Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable…
All flattery is dangerous; self-flattery is more dangerous; but self-flattery in the business of salvation, is the most dangerous of all.
I. THAT THERE ARE MULTITUDES OF SUCH SELF-DECEIVERS AMONG PROFESSORS.
II. THE GROUNDS AND CAUSES OF THIS SELF-DECEIT AMONG PROFESSORS.
1. The natural deceitfulness of the heart, than which nothing is more treacherous and false (Jeremiah 17:9).
2. Satan is a chief conspirator in this treacherous design.
3. The common works found in unregenerate souls deceive many, who cannot distinguish them from the special works of the Spirit in God's elect (Hebrews 6:4).
4. To add no more, this strengthens self-deceit exceedingly in many, viz., their observations of and comparing themselves with others. Use 1 shall be for caution to professors. Before I tell you what use you should make of it, I must tell you what use you may not make of it.
(1) Do not make this use of it — to conclude from what hath been said, that all professors are but a pack of hypocrites.
(2) Do not make this use of it — that assurance must needs be impossible, because so many professors are found to be self-deceivers.
(3) Do not make this use of it — to conceal or hide the truths or graces of God, or refuse to profess or confess them before men, because many professors deceive themselves and others also by a vain profession. Use
2. Surely you cannot improve this point to a better purpose than from it to take warning, and look to yourselves, that you be not of that number who deceive themselves in their profession.
Parallel VersesKJV: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: