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November 29, 2022 - 1 Corinthians 13:12 (cont.)

In his second chapter, W. G. T. Shedd continues to reflect on 1 Corinthians 13:12 and the knowledge that we will possess in heaven: “The instant that any one obtains a clear view of the holy nature of his Maker, he obtains a clear view of his own sinful nature.” The prophet Isaiah had this experience when he saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” and the seraphim calling to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3) In the presence of perfect holiness, what possible response could Isaiah make but, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5)? When reflecting on the perfection of God’s law, what possible response could Paul make but “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24)?

What is the answer? We learn from Paul: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! . . . There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 7:24, 8:1). Shedd: “There is only one shelter from this storm; there is only one covert from this tempest. He, and only he, who trusts in Christ’s blood of atonement, will be able to look into the holy countenance of God, and upon the dread record of how own sins, without either trembling or despair.” Indeed!

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,

and did my Sovereign die!

Would he devote that sacred head

for sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done,

he groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree! --Isaac Watts (1707)

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