The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, destitute of good, and prone to evil. This is the character of mankind universally, and those who are made partakers of grace are renewed but in part; the evil nature still cleaves to them, and the root of sin, though mortified, is far from being dead. While the cause remains, it will have effects; and while we are burdened with the body of this death, we must groan under it.
But we need not be swallowed up with over-much sorrow, since we have, in Jesus—a Savior, a Righteousness, an Advocate, a Shepherd. “He knows our frame, and remembers that we are but dust.” If sin abounds in us—grace abounds much more in him. Nor would he allow sin to remain in his people—if he did not know how to over-rule it, and make it an occasion of endearing his love and grace so much the more to their souls.
The Lord forbid, that we should plead his goodness as an encouragement to sloth and indifference! Humiliation, godly sorrow, and self-abasement, befit us; but, at the same time, we may rejoice in the Lord. Though sin remains in us—it shall not have dominion over us; though it wars in us—it shall not prevail against us. We have a Mercy-seat sprinkled with blood; we have an Advocate with the Father; we are called to this warfare, and we fight under the eye of the Captain of our salvation, who is always near to renew our strength, to heal our wounds, and to cover our heads in the heat of battle.