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The Sinfulness of Sin (Ralph Venning)

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We cannot understand the Christian gospel until we know what sin is. Yet modern secular counselors urge us to ignore both the word and what it tells us about our rebellion against God and his law. Sadly, the church too often serves as an echo chamber for such cheap and short-sighted wisdom. It's literature spreads the deceptive message that all is well. But it is only when we begin to see our sinfulness that we are able to discover God's forgiveness.

Although The Sinfulness of Sin was written three hundred years ago, it remains an oasis of truth in a desert of lies. First published in the aftermath of the Great Plague of London and entitled Sin, The Plague of Plagues, this book gives a crystal- clear explanation of what sin is, why it is so serious, and what we need to do about it. Here is reliable medicine for a fatal epidemic.


'Works like Ralph Venning's The Sinfulness of Sin have steered me into a greater understanding of God, his word, and indeed even my own heart. Few today would dare think so carefully and comprehensively about the Bible's teaching on the stuff of sin. Fewer still would dare write it. Perhaps even fewer have sat to read Venning's cogent study. But any who read this book will never think the same way about sin, evil, and God's grace in Christ Jesus. Thank you, Banner.' — DAVID GARNER

Table of Contents

Publishers' Introduction xv






Sin's Contrariety to God 16

1. To the nature of God 17

2. To all the names and attributes of God 18

3. To the works of God 19

4. To the law and will of God 20

5. To the image of God 20

6. To the people of God 21

7. To the glory of God 23

8. To the being of God 23

Sin's Contrariety to Man 25

1. Sin is against man's present good in this life 27

(1) In a natural sense 28

(i) It is against man's well-being in this life 28

(ii) It is against man's very being 34

(2) In a moral sense 35

(i) It has degraded man 35

(ii) It has darkened man's understanding 38

(iii) It has made man a fool 43

a. In relation to his chief and ultimate end 44

b. In relation to the means leading to happiness 47

c. As to the non-improvement or mis-improvement of means 49

Examples of man's folly 51

(iv) It has made man a beast 55

a. Like a beast 56

b. Like the worst of beasts 57

c. Worse than the beasts 58

(v) It has separated man from God in a moral sense 61

Effects of this separation from God 64

2. Sin is against the good of man in the life to come 65

The damnation of sinners is privative and positive 68

1) Privative damnation 70

a. Sinners will be deprived of all the good things they had in this life 70

b. Of the pleasure they had from them 71

c. All their peace 72

d. Their hopes of Heaven 73

e. All good companies 73

f.Heaven 74

g. God himself 75

h. They shall be incapable of any alteration for the better 76

2) Positive damnation 77

The damnation-state of sinners considered under six headings 78

1. The torment of Hell 80

a. The place with its names 80

b. The thing itself 82

2. The quantity and the quality of the torments of Hell 83

a. They will be exceedingly great and terrible 83

b. They will be universal 85

c. They will be without intermission 86

3. The duration of these torments 87

4. The tormentors 88

a. The Devil 88

b. Conscience 89

c. God 90

5. The aggravations of these torments 91

6. The effects of these torments 93



God himself bears witness against sin 99

(1) He has forbidden sin and made a law against it 99

(2) He will not allow us to do evil that good may come 100

(3) By threatening man 103

(4) He is angry with the wicked 103

(5) Sin alone made God repent that he had made man 104

(6) By many great and severe judgments 105

1. On sinners 106

2. On his own people 108

3. On his own Son 109

(7) He sent his Son into the world to condemn sin and destroy it 110

1. Christ's sufferings were for sinners 110

2. They were exceedingly great 112

(a) He suffered all kinds of suffering 113

(b) He suffered from all kinds of persons 116

(c) He had all kinds of aggravating circumstances united in his sufferings 117

3. Their greatness is a full witness against the sinfulness of sin 118

Angels bear witness against sin 119

(1) Good angels 119

(2) Evil angels 123

The Witness of Men 127

(1) Good men 127

a. Against other men's sins 127

b. Against their own sin 130

Objections against the witness of good men answered 134

They abhor sin as sin 134

They still sin 137

But they hate sin nevertheless 138

(2) Wicked men 140

a. They are ashamed of sin before and when they commit it 142

b. They are ashamed after they have committed it 146

(i) They dare not own their sin 146

(ii) They dare not look into their actions 148

(iii) They decry and punish in others sin which they themselves are guilty of 149

(iv) They usually fly to forms of godliness 149

(v) They desire to die the death of the Righteous 150

The most hardened sinners at one time witness against sin 152

The Whole Creation witnesses against sin 154

(1) As having done it a great deal of wrong 154

(2) With respect to God and man 155

a. The creatures teach man his duty 155

b. They convince men of many sins 157

(3) The creatures are instruments in the hand of God to punish sinners 160

The Law witnesses against Sin 161

1. Before it is committed 162

2. After it is committed 162

3. The law will not pardon the least sin 165

4. It cannot justify any man 166

5. It makes sin bound 167

6. It has become as a schoolmaster 167

7. It silences man from making any complaint 168

8. It leaves a man without hope 169

The Gospel bears witness against Sin 170

The Witness of Sin itself 176

(1) Sin's names 176

1. The work of the Devil 177

2. All filthiness of flesh and spirit 183

a. Sin is loathsome 183

b. It is polluting; and infectious 184

(i) In its universality 185

(ii) How suddenly it affects 187

a. How it increases in ourselves 188

b. How it increases in others 189

(iii) Its infection is almost incurable 190

(iv) It lives in its effects when we are dead 191

(2) The arts sin uses to disguise itself 192



Sin is the Worst of Evils 201

(1) It is worse than any affliction 202

(2) Worse than death 209

(3) Worse than the Devil 212

(4) Worse than Hell 213

(5) In every way the worst of evils 214

Inferences from the Sinfulness of Sin against God 217

(1) The patience and long-suffering of God with sinners is wonderful 217

(2) The judgments of God are just 221

(3) How precious a mercy is the forgiveness of sin! 224

(4) Sin is not to be committed on any account whatsoever 226

(5) How transcendently and incomparably beautiful a thing is holiness! 229

Inferences from the Contrariety of Sin to the Good of Man 230

(1) They who seek for any good in sin are miserably mistaken 230

1. There is no profit to man by sin 231

2. There is no honor to be gained by sin 235

3. There is no pleasure to be had from sin 236

(2) Time spent in sin is worse than lost 243

(3) Those who mock at sin are worse than fools and madmen 244

(4) It can never be well with a man while he is in his sins 244

(5) Men should become religious without delay 245

(6) How welcome should the Gospel be! 249

Exhortation and Counseling 250

(1) Repent 251

(2) Believe the Gospel 254

(3) Sin no more 257

(4) Take heed of living in any sin 258

1. Take heed of sintering in thought 259

(i) Sinful thoughts defile a man 261

(ii) They are an abomination in the sight of God 261

(iii) Thought-sins are root-sins 262

(iv) We must beg pardon for them 263

(v) The Gospel is to bring thoughts to the obedience of Christ 264

(vi) Conversion is in the thoughts of men 264

(vii) God keeps an account of thoughts 266

Directions 267

2. A warning against sinful words 274

(i) Sinful words are wholly forbidden 276

(ii) Unless a man take heed to his words his religion is in vain 277

(iii) They evidence sinful hearts 277

(iv) Evil words corrupt men and manners 278

(v) The tongue is either man's glory or shame 279

(vi) God will judge us for and by our words 280

Directions 282

(i) Let our words be few 282

(ii) Let us speak as we ought 284

3. Beware of sinning in deed 285

(i) Take heed of sins of commission 286

(a) Some of the best men have been guilty of this 286

(b) It is a great affliction to good men to be forced to omit duties 287

(c) It is a sin to be willing to omit a duty 287

(d) One omission makes way for another 288

(e) The more knowledge we have of a duty, the worse the omission of it 291

(f) Sins of omission are bad examples 292

(g) They are sins which God has judged and will judge 293

(ii) Take heed of sins of comission 295

(a) Of Your besetting sin 295

(b) Of sins as relative 297

(c) Of the sins of the age and place where you live 298

(d) Of the sins that attend your callings 299

(e) Of 'little' sins 308

(f) Of secret sins 310

(h) Of being guilty of other men's sins 312

[1] In giving occasion for them before 314

[2] As co-helpers of them 321

[3] As accessory after they are committed 323

Conclusion 329

Product Details

Title: The Sinfulness of Sin

Author: Ralph Venning

Publisher: Banner of Truth

Pages: 352

Binding: Paperback

Size: 18.1 x 12.0 x 1.9 cm

ISBN: 9781800402300

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