Nothing Else but Sin
If the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease.
Although this regulation appears to be strange, yet there was wisdom in it, for the removal of the disease proved that the character was healthy. This evening it may be well for us to discover this principle to our profit. We, too, are in a sense lepers and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be completely lost and ruined, covered with the defilement of sin, with no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus and the grace of God.
Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy of the soul; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its deathblow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the afflicted soul. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth; and if the Holy Spirit is at work in us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips.
This text affords great comfort to truly awakened sinners: The very circumstance that so grievously discouraged them is here turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Digging out the foundation is the first thing in building—and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart. Spiritual lepers, aware of their condition, should take heart from the text and come as they are to Jesus.
For let our debts be what they may, however great or small,
As soon as we have naught to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large:
While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.
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