Let Him Who Thinks He Stands…

Bernard of Clairvaux once told the story of an old man, who, whenever he heard of some professing Christian falling into sin, would say to himself, “It happened to him today, it may happen to me tomorrow.” May we never say–when we hear of someone falling into grievous sin–”I’d never do that.” “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:13). We must resist the temptation of thinking that somehow we have within our flesh the ability to abstain from sin. If the Lord allowed us to run after the evil desires of our hearts we would be ruined. We must be able to say in our hearts, “Were it not for the grace of God, there go I.”  The following statement is a sobering reminder of the weakness of the flesh in believers, and the pressing need for us to take seriously the means of preventing such falls:

“Nevertheless, they [i.e. the saints] may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. 12.3)

 

 
 

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I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve. (Romans 16:17-18)

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