“Sin aims at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin of that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery, if it could; every covetous desire would be oppresson; every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head.”- John Owen, Mortification of Sin, 30.
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him…”- Hebrews 7:25.
It is extremely important to understand the weight and power of the sin that dwells within us. Owen is right. Within us all is the propensity to commit the worst and most heinous of evils. Within us all is the ability to murder senselessly, mar our marriages beyond recognition, forsake God in desperate and complete rebellion, and ruin ourselves. We would hate endlessly, lust continuously, disbelieve at the sign of the slightest opposition, and commit the most horrendous acts, the most disgusting sins we could imagine, if not for the Divine Hand of Almighty God. If left completely to ourselves we would be what we thank God we are not and would mirror what we are appalled at in others. It is important to understand that we are all on the edge of utter darkness if left to our own devices. We are so easily entangled in the thoughts that we could never struggle as another struggles, never face what others of the more “heinous” variety struggle with. And yet we all can. We are all in the “heinous” category. It is important to grasp this in whatever way we can because it helps to keep us from subtle pride and helps us relate to each other, to counsel and empathize with each other properly, and to love, comfort, and be patient with each other. But it is also important to understand this so we can understand the nature of our Savior. It is true that our sins can travel to the uttermost and have the ability to destroy completely, but our Savior has a greater power, to trump and undo sin, to go doubly to the uttermost to save that which is overwhelmed.
Are we overwhelmed with atheism? Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Are we overwhelmed with fearing others and seeking our identity in them? Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Are we overwhelmed with adultery? Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Are we overwhelmed with coveting? Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Are we overwhelmed with various addictions? Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Are we overwhelmed with overwhelming sin? Jesus can and does overwhelm our most overwhelming sins with His magnificent workings of grace. Though we have within us the ability to sin to the uttermost, Jesus has the ability to turn it back, reverse it, destroy it, and save to the uttermost. Because He lived righteously for His people according to the plan of the Father, was substituted on the cross in the place of His people for their sins according to the plan of the Father, defeated death and rose again on behalf of His people according to the plan of the Father, because He is the God-Man, He is able, by His Spirit and the definite plan of the Father, to save us no matter our struggle, no matter our ailment, no matter our disease. Let us, today, overwhelm our sin with thoughts of our overwhelming Savior, for He “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” (Eph. 3:20). Let us lift our eyes to Him, remembering the work He has done, is doing, and will do for His people’s good and His glory.