Sins against the gospel

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Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
This from some reading on Sunday, a powerful quote from Richard Sibbes:

Why disobedience against the gospel is so great a sin. Therefore I beseech you, take heed of disobeying the gospel of Jesus Christ in any kind whatsoever, for of all sins this is the greatest, as shall appear by these reasons.

Reason 1. First, because sins against the gospel are sins against those attributes, wherein God will glorify himself most, as his grace, mercy, loving-kindness, &c. Therefore the gospel is called grace, because it publisheth, offers, and applies grace. Now sins against mercy are greater than sins against justice; for God hath made all things for the glory of his mercy. Even among men, are not sins against favours the greatest sins? To wrong a man whether he deserves well or ill is an offense. But what man will have his courtesies rejected, though never so mean? Love deserves love; favour deserves respect again. But now when we obey not the gospel, we neglect and despise the goodness and mercy of God. Oh what excellent blessings doth the gospel reveal, if we had the hearts to value them! Doth not the gospel bring salvation? Is it not the word of grace, the word of life, the word of the kingdom? Beloved, I beseech you, lay these things to heart, for whensoever you refuse the gospel of Christ, you refuse with it the word of grace, of the kingdom of heaven, and eternal life, and all. Therefore the sins of the gospel must needs be the greatest sins.

Sibbes, Works, "The Ungodly's Misery", vol. 1, p. 388.
 
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