Hating Sin

“Work in your hearts a hatred of sin… If a man had killed your friend, or father, or mother, how would you hate him! You would not endure the sight of him, but follow the law upon him. Send out the avenger of blood with a hue and cry after thy sin; bring it afore God’s judgment seat, arraign it, accuse it, spit on it, condemn it and thyself for it, have it to the cross, nail it there, if it cry I thirst, give it vinegar, stretch the body of sins upon his cross, stretch every vein of it, make the heart strings crack; and then when it hangs there, triumph over the dying of it, show it no pity, laugh at its destruction, say, Thou hast been a bloody sin to me and my husband, hang there and rot. And when thou art tempted to it [sin], and art very thirsty after the pleasure of it, say of that opportunity to enjoy it, It is the price of Christ’s blood, and pour it upon the ground. … Shall I live upon that which was Christ’s death? Shall I please myself in that which was his pain? Shall I be so dishonest, so unkind, as to enjoy the pleasure for which he endured the smart?”

—Thomas Goodwin (1600—1679), Christ the Mediator in The Works of Thomas Goodwin (RHB), 5:294.

7 thoughts on “Hating Sin

  1. Tony (or anyone else),

    I am wondering if I am following this quote accurately.

    Goodwin suggests we should “bring it afore God’s judgment seat, arraign it, accuse it, spit on it, condemn it and thyself for it, have it to the cross, nail it there, if it cry I thirst, give it vinegar, stretch the body of sins upon his cross, stretch every vein of it, make the heart strings crack; and then when it hangs there, triumph over the dying of it, show it no pity, laugh at its destruction, say, Thou hast been a bloody sin to me and my husband, hang there and rot.”

    Is he referring to our own sin? This is how we should handle our own sin. Am I reading that right?

  2. Sorry, brother. This post was not as clear as it should have been from the beginning. Goodwin is encouraging the sinner to hate personal sin based upon what our sin did to the Savior. Thanks for requesting clarity! I’ve made a couple changes to the post to this end. Tony

  3. Thanks brother. Music to my ears.

    Here’s a good counter quote:

    “I will not meddle with sin, what hand God hath in it, though the very same phrase is used of it, Acts. Iv. 28. The crucifying of Christ, the greatest sin in the world, it is said nothing was done it in but what his hand and counsel determined…Things that are of the merest chance, God works them all. An Exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, I. 212.

  4. Thanks Tony.

    Since I seem to prefer to tolerate, coddle, excuse, deny, hide, and ignore my sin it was probably harder to figure out than it should have been.

    I have a lot of growing to do in this area!

    Thanks for the quote and for the clarification.

  5. Powerful quote. How could we find pleasure in sin when it brought our Savior so much pain? Our struggle with unbelief is revealed by our sinful actions.
    I can rail against the sin all day long, but oh that God would work in my heart to sanctify me from sin. I am just as powerless to sanctify myself as I am to save myself. Galatians 3:3 – Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

    God work in us.

  6. Only this year I have been introduce to the work of Thomas Goodwin. Every time I read this quote I choke up. How his words stir me to hate my sin like a raging fire. And how sad that in the hatred of my personal sin is just a small flame. May God continue the good work He started in me and as I grow in Christ so will me desire to hate what He hates and love what He loves.

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