1 John 5:16-17
¹⁶If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
¹⁷All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.
Noble men and women have gone mad over this sentence.
In the shadows of this mystery the gentle spirit of William Cowper wandered many a weary month, wounding itself with bitterest accusations — the noble intellect distraught, “like sweet bells jangled out of tune,” weaving the phantasies of despair — the burden of its sad song being, “There is a sin unto death.”
● There are degrees in sin.
Guilt has its gradations.
▪︎ There are sins of ignorance and of deliberation
▪︎ There are sins which show a lack of goodwill, and others that express intense malignity of will.
▪︎ There are the sins of a Peter, and there are the sins of a Judas.
● One sin tends to others more guilty than itself
▪︎ It gives the will a wrong bias.
▪︎ It breaks the prestige of virtue.
▪︎ Acts become habits.
▪︎ Choice hardens into destiny.
▪︎ Sin becomes master and the sinner a slave.
● This development reaches its climax in the sin unto death.
Beyond this it cannot go. What then can it be?
It is evidently not any one act or word. It is a condition, a settled state of heart and mind; a state of opposition to and hatred of good, and God. The sin unto death is unbelief of heart and mind: The rejection of the Holy.
● This is sin unto death.
It hath no forgiveness under law or gospel.
Why? How so? Because God will not?
No. The way of return to God is closed against no one who does not close it against himself. The unholy, the one who stubbornly refuses to surrender and go back to God, closed the way back himself, and cannot be saved.
● Let us now look at our situation.
▪︎ With regard to ourselves let us not yield to morbid fears,
▪︎ nor sleep in over security.
The door is never closed till we close it, and yet all sin tends to the sin unto death. Let us then beware of all sin!
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