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Hope for the Vilest Sinner


Guilt is a powerful thing. It is necessary that we know our guilt, or we would never come to Christ for forgiveness. But once we come to him, we must know that there is no sin beyond his ability to forgive. Just as no saint is good enough to be justified before God, no sinner is to wicked to be forgiven.

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But to suppose the worst, what if you were really the vilest sinner that ever lived upon the face of the earth? What if “your iniquities had gone up into the heavens” every day, and “your transgressions had reached unto the clouds, Rev. xviii. 5.” reached thither with such horrid aggravations, that earth and heaven should have had reason to detest you as a monster of impiety? Admitting all this, “is any thing too hard for the Lord? Gen. xviii. 14.” Are any sins, of which a sinner can repent, of so deep a dye, that the blood of Christ cannot wash them away? Nay, though it would be daring wickedness and monstrous folly, for any “to sin that grace may abound, Rom. vi. 1.” yet had you indeed raised your account beyond all that divine grace has ever yet pardoned, who should “limit the holy One of Israel? Psal. lxxviii. 41.” or who shall pretend to say, that it is impossible that God may, for your very wretchedness, choose you out from others, to make you a monument of mercy, and a trophy of hitherto unparalleled grace? The apostle Paul strongly intimates this to have been the case with regard to himself; and why might not you likewise, if indeed “the chief of sinners,” obtain mercy, that in you, as the chief, “Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who shall hereafter believe? 1 Tim. i. 15, 16.

—Philip Doddridge, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (Robert Porter, 1810), 109.

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The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

—Fanny Crosby



Posted 2017·04·27 by David Kjos
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