Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
2 Peter 1:19-21
One of the greatest evidences of inspiration is the fact that the Bible makes no attempt to conceal the sins of GodŐs most eminent servants. Rather, it plainly exposes them and makes no excuse for them.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; but one day, while he lay in a drunken stupor, one of his own sons defiled him. Abraham was the friend of God; but he lied to Abimelech, subjected his wife to adultery, and took Hagar. Moses was the meekest man who ever lived; but he once smote the Rock, the token of GodŐs presence, which typified Christ, in a fit of anger. Aaron was GodŐs high priest; but he once led Israel in idolatry. David was a man after GodŐs own heart; but he took UriahŐs wife and had his faithful servant murdered to cover his adulterous theft. Peter was a chosen apostle of Christ; but he denied his Savior three times in one dark, dark night. Paul was, it appears, the most widely used, most influential of all the apostles. Yet, even Paul briefly fell into the snare of legalism at Jerusalem.
Why has the Holy Spirit so plainly recorded the sins of GodŐs most eminent saints upon the pages of Holy Scripture? Why is there no attempt made to cover, minimize, or in some way excuse their sins? I can give you four reasons.
1. These things are written to teach us that GodŐs saints in this world are sinners still. When a sinner is saved by the grace of God, he is made a new creature in Christ, given a new nature Ňcreated in righteousness and true holiness,Ó and made a partaker of the divine nature. But GodŐs saving grace does nothing to our old, fallen, depraved nature.
2. These things are written in the Book of God to teach us that salvation is by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). We stand before God as guilty sinners upon the footing of free grace alone. Grace chose us. Grace called us. Grace keeps us. And when we fall, grace restores us (Psalm 37:23-24; Proverbs 24:16).
3. Holy Scripture constantly exposes the sins of GodŐs most eminent saints and our sins to teach us that the whole of our acceptance with God is the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are Ňaccepted in the Beloved,Ó Christ alone is our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption. God the Holy Ghost has preserved the most vile and base sins of the most eminent examples of faith and faithfulness to teach us that we must never trust in ourselves and always trust Christ alone.
4. The Word of God constantly exposes the sins of GodŐs elect, past and present, to teach us always to be gracious, long-suffering, and forgiving with one another. We are all naturally blind to our own faults, but quick to see the faults of others. That ought not be the case. We should be quick to see and acknowledge our own and blind to the faults of others. We ought to be severe with ourselves and lenient with others. Oh, Spirit of God, teach me to be lenient, merciful, and forbearing toward my brethren. If I have any severity, let it be directed against myself. Teach me to forgive, overlook, and excuse the weaknesses and failings of my brethren.