Saints and Sinners

"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." (Job 40:3-4)

It is remarkable how the saintliest of men often confess to being the worst of sinners. The patriarch Job was said by God Himself to be "a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil" (Job 1:8). Yet when Job saw God, he could only say, "Behold, I am vile."

And consider Abraham, who is called "the father of all them that believe" (Romans 4:11). When he presumed to talk to God, however, Abraham said that he was "but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27).

David, "the sweet psalmist of Israel" (2 Samuel 23:1), and "a man after |God's| own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14), said: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). Isaiah, the greatest of the prophets, testified when he came into God's presence: "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5).

The angel recognized Daniel the prophet as "a man greatly beloved" by God (Daniel 10:11). Yet when Daniel saw God, he fell on his face and said: "My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength" (Daniel 10:8).

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter said: "I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8), and Paul called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). God dwells "in the light which no man can approach unto" (1 Timothy 6:16).

The closer one comes to the Lord, the more clearly one sees his own sinfulness and the more wonderful becomes God's amazing grace. No one who is satisfied with his or her own state of holiness has yet come to know the Lord in His state of holiness! None dare face the Lord except by His grace through the mediator Jesus Christ. HMM

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