The Deceitfulness of Sin
Hebrews 3:13
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Our vital energy finds issue in three great regions: those of thought, of word, of deed. In each one of these there is duty, and there is fault. In each of them there is the voice of God speaking in our consciences, there is the written law of God guiding, confirming, furthering, that inward voice; in each of them there is in us the constant disposition to set conscience and to set God aside, and to become our own guides, our own masters. Let us then take each one of there in turn, and show in each how manifold sin is, how deceitful.

I. Sons of THOUGHT. Nothing is so deceitful as the taking account of our own thoughts and feelings. Memory cannot copy faithfully the picture which has faded away, but overlays and tricks it out with fresh and unreal colours. Still, there is no question that our real thoughts can be got at, and their liability to sin justly measured, if we will spend time and trouble over it. We may venture to say that the great burden of our sins of thought will be found to consist in a want of honest, conscientious adoption and following of what we know to be real and true. When selfish views spread before us in all their attractiveness, the fertile plains of Sodom tempting us to dwell in them, does the course of self-denial to which we are pledged instantly assert its claim? When the temper is roused by insult, when the pride is stung by contumely, when the self-opinion is buffeted by designed slight, and the tyrant fiend of revenge springs to his feet in a moment, — do our eyes see, or do they refuse to see, the Spirit of the Lord lifting His standard against him?

II. Sins of WORD. And here I shall not speak of bad and unholy and impure words, of evil speaking, lying, and slandering: these are manifest: if we fall into these, we know it, we repent of it; but I shall speak of sins of word more beneath the surface, into which when we fall, we do not know it, of which, when we have fallen into them, we are little accustomed to repent. And I believe such sins will mainly be found, as regards our dealings with men, in stating or not stating the very truth of our sentiments and feelings and beliefs. I am not now speaking of hypocrisy, nor of any wilful and conscious disingenuousness, hut of a general want of clear and fearless truthfulness. When will men come to feel that the blessed gospel of Christ never was and never can be the gainer by any false statement, any equivocation, any shrinking from dangerous truth or unwelcome fact? If again the effect of this timid untruthful religion be bad on a man's self, much more is it hurtful and fatal on others.

III. Sins of ACT AND DEED: doing what we ought not to do, leaving undone what we ought to do. Oh that there were in any of us the habit of referring our questioning thoughts at once to His verdict whom we profess to serve; of guiding our actions simply, humbly, fearlessly, by His precept anmd His example! If we were earnest like Him, humble like Him, wise like Him, we should recommend and adornour unflinching course of Christian duty by quietness,by unobtrusiveness, by consideration for others, by knowledge what to say, and when, and to whom. It is not the busy protester against what other men do, it is not the man who is ever found up in arms against the usages of society, who does the good; but he who is gifted with sound judgment enough to overlook things indifferent, to join in practices which he himself would perchance not have chosen, it by so doing he may cheer, and bless, and hallow, and leaven, the society in which God has cast his lot. An unsocial, uncomplying, individualising life may be very flattering to pride; may serve as a salve to the conscience, and make a man fancy himself very good and pure; but there can be no doubt that such a course is a life-long sin, bringing dishonour on the blessed gospel of Christ, and hardening men's hearts against its influence.

(Dean Alford.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

WEB: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called "today;" lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

The Dangerous Deceitfulness of Sin
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