Sin and the serpent


J.C. Philpot

No man has ever sounded the depths of the fall.

The children of God have indeed discoveries of the evil of sin. And they have such views at times of the desperate wickedness and awful depravity of human nature, that they seem as if filled with unspeakable horror at the hideous enormity of the corruption that works in their carnal mind.

But no man has ever seen, as no man ever can see, in this time-state, what sin is to its full extent, and as it will be hereafter developed in the depths of hell.

We may indeed in our own experience see something of its COMMENCEMENT; but we can form little idea of its PROGRESS, and still less of its TERMINATION. For sin has this peculiar feature attending it, that IT EVER SPREADS AND SPREADS UNTIL IT INVOLVES EVERYTHING THAT IT TOUCHES IN UTTER RUIN.

We may compare it in this point of view to the venom-fang of a serpent. There are serpents of so venomous a kind, as for instance the Cobra de Capello, or hooded snake, that the introduction of the minutest portion of venom from their poison tooth will in a few hours convert all the fluids of the body into a mass of putrefaction. A man shall be in perfect health one hour, and BITTEN BY THIS SERPENT’S TOOTH shall in the next, be a loathsome mass of rottenness and corruption. SUCH IS SIN!

The introduction of sin into the nature of Adam at the fall was like the introduction of poison from the fang of a deadly serpent into the human body. It at once penetrated into his soul and body, and filled both with death and corruption.

Or, to use a more scriptural figure, sin may be compared to the disease of LEPROSY, which usually began with a “bright spot,” or “rising in the skin”, scarcely perceptible, and yet spread and spread until it enveloped every member, and the whole body becoming a mass of putrefying hideous corruption.

Or sin may be compared to a CANCER, which begins perhaps with a little lump causing a slight itching, but goes on feeding upon the part which it attacks, until the patient dies worn out with pain and suffering.

Now if sin be . . . this VENOM FANG, this SPREADING LEPROSY, this LOATHSOME CANCER; if its destructive power be so great that, unless arrested and healed, it will destroy body and soul alike in hell, the remedy for it, if remedy there be, must be as great as the malady. Thus if there be . . . a cure for sin, a remedy for the fall a deliverance from the wrath to come, it must be at least as full and as complete as the ruin which sin has entailed upon us.

The man who has slight, superficial views and feelings of SIN will have equally slight and superficial views of the ATONEMENT made for sin. The groans of Christ will never sound in his ears as the dolorous groans of an agonizing Lord; the sufferings of Christ will never be opened up to his soul as the sorrows of Immanuel, God with us; the death of Christ will never be viewed by him, as the blood shedding of the darling Son of God. While he has such slight, superficial views of the MALADY, his views of the REMEDY will be equally slight and superficial.

As we are led down into a spiritual knowledge of SELF and SIN, so we are led up into a gracious knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

By suffering all the penalties of our sin, Jesus redeems us from the lowest hell and raises us up to the highest heaven—empowering poor worms of earth to soar above the skies and live forever in the presence of Him who is a consuming fire!

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


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