The Workings of Sin
Essex Remembrancer
James 1:13-15
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:…


II. WE ARE TAUGHT HOW SURELY THE EVIL PRINCIPLE WILL WORK IN THE HEART, IF UNCHECKED AND UNRESTRAINED, TILL IT HAS BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT UNTO DEATH. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. It is the internal desire which gives temptation its power over man. Were there no appetite for the intoxicating liquor, the cup which contains it would be offered in vain. Were there no covetous desire, the prospect of gain would be no temptation to deviate from the path of rectitude. In every case it is the state of the heart which gives to temptation its power to subdue. Its suddenness may surprise into transgression, but when its success is owing entirely to this circumstance, repentance may be expected quickly to arise. The case supposed in the text is not of this nature. The temptation is embraced and followed. The sinner is "drawn away of his own lust and enticed" to his ruin. The stronger the sinful propensity has become by indulgence, the greater is the power which every corresponding temptation has to overcome him. He is the less disposed, and therefore the less able to resist. Pleasure in some form is the bait that hides the hook by which he is drawn and enticed. The death which is the end of sin will therefore be of as long duration as the life which is the fruit of holiness. It will not be an arbitrary undeserved punishment, but the wages of sin, its proper desert. Such is the death which sic, when it is finished, bringeth forth.

III. WE LEARN HOW EASILY GOD CAN BRING SIN TO LIGHT. Should sin escape detection in this life, we know that nothing can be concealed from the eye of God, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of all hearts. The day shall declare every man's work of what sort it is. Every one must give an account of himself to God, must narrate his own proceedings, and unfold his own character, before an assembled universe.


V. WE LEARN THAT NOTHING CAN BE MORE WRONG THAN FOR .ANY MAN TO THROW THE BLAME OF HIS SINS UPON GOD. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man." The all-wise, pure, perfect, self-sufficient, almighty Creator and Ruler of the universe can be under no temptation to evil, neither can He place temptation in the way of any one to induce him to sin. This would be to act in direct contrariety to His own nature. A wicked man may say, "If God has given me such passions how can I help being led astray by them?" God has not given you such passions; you have given them to yourself. The desires He gave you were needful to the great purposes of human existence. Without them the powers of man could not be called into action. You have perverted them, and allowed them to gain the mastery over reason, conscience, and religion. Suppose a friend recommended to you a servant whom he had uniformly found, after a long trial, faithful and obedient, and you had spoiled that servant, after taking him into your service, by every unwarrantable indulgence, till he had tyrannised over you, and wasted your property, would you have any right to complain of your friend for recommending him, would not the blame rest entirely with yourself? Everything becomes a temptation to a depraved heart — prosperity or adversity; wealth or poverty; success or disappointment. On the other hand, "All things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to His purpose."

VI. Finally, WE LEARN, THAT SUCH BEING THE DEPRAVITY OF MAN, THERE IS NO SECURITY FROM THE RUIN WHICH SIN WILL INEVITABLY BITING UPON THE TRANSGRESSOR, BUT IN THAT COMPLETE RENOVATION OF OUR NATURE WHICH IN SCRIPTURE IS CALLED REGENERATION — A NEW CREATION. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh" — corrupt in its tendencies. But, "whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God."

(Essex Remembrancer.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

WEB: Let no man say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God can't be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

The Vigour of Lust
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