It seems almost counter-intuitive. How can a greater knowledge of our falleness actually serve to encourage our hearts in Christ? Surely, considering the depth of our sin will only lead us to despair?
Well, no, argues that great 19th century ‘Prince of Preachers’, Charles Spurgeon. Actually, the biblical truth is quite the opposite. As we understand our true corrupted nature in Adam, our own sin and struggles will no longer surprise us; and the grace of God, by comparison, will be all the greater and more wonderful to us.
“God saw the light that it was good.” This leads me to say to the young Christian, the Lord would have you encouraged. You have been looking at yourself since you have been converted and, perhaps, you have grown desponding, and have cried, “Alas, I am vile! I did not know all that was in me!” No, and you do not know all that is in you now. “But I am so bad.” Let me assure you, you are a great deal worse than you think you are. “Alas, Sir, I see enough to drive me to despair.” Yes, but if you could see the whole truth about yourself, you would be driven to self-despair 10 times over! You are so bad as to be hopeless! And you had better know it, too! I often thank God for teaching me early that my old nature was dead and corrupt, so that nothing has surprised me since. I commenced as a penniless bankrupt and I have, therefore, never become poorer! I began naked and, therefore, I have never lost a rag! I was dead, utterly dead, and therefore I have lost no strength!
It is a necessary thing for you to know that in your flesh there dwells no good thing. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither, indeed, can be.” Put that down at the first, as an ascertained fact, and then nothing will amaze you afterwards! Your nature is incorrigible and incurable! But there is gracious light in you which God has put there and God delights in you because of it. Though you may have been born to God but a week ago and are a poor little crying baby in the nursery of the Lord’s house, yet your Father loves you and sets great store by the Grace He has given you! Now, do not be downcast! Say to yourself, “The Lord has said that the faith which He has given me is good. He has said that this little love that I have for Him is good. I will be encouraged, for if He has begun a good work in me, He will carry it on.”