The power of Sin is a power unfathomable and indescribable. The great strength of sin consists in this– that it is a subtle and secret influence pervading and permeating every thread and fiber of the human mind, and acting in a way that must be felt to be known.

It is like a river, deep and rapid, such as the Danube (Europe’s second longest river), but flowing along so quietly and noiselessly that, looking down upon it, you could scarcely believe there was any strength in the stream. Try it; get into it. As long as you let yourself float with it you will not perceive its force; but turn and swim or row against it; then you will soon find what strength there is in the stream that seemed to glide so quietly along.

So it is with the power of sin. As long as a man floats down the stream of sin, he is unconscious of the power that it is exercising over him. He gives way to it, and is therefore ignorant of its strength, though it is sweeping him along into an abyss of eternal woe. Let him oppose it. Or let a dam be made across the river that seemed to flow along so placidly. See how the stream begins to rise! See how it begins to rage and roar! And see how soon its violence will sweep over or carry away the barrier that was thrown across it!

So with the strength of sin. Serve sin– obey it– it seems to have no strength. Resist it– then you find its secret power, so that but for the strength of God, you would be utterly carried away by it.

“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins!” [Matt 1:21]

i.e. from the penalty of sin in Redemption, from the power of sin through Sanctification and finally from the very presence of sin in Glorification!

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death (past), and doth deliver (present): in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us (future)!” [2Cor 1:9,10]

Praise the LORD!

(from the writings of J.C. Philpot)




J.C. Philpot

“Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith.” [Hebrews 12:2]

No one can ever run the race set before him, except by looking unto Jesus. He is at the head of the race; He stands at the goal; holding the crown of victory in His hand, which He puts upon the head of the successful runner. And we can only run on as we view Jesus by the eye of faith at the right hand of the Father opening His blessed arms to receive us into His own bosom at the end of the race.

Nor indeed can anyone really look to Him BUT BY THE SPECIAL GIFT AND GRACE OF GOD. He must be REVEALED to the soul by the power of God; we must behold His glorious Godhead and His suffering manhood by the EYE OF FAITH; and we must view Him as the incarnate God; the only Mediator between God and man.

We must see the efficacy of His atoning blood to purge a guilty conscience; the blessedness of His obedience to justify a needy, naked soul; the sweetness of His dying love as an inward balm and cordial against all the thousand ills and sorrows of life. We must see His glory, as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth; His suitability to every want and woe; His infinite compassion to the vilest and worst of sinners; His patient forbearance and wondrous long-suffering of our sins and backslidings; His unchanging love, stronger than death itself; His readiness to hear; His willingness to bless; and His ability to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.

Thus the heavenly runner looks not to the course however long, nor to the ground however rough, nor to his own exertions however multiplied, nor to his own strength whether much or little; nor to applauding friends nor condemning foes; but wholly and solely to the incarnate Son of God.

Jesus draws him onward with His invincible grace. Every glance of His beauteous Person renews the flame of holy love; every sight of His blood and righteousness kindles desires to experience more of their efficacy and blessedness; and every touch of His sacred finger melts the heart into conformity to His suffering image.

This is the life of a Christian,—day by day, to be running a race for eternity; and as speeding onward to a heavenly goal, to manifest his sincerity and earnestness by continually breathing forth the yearnings of his soul after divine realities, and to be pressing forward more and more toward the Lord Jesus Christ, as giving him a heavenly crown when he has finished his course with joy.



J.C.  Philpot

 Truth wrapped up in vague, general declaration is the sword in the scabbard which, as it wounds no conscience, so it pierces no error. Clear, plain, positive statements of divine truth are the two-edged sword which pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. This naked sword discovers the foundations of error unto the neck…

Much that passes for union in a church is merely natural feeling of friendship and regard as worshippers in the same place, and as from time to time brought together in a kind of social religious intercourse. REAL SOUL UNION IS ONE OF THE RAREST THINGS IN THE WORLD. There may be much warm shaking of hands, kind enquiry’s, and friendly looks and expressions, a few words about the sermon or general soul matters, where the Holy Ghost has neither given spiritual life nor cemented spiritual union…

Another prominent evil is the loose Antinomian spirit so widely prevalent in Calvinistic churches. This denial of practical godliness appears under a resting upon mere doctrinal truth in vain confidence of interest therein, without any vital experience of its liberating power or sanctifying effects manifest in the walk and life. Books, periodicals, and sermons are coming continually under our eye, sound in letter of truth, in which there is not the faintest attempt to enforce vital, practical godliness, either in its experience in the heart or in its influence on the life.

The highest doctrine is set forth in the most decided unflinching way; free will so called, is chased over hill and dale; the Arminians and Pharisees, soundly rated as the most weak and foolish of men, and shouts of victory are pealed forth to the triumph of sovereign grace. But there it begins and ends. A little shallow experience may be named; but of fruit, inward or outward, a godly life, a Christian walk, not a syllable.

Is fruit generally insisted upon as the mark of union with Christ?

Such fruits as self-denial, crucifixion of the flesh with its affections and lusts; laboring to know and do the will of God; repentance and godly sorrow for sin; mourning and sighing over a backsliding heart; a prayerful meditative spirit, and that sweet spirituality of mind which is life and peace – are not these vital realities positively ignored and not even named, much less insisted upon?

It would almost seem, from the general neglect of enforcement upon believers practical godliness, as if the elect might do anything they liked, and that we are saved not FROM SIN, but IN SIN; delivered from the curse of the law, not to walk in obedience of the gospel, but almost to do any abomination in which the carnal mind delights! (Jeremiah 7:10)

“To hope to be delivered by Christ while continuing in a known course of sin is one of the greatest delusions of the Devil!” [A.W. Pink]



J.C. Philpot

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” [1Peter 2:2]

The only real food of the soul must be of God’s own appointing, preparing, and communicating.

You can never deceive a hungry child. You may give it a plaything but still it cries. It may serve for a few minutes; but the pains of hunger are not to be removed by a doll. A toy horse will not allay the cravings after the mother’s breast.

So with babes in grace. A hungry soul cannot feed upon playthings. Altars, robes, ceremonies, candlesticks, bowings, mutterings, painted windows, intoning priests, and singing men and women; these dolls and wooden horses; these toys and playthings of the religious baby house, cannot feed the soul that, like David, cries out after the living God (Psalm 42:23).

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that came down from heaven, is the only food of the believing soul (John 6:51).

‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart!” [Jer 15:16]



J.C. Philpot

There is no promise made that in this life, we shall be set free from the indwelling and the in-working of sin. Many think that their flesh is to become “progressively holier and holier”—that sin after sin is to be removed gradually out of the heart—until at last they are almost made perfect in the flesh. But this is an idle dream, and one which, sooner or later will be crudely and roughly broken to pieces.

The flesh will ever remain the same—and we shall ever find that the flesh will lust against the Spirit. Our fleshly nature is corrupt to the very core. It cannot be mended. It cannot be sanctified. It is the same at the last, as it was at the first—inherently evil, and as such will never cease to be corrupt until we put off mortality—and with it the body of sin and death.

All we can hope for, long after, expect, and pray for—is that this evil fleshly nature may be subdued, kept down, mortified, crucified, and held in subjection under the power of grace. But as to any such change passing upon the flesh—or taking place in the flesh as to make it holy—it is but a pharisaic delusion, which, promising a holiness in the flesh, leaves us still under the power of sin.

The true sanctification of the new man of grace—which is wrought by a divine power—is utterly distinct from any imagined holiness in the flesh—or any vain dream of its progressive sanctification.



J.C. Philpot

“Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” [Micah 7:19]

Look at the promise contained in our text, “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” What a description this is of the way in which God takes all the iniquities of His people and casts them into the depths of the sea, so that they may be hidden forever from the sight of His eyes as a just, pure, and holy God, and be forever lost and buried in the depths of an unfathomable ocean. And what other sea, mystically viewed, can this be but the blood of Christ which cleanses from all sin, which has washed away all iniquity, purged all transgression, cast all the sins of God’s heritage behind His back, and drowned them in a sea unfathomable of grace, mercy, and love?


Satan with all his hosts can never drag up from the depths of the sea one of the sins of God’s people which He has cast therein. It does not merely say the sea, but “the depths of the sea,” the deepest place that can be found in the sea; so that sins cast into the depths of the sea are absolutely irrecoverable; for they have been cast there by God himself, and what He has cast out by His hand, His hand will never bring back. If YOU had taken your sins and cast them into the sea, they would have been found again. Like a floating corpse, they would have been thrown back upon the shore and been a witness against you, as the murdered body found upon the beach would testify against the murderer. The eye of justice would have seen your sins floating on the sea or stranded upon the beach, and the hand of justice would have laid hold of them, imputed them to you, and sent you headlong to hell with them, tied like a millstone round your neck.

But when GOD takes all our iniquities with His own hand, and casts them with His own arm into the depths of the sea, they will never come out of those depths to witness against the family of God in the great and terrible Day. Your sins now may seem to be all alive in your breast, and every one of them to bring accusation upon accusation against you. This sin is crying out for vengeance, and that for punishment. This slip, this fall, this backsliding, this foolish word, this wrong action, are all testifying against you in the court of conscience.

Do what you may, be where you may, live how you may, watch and pray how you may, keep silent and separate from the world or even from your own family how you may, sin still moves, lives, acts, works, and often brings you into guilt and bondage.

But if God has had mercy upon us He has cast all our sins with His own hands into the depths of the sea, and those sins have no more eyes to look at us with angry indignation, have no more tongues to speak against us in voices of accusation, have no more life in them to rise up and testify that they have been committed by us, that God’s law has been broken by them, and that therefore we are under its condemnation and curse. And there is no truth in God’s word more certain than the complete forgiveness of sins, and the presentation of the Church of Christ at the Great Day faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. [Jude 24,25]

Praise the Lord!



J.C. Philpot

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

The very word “confirm” implies that the souls of Christ’s disciples need strengthening. If there were no temptations to try, no sharp sorrows to grieve, no painful afflictions to distress them; or if, on the other hand, there were no sensible weakness of soul, no sinking of heart, no despondency of spirit, no giving way of faith and hope, no doubt or fear in the mind, how could the souls of the disciples be strengthened?

The souls of God’s people are not made of cast iron, against which arrow after arrow may be discharged and leave no dent, make no impression. The hearts of the Lord’s people are in a measure conformed to the heart of Christ. And what was his heart? “My heart,” he says, “is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” [Psalm 22:14]

And thus the Lord’s people, who carry in their bosom broken hearts and contrite spirits, made so by grace, are often sinking, often shaken, often cast down through the many trials they have to encounter. It is for this reason that they need confirming, supporting, strengthening, and that the Lord himself would lay his everlasting arms underneath them, lift them into his bosom, and make his strength perfect in their weakness.

And is not this the gospel way? Can I, by dint of creature exertion, brace up my soul to a certain pitch? If trouble comes, am I like a patient sometimes under the keen knife of the surgeon to brace up my nerves to bear the operation more unflinchingly? This is nature, flesh, reason; not grace. The Lord does not require this of his people. He dealt not so with his beloved Apostle, according to the account which he gives in 2 Corinthians 12. What did the Lord speak into his heart, under trial and temptation, that he might proclaim it upon Zion’s walls to the Church of the living God, “My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore, he adds, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” But it is very painful to the Lord’s people to find no strength when they need it most, no faith when they have the greatest need of it, no help when most required. To pass through this experience baffles and disconcerts many of the living family; but when the Lord is pleased in a mysterious way to communicate His own strength, and to make it perfect in weakness; when He deals with them, as with the worthies of old, who “out of weakness were made strong,” they can then bless the Lord for their very weakness, and, like Paul, glory in their infirmities, because the power of Christ rests upon them.



J.C. Philpot

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20]

There are three kinds of righteousness, or at least three kinds of righteousness which bear that name. There is inherent righteousness, of which we have none. There is imputed righteousness, which is all our justification. And there is imparted righteousness, when God the Spirit makes us new creatures, and raises up in the heart that “new man, which after God” (that is, “after the image of God”) “is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

When the Lord, therefore, said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven,” he did not mean only an external righteousness wrought out by his obedience to the law for them, but an internal righteousness wrought out by the Holy Spirit in them. Thus we read of the inward as well as the outward apparel of the Church, “The King’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold.”

Two kinds of righteousness belong to the Queen; her imputed righteousness is her outward robe, “the clothing of wrought gold;” but imparted righteousness is her inward adorning, which makes her “all-glorious within.” This inward glory is the new man in the heart, with all his gifts and graces, what Peter calls “the divine nature,” “Christ in the heart, the hope of glory.” [Hallelujah!]

P.S. “This must be so if the Church is conformed to her Head, for He was “without spot” externally, and “without blemish” internally.” – A.W. Pink



J.C. Philpot

“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” –Genesis 49:24

Our ancestors, you know, were celebrated bowmen. Victories were won at Cressy and Agincourt by the English cavalry, who were skilled in the use of the bow. Latimer says, in a sermon preached before the king, that no man could be a good archer who did not learn from his boyhood; and the custom he tells us was for the father to put his hands upon the son’s hands, to teach him how to shoot, and throw the whole strength of his body into the bow. When the boy drew the bow, it was not the strength of his own arm that drew the string, nor was it the keenness of his eye that directed the arrow to the mark.

The child appeared to draw the bow and to direct the arrow; but the hand of the father was upon the hand of the child, and the eye of the father was guiding the eye of the child; thus though the child seemed to draw the bow, it was the strength of the father that really pulled the string.

So in the case of Joseph to whom our text refers, “the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” God put his hands upon the hands of Joseph, drew the bow for him, directed the arrow, and hit effectually the mark.

Apply this to your experience. When you pray effectually, it is not you that pray; it is the Spirit of God who prays in you; for he helps our infirmities, and intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. When you believe, it is the Spirit of God that works faith in you; when you hope, it is the Spirit of God that produces hope in you; when you love, it is the Spirit of God that sheds abroad love in you; it is the arms of his hands that are put upon your hands, and they are made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.



J.C. Philpot

There was a time, child of God, when the world held in your heart the chief place. It was not so in God’s heart. You and He were therefore at variance. But now, through grace, you are brought to make eternity your chief concern. You and God are agreed there; for in the mind of God eternity as much outweighs time as the stars in the midnight sky outweigh a grain of dust. 

There was a time when you loved the world and the things of time and sense; and earth and earthly things were your element and home. You and God disagreed upon that matter; because the Lord saw that the world was full of evil, whilst you saw it full of good. The Lord saw the world under His curse, and you loved its favour and its blessing–seeking madly and wickedly to enjoy that which God had denounced; therefore you could not agree.

Thus you see that in order to be agreed with God, we must have God’s thoughts in our heart, God’s ways in our soul, and God’s love in our affections. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” But they must become such; and when once God’s thoughts become our thoughts and God’s ways our ways; when once we have the mind of Christ and see with the eyes of God, then God and we become agreed, and being agreed, we can walk together.

What is it to walk together? Why, it is to enjoy union, communion, fellowship, and friendship. Now as we are brought to agree with God, we walk with God. He has set up a mercy-seat on high, and when they thus agree, God and man may meet at the mercy-seat of the Redeemer. As the eyes are enlightened to see the truth of God; as the heart is touched to feel the power of God; and as the affections are drawn forth to love the things of God, we meet at the mercy-seat. It is sprinkled with blood; it contains and hides from view the broken tables of the law.

There God meets man in gracious amity, and enables him to pour out his soul before him and to tell him his troubles, trials, and temptations. And every now and then he sweetly relieves by dropping in a gracious promise, applying some portion of His sacred truth, encouraging him to believe in His dear Son, and still to hope in His mercy.