Hatred of Sin
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13).
The “fear of the Lord” runs like a golden thread through the Proverbs. The fear of the Lord, of course, is the beginning of wisdom (1:7; 9:10), and in the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence (14:26). The fear of the Lord prolongs life (10:27), and leads to life (19:23), and the reward for humility and the fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life (22:4).
But among all the positives, the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. We’re fine with that in theory, of course. In theory.
But hating sin is another matter. Hating is personal, intense, and specific (we “hate” something or someone). No one can hate just in theory.
So this hatred of sin doesn’t just mean we keep our noses clean, or that we’re nice, or even that we work on some bad habit. The Puritan John Owens (1616-1683) wrote that our efforts to defeat specific “sins” in our lives, worthy as they made be, can never succeed without “Hatred of sin as sin,” together with “a sense of the love of Christ on the cross.” This hatred, and this love (Owens declared) is the secret “of all real Christian growth.”
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. Heavenly Father, truly my iniquities have gone over my head and like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. O Lord, all my longing is before you. (Ps. 38:4, 9, 21, 22).
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