The Highway
Posted By: RJ_ God's Sorrow In Proportion To Sin-Gurnall - Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:38 AM

God's Sorrow In Proportion To Sin

Oh, tempted soul, when Satan says you are not humbled enough and tells you to keep wallowing in your own sorrow, see how you may be saved. Christ is the footbridge by which you may safely cross the raging river of your sins.

Manasseh was a great sinner, and an ordinary sorrow would not do for him. He "humbled himself greatly before...God" (2 Chronicles 33:12). "Now," says Satan, "weigh your sin in the balance with your sorrow; are you as great a mourner as you have been a sinner? For many years you have waged war against the Almighty, making havoc of His laws, loading His patience to the breaking point, wounding Christ with the dagger of your sins while you grieved His Spirit and rejected His grace. And now do you think a little remorse, like a rolling cloud letting fall a few drops of rain, will satisfy? No, you must steep in sorrow as you have soaked in sin."

To show you the flaw in his thesis, we must distinguish between two kinds of proportion in sorrow.

First, an exact proportion of sorrow to the inherent nature and demerit of sin. This is not feasible; the injury done in the least sin is infinite, because done to an infinite God.

Second, a relative proportion of sorrow to the law and rule of the Gospel. And what is the law of the Gospel concerning this? That genuine heart-sorrow is gospel-sorrow: "They were pricked in their heart" (Acts 2:37). This gospel sorrow is indeed repentance unto life, given by the Spirit of the Gospel for your relief. Oh, tempted soul, when Satan says you are not humbled enough and tells you to keep wallowing in your own sorrow, see how you may be saved. Christ is the footbridge by which you may safely cross the raging river of your sins. You are a dead man if you think to answer your sin with your own sorrow; you will soon be above your depth, and drown yourself in your own tears, but never be rescued from the least sin you have committed. The strength of your sorrow is not what carries you to heaven--but true heart repentance.

-William Gurnall
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