THE HEART OF THE MATTER
When David in Psalm 51:4 confessed, "Against Thee Thee only, have I sinned, and done evil in Thy sight," he was not forgetting the sin which he had committed when he killed Uriah, after defiling the man's wife. No, he was getting at the heart of the matter. And we do well to bear in mind that we so often and quickly forget our sins and minimize them.
We disobey the authorities, entertain thoughts of hatred, covet the neighbor's goods, and forget that in breaking the second table of the law we broke the first table as well. We are inclined to behave as though all we need to do is to say to the neighbor, "Against thee, thee only have I sinned." Such is always the case with the unbeliever, when he pleads guilty in court. He admits only of doing evil to his neighbor. But sin in every form is sin against God; and to God we ought to sing:
We really do not see our sins unless we see them as hatred against God. Whenever we sin, and regardless of how we sin, we always have another God instead of Jehovah. Regardless of which of the last nine commandments we break, it is because we are already breaking the first commandment. For our flesh has become our god, and we do its bidding, even though to do so is rebellion against the one true God.
We must not overlook or minimize our sins against our neighbor. To do that is to add to our sin. But we must get to the heart of the matter and in sincere humility before God confess that we have sinned against Him.
A true confession of sin agrees with God, and with David says that when God judges our deeds, His judgment is right. A sincere confession declares that only God's will must be obeyed. Our flesh must be put down. If only God's will counts and is heeded by us, we will not sin against the neighbor. As Jesus said, the great commandment is that we love God. If we love Him, we will also love the neighbor for His sake. Do you?
I John 1
Psalter versification: 143:2
on the Heidelberg Catechism
for Meditation: Psalter number 384
Why not sing along??
the Bible in One Year
Exodus 4; Exodus 5:1-21
Quote for Reflection:
“Alas, in these degenerate times, few have any idea that saving faith is a miraculous thing. Instead, it is now almost universally supposed that saving faith is nothing more than an act of the human will, which any man is capable of performing: all that is needed is to bring before a sinner a few verses of Scripture which describe his lost condition, one or two which contain the word "believe," and then a little persuasion for him to "accept Christ," and the thing is done. …O my reader, be not deceived on this vital matter: to mortify the lusts of the flesh, to be crucified unto the world, to overcome the Devil, to die daily unto sin, and live unto righteousness, to be meek and lowly in heart, trustful and obedient, pious and patient, faithful and uncompromising, loving and gentle; in a word, to be a Christian, to be Christ-like, is a task far, far beyond the poor resources of fallen human nature.” -Arthur Pink