Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"SIN’S PRESENCE" by A.W. Pink (1186-1952)

Saturday, December 4, 2010
 "Sins Presence" 

   Taken from Vol. XXVII February, 1948  No. 2  of  "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES" 

      “Search the Scriptures” John 5:39

 There are two sides to a Christian’s life: a light and a dark, an elevating and a depressing one. His experience is neither all joy nor all grief, but a commingling of both. It was so with the apostle Paul: “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing” (2Co 6:10). When a person is regenerated, he is not there and then taken to heaven,

 but he is given both an earnest and a foretaste of it. Nor is sin then eradicated from his being, though its dominion over him is broken. It is indwelling corruption which casts its dark shadow over his joy. The varied experiences of the believer are occasioned by Christ’s presence and sin’s presence. If, on the one hand, it be blessedly true that Christ is with him all the days, even unto the end; on the other hand, it is solemnly true that sin indwells him all his days, even unto the end of his earthly history. Said Paul, “evil is present with me”; and that, not only occasionally, but sin “dwelleth in me” (Rom 7:20-21). Thus, as God’s people feed upon the Lamb, it is “with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Exo 12:8). The Christian’s consciousness of indwelling sin, his mourning over its defiling influence, his sincere efforts to strive against its solicitations, his penitent confessions to God of his failure to master this inveterate foe, are among the unmistakable evidences that he is a regenerate person―for certain it is that none who is dead in trespasses and sins realizes there is a sea of iniquity within his heart, defiling his very thoughts and imagination; still less does he make conscience of the same and lament it. Let the believer recall his own case: in the days of his unregeneracy, he was not cast down by what now distresses! We are bidden to “remember” what we were “in time past,” and then contrast the “But now” (Eph 2:11-13), that we may be shamed over the former and rejoice and give thanks for the latter. It is cause for fervent praise if your eyes have been opened to see “the sinfulness of sin,” and your heart to feel its obnoxiousness. Since it was not always thus, a great change has taken place―you have been made the subject of a miracle of grace.

But the continuance of indwelling sin presents a sore and perplexing problem to the Christian. That
nothing is too hard for the Lord he is full assured. Why then is evil suffered to remain present with him?  Why is he not rid of this hideous thing which he so much loathes and hates? Why should this horrible depravity be allowed to disturb his peace and mar his joy? Why does not the God of all grace rid him of this harassing tyrant? And it must ever be remembered that His thoughts and ways are often the very opposite of ours. Yet we must also remember they are infinitely wiser and better than ours. God then must have some valid reason why He leaves sin in His people; and since He loves them with a boundless and unchangeable love, it must be left in them for their benefit. Faith may be fully assured that evil continues to be present with the saint both for the glory of God and for his own good.  Thus, there is a bright side to even this dark cloud. We are apt to think it is a most deplorable thing that sin still indwells us and to imagine it would be far better if we were rid of it. But that is our ignorance. Yea, it is some thing worse: it is a spirit of opposition to God, a rebelling against His dealings with us, an impugning of His wisdom, a casting reflection upon His goodness. Since He has given such abundant proofs that He has our best interests at heart, it must be most reprehensible for any to call into question His ways with them. Rather, may we be fully persuaded that our loving Father had completely removed “the flesh” from the soul of His children at the moment of their regeneration had that been for their highest welfare.

Since He has not done so, we must confidently conclude that God has a benevolent purpose in suffering sin to indwell them to the end of their pilgrim journey. But does His Word furnish any hints of His gracious designs therein? Yes, but we must now limit ourselves unto one of them. God leaves sin in His people to promote their humility. There is nothing which He abominates so much as pride. In Proverbs 6:16-17, the Holy Spirit has listed seven things which the Lord hates, and they are headed with “A proud look”! God feedeth the hungry, but the rich He sendeth empty away. He “giveth grace unto the humble,” but “resisteth the proud” (James 4:6). It is the egotistical and self-satisfied Laodiceans who are so loathsome in His sight that He spues them out of His mouth (Rev 3:16-17). Now Christian reader, is it really and truly the desire of thy heart that God will “hide pride” from thee (Job 33:17)? If by grace it be so, then are you willing for Him to use His own means and method in accomplishing your desire, even though it be an unpleasant process, yea, galling to your complacency? If you be willing for your natural religiousness to be blasted and to be stripped of your peacock feathers, then it will be by evil remaining in you and bestirring itself to your grief.

Second Timothy 3:2 shows (from its order) that pride springs from inordinate self-love. They who are undue lover of themselves soon grow proud of themselves, which is odious to God, for it robs Him of His glory. Since God will be glorious unto His saints, as well as glorified by them, He subdues their pride by leaving that in them which humbles their hearts, but makes them admire Him the more for His longsuffering.  Divine light exposes filth within, of which they had no previous realization, causing them to cry with the leper, “Unclean, unclean” (Lev 13:45). They have such painful discoveries of indwelling sin as often makes them lament, “O wretched man that I am!” (Rom 7:24). But how thankful we should be if God makes us “abhor” ourselves (Job 42:6), and thereby make way for prizing Christ all the more! In this life, holiness, my reader, consists largely of pantings after it and grievings because we feel ourselves to be so unholy.

What would happen to a man still left in this world if he were full of sin one day and then made absolutely sinless the next? Let our present experience supply the answer. Do we not find it very difficult to keep our proper place, both before God and our brethren, when the evil within us is subdued but a little? Is not that evidence we require something to deliver us from self righteousness? Even the beloved Paul needed “a thorn in the flesh” lest he “be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations” given him (2Co 12:7). The man after God’s own heart prayed, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise” (Psa 51:15): as though he said, “If Thou, Lord, wilt help me to speak aright, I shall not proclaim my own worth nor boast of what I have done, but will give Thee all the glory.” As God left some of the Canaanites in the land to prove Israel (Jdg 2:21-22), so He leaves sin in us to humble us. We shall be sinless in heaven, and the sight of the “Lamb as it had been slain” (Rev 5:6) will for ever prevent the re-entry of pride into our souls.

Our consciousness of sin’s presence has, first, an emptying influence: it makes way for a pardoning and cleansing Christ, by convicting the soul of its deep need. Second, it has a continual abasing influence, bringing us to realize more and more our utter insufficiency and complete dependence upon God. Third, it has an evangelical influence, for it serves to make us more conscious of the perfect suitability of the great Physician for such lepers as we feel ourselves to be. Fourth, it has a God-honouring influence, for it brings the renewed soul to marvel increasingly at His “longsuffering to us–ward” (2Pe 3:9). Fifth, it should promote a spirit of forbearance to our fellows: we ought not to expect less failure in them than we find in ourselves.
End of Article....

Dear Reader I hope you have found Mr. Pink as edifying as I have and I would like to encourage you to read more of his "Studies in the Scriptures" series, they can be purchased in hardback but at a very expensive price or they can be mailed to you in paperback form, at Three issues at a time, every Three months and absolutely free of charge from this link... http://www.chapellibrary.org/studies/       The issues beginning in 1932 can also be downloaded in PDF format free from the same link.   Enjoy and be Holy!

Shane C. Montgomery 


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