The Depth of Our Ruin

“The seat of free-will is not so much a man’s head as a man’s heart; and, therefore, a few notional opinions about grace in the head can never touch the seat of the disease. If I have a wound in my head, there is no use putting a plaster on my arm; if I have an affection in my heart, there is no use prescribing for a pain in my head; we must have the remedy just where the malady is. Now that wretched spawn of free-will, that proud opinion of merit, that miserable self-righteousness, which is the very element of creature religion, has its seat in the heart; and, therefore, out of the heart does it continually pour forth its poisonous breath. In order, then, to give a mortal stab to this self-righteousness, in order to pluck up by the very roots, and pull away the quivering fibers of this wretched free-will, which is interwoven with every nerve, vein, and artery of our nature, we must have the power of God to come into our heart. In order then, to understand, feel, and appreciate what grace is, we must first learn the depth of our ruin, we must know the plague and leprosy of sin, and thus come into that spot of which the Lord speaks by his prophet –

“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint; from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores”. Isa 1:5,6

To stand before God a mass of filth and corruption; to feel that it is almost impossible that God can ever look down with pity and love upon such a wretch; to believe that there would be as much mercy for Satan himself, if there were not a Mediator who has taken our flesh into union with himself-to have some of these painful feelings wrought into his heart will teach a man his need of grace.”- J. C. Philpot


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