combinations in which it can occur by forgiving it and healing the one who committed it. No one can say, therefore, my sin is too great or wicked to be forgiven. Personally, I am staggered at the thought that God would pardon all of my offenses against him. It is the great truth that Goodwin enunciates that gives me hope when fears arise. As Samuel Davies wrote long ago: "Crimes of such horror to forgive, Such guilty, daring worms to spare;
This is Thy grand prerogative, And none shall in the honor share...In wonder lost, with trembling joy,We take the pardon of our God: Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood.

In light of this extraordinary generosity, it is striking that there is one sin that is the exception; one that will never be forgiven. How tender is the love of the Father and Son for the Spirit, such that consciously/knowingly misrepresenting his work to be that of the Evil One will never be forgiven. Dane, do you think this is their way of honoring the Spirit for taking a more hidden role in the work of salvation?