by John Armstrong

William Shakespeare wrote the familiar words, “A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet.”  I have often taken that phrase from Romeo and Juliet and changed it from positive to negative.  Saying something like, “A rotten potato by any other name, would smell as bad.”  I guess it is just the Calvinist in me.  We definitely have a tendency to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  When we are confronted with the truth of the depravity of our own heart, we should give up the folly of our thinking well of ourselves.  One of the real problems that every believer faces is understanding the sinfulness of our sin.  You have probably heard sin called many things such as “rebellion” or “cosmic treason” or just “evil.”  It is certainly all of those things and more.  As disciples of the Lord Jesus, we are supposed to be bothered by our sin, we should find it repugnant and wretched.  Kind of like that rotten potato, but actually much worse.  If you have ever had a rotten potato in your house you know what I’m talking about.  The smell is horrendous and you will not rest until you get rid of it.  That is the way we are to deal with sin.  When we catch that tell-tale stench of sin, we need to immediately run to the Lord and confess that sin and ask for help to put it to death, to root it up and get it out of our life.  We need to realize first and foremost in dealing with sin, that we can’t do it ourselves.  Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit applying Christ to our lives, we’ll never take sin seriously. If, by God’s grace, you are desiring to take sin more seriously, then there is something you should know.  First, you don’t need to study sin, you don’t need to go meditate and contemplate your sin, that will not get you where you need to go.  We start with studying Jesus Christ.  Spend your time meditating and contemplating on the person of Jesus.  Study His deity, His righteousness, His holiness, and His justice.  The more you understand the holiness of God, the more you will be equipped to understand the sinfulness of sin.  A clear vision of God will expose your sin for what it is, you don’t need to go searching for it, it will come to light and by God’s grace you can then take it to the Lord for cleansing.  Maybe you are like me, you hate your sin, but you often go about trying to rid yourself of it in the wrong ways.  We need more of Jesus, not more of trying harder to do better.  We need gospel truths to seep into every part of our lives and fill us up to overflowing with the grace of Christ.  Do you want that?  That is a godly desire that comes from God working in your life.  If it is there, be encouraged.


It is September already, where did the time go? This is the time when we start things afresh at church.  I hope you will determine to join us in the various ways we are seeking to grow in our knowledge of Jesus and in our sharing Him with others.  Now is the time to take seriously your sin and pursue more of Christ.