MICHAEL’S MEDITATIONS, TUE., 11/10/2015
THE SINCERE CHRISTIAN
EXCERPT FROM WILLIAM GURNALL’S ‘THE CHRISTIAN IN COMPLETE ARMOUR,’ VOL. 2
Pardoning mercy eagerly embraces sincerity. Christ is the One who covers our failures and sins, but He throws His garment of righteousness only over the sincere soul: “Blessed is he…whose sine is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.’ Everyone likes to believe this, but notice the requirement of receiving this mercy: “…in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:1-2). Thus Christ’s righteousness covers the nakedness of our shameful unrighteousness, but faith is the grace which puts this garment on.
God approves of the sincere man as holy and righteous even though he is not totally free of sin. And just as God does not mistake the saint’s sin for sincerity, neither does He unsaint him for it. For instance, Scripture recorded that Job fell into the pit of sin, but God saw sincerity mixed with his transgression and judged him perfect.
Sincerity does not blind God so He cannot see the saint’s sin, but makes Him consider it with compassion instead of with anger. This is like a husband who knows his wife is faithful to him so he pities her weaknesses and cherishes her as a good wife. “In all this,” God said, “Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22). And at the end of the combat God brought Job through with the favorable testimony that His servant had “spoken of me the thing that is right” (Job 42:7). Job himself saw his own earnestness dashed with failures, and this made him confess his sin rather than presume upon God’s mercy. But God saw the sincerity.
Now my words. How often do we search our hearts, dear friends? Has what was once a fiery flame in our hearts for God dwindled to a mere flicker or spark? Have we left our first love? Have we reconsidered just how sincere we are in our relationship with Jesus and how we might walk with Him closer, not only deriving the maximum benefit from a close, obedient walk with the Lord, but also being a blessing to Him through relationship and service to His kingdom. May each of us spend time with our Lord today and ponder these questions as to how we might better live a life that is pleasing to the One who rescued us from our adversary. God bless you.