I watched a video this morning with a couple of ladies talking about selling the body parts of babies for profit and it broke my heart.
One of the reasons it broke my heart is because it reminded me of just how sinful we are as human beings.
I don’t feel superior to them. Far from it. I am glad of course that God’s graced me to see this as awful, but I know, apart from God’s work in my heart, I am capable of speaking and acting like this and I am sure far worse. It’s nice to pretend as if we were sweet, good people, but while we might be able to put a nice face on it, underneath, our hearts are filled with all kinds of corruption and that corruption is really, truly, sincerely, nasty.
There’s no way around it. Sin is a great evil.
Not only because it causes us to hurt others, but fundamentally because it is against God. That is what’s difficult sometimes for my heart to see, but it’s a reality. I can rage when I see the way sin causes people to murder babies, but do I realize that each and every sin is against a holy and beautiful God, and because of that each and every sin is infinitely ugly and hateful and disgusting.
As Jonathan Edwards once wrote, “Sin deserves infinite ill because it is a hatred of a being infinitely lovely. The hating of that which is lovely is heinous in proportion to the loveliness of the thing hated.”
I can’t imagine the kind of guilt I would feel if I somehow participated in the murder of a child, and rightfully so! but in reality I have done something even worse. I have robbed God of what He has an absolute right to. I have spit in the face of pure beauty.
It’s hard to hear that.
But it’s important because it puts God’s mercy on display. God doesn’t owe us anything. He’s God. We are his humans. If I were somehow pure and He gave me anything that would be an act of goodness. But, I need more than goodness, because of the way I have sinned. I need mercy. I need God to show kindness to me even though I don’t deserve it, by delivering me from the very misery I have brought on myself through my rebellion against Him and by giving him blessings I could never earn through my own efforts.
And He does.
And one of the things that makes his mercy so remarkable is that he shows it to people like me, who have done all sorts of different sins. His mercy is not limited by my sin. In other words, He doesn’t only show mercy to one kind of sinner. If someone somehow had just sinned one time, and God showed them mercy, that would be amazing, that would be astounding. As Edwards writes, “If the mercy of God were only sufficient to extend itself to someone who had never committed more than one sin that would demonstrate his mercy to be infinitely great…but tis not only so, but his mercy is sufficient for the greatest sinner there is. No degree of sinfulness puts any person beyond the extent of God the mercy of God.”
In other words, God’s willing to extend His mercy to all kinds of sinners.
Even the kind that sell baby body parts for profit.
And this is part of what makes a refusal to repent, embrace the promise of the gospel, and run to Jesus Christ such a horrible thing.
Because, look, we have sinned in big ways and we deserve God’s punishment, but here He comes and He says, I am merciful, and He has showed mercy by sending His Son who stooped so low “as to take our nature and not only so but to suffer pain and shame, torment and death, and the wrath of God for ourselves, and through him is free pardon for all our sins offered to us and a bestowment of boundless good and all this is offered freely without money or price only for our heartily closing with the offer and accepting of it in that excellent and glorious way God has planned.
But yet how many are there that refuse the offer because they choose to go on with their sins still! They love their sins and they will not part with them. And so they continue under the curse of the law and lie still exposed to those eternal mischiefs which sin deserves.
How inexcusable will such be!”
Their refusal of God’s infinite mercy will cry out against them for God’s infinite Judgment.