Every sin implies contempt of God

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Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thomas Halyburton, The Great Concern of Salvation (Works, p. 25):

Every sin implies, in its formal nature, contempt of God, as that which is its source. Sin flows from a secret enmity of heart against the Almighty, and therefore carries in it a high contempt of him. It may be, men are so blind that they cannot discern any such thing in it; but God makes breaking the law, and despising or contemning the law, to be all one; Amos 2:4, “Thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked.” Sin in most men’s eyes is a harmless thing; but how far otherwise would it be if its nature were seen in a just light by the eye of faith; if we saw it trampling upon God’s authority, goodness, and holiness, and even endeavouring as it were to ungod him.


Puritan Board Doctor
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

If the Great Commandment sums up true obedience to the law of God as love to God, then any disobedience to the law - sin - always has enmity to God as its root. This is the wickedness of sin.


Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for this quote.

For many years I heard people explain sin as the breaking of God's Law. For me there always seemed to be something missing from that idea. It was not until I read Martin Luther (preface to Commentary On Romans) and John Owen (Indwelling Sin) that I learned sin is any rebellion against God, regardless of whether it is part of the Law or not.

My favorite Scriptural example is in the Old Testament (Deut. 1:19-46) where God tells Israel to go up and attack another people and they refuse to go, then the following day He tells them to stay in camp and don't go, but they refuse and go attack the other people. This is not a story of God being capricious, it is a story that sin in its basic essence is disobedience and rebellion towards God no matter what He says.

[edit: added OT reference]
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