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The Most Heinous Sin

What sins are most offensive to God? In one fundamental way, all sins are the same: They are all acts of sedition against the King of kings and Lord of lords—“cosmic treason,” as R. C. Sproul puts it—and demand the same divine justice. At the same time, Scripture clearly names some sins as particularly abhorrent. But sin is not only distinguished by its kind. It is not only what is done that matters, but who does it. Sibbes explains.


The sins of the godly more heinous than others. The sins of God’s house admit of a greater aggravation than the sins of others; for, (1) they are committed against more light; (2) against more benefits and favours; (3) their sins in a manner are sacrilege. What! to make ‘the temple of God a den of thieves,’ to defile their bodies and souls, that are bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, is this a small matter? Again, (4) their sins are idolatry; for they are not only the house of God, but the spouse of God.

Now, for a spouse to be false and adulterous, this is greater than fornication, because the bond is nearer; so the nearer any come to God in profession, the higher is the aggravation of their sin, and as their sin grows, so must their punishment grow answerable and proportionable. They, therefore that know God’s will most of all others, must look for most stripes if they do it not, Luke xii. 47, 48.

—Richard Sibbes, The Church’s Visitation, Works (Banner of Truth, 2001), 1:379.

Posted 2017·08·03 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Richard Sibbes · Works of Richard Sibbes

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