365 days with Newton


Don’t be deceived

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Galatians 6:7

There is a lamentable proneness in mankind to deceive themselves in matters of the highest importance. Indeed in worldly affairs they are quite unwilling to be imposed upon. If they have a purchase to make, how cautious are they lest there should be a flaw or mistake in the title. But with regard to the salvation of their souls, any poor pretence or show of a hope will content them. Their hearts are deceitful, and Satan the great deceiver is dextrous in putting cheats upon them. Against this, we are now warned. May the Lord impress the warning upon every heart. Let us consider some of the ways in which men are deceived:
(i) by the love of the world. The Scripture pronounces it all vanity, but it appears something to a carnal eye. Satan tempted our Lord this way. To avoid this deceit, consider Matthew 16:26.
(ii) by the love of sin. Sin is called deceitful; it blinds the eyes and hardens the heart. How many are convinced in their cooler hours, but when the temptation presents itself powerfully again, they forget what they knew.
(iii) by trusting to their own strength. When they have made a few hasty resolutions, or perhaps only purposed to resolve, they think they shall stand. How often have some of you been deceived thus!
(iv) by vain hopes, founded on the general mercy of God, their own righteousness and a formal profession of the gospel.
How David, when by sin deceived,
When sin deceives it hardens too,
From bad to worse went on!
For though he vainly sought
For when the Holy Spirit’s grieved,
To hide his crimes from public view,
Our strength and guard are gone.
Of GOD he little thought.

His eye on Bathsheba once fixed,
Let those who think they stand beware,
With poison filled his soul;
For David stood before;
He ventured on adultery next,
Nor let the fallen soul despair,
And murder crowned the whole.
For mercy can restore.


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