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The Way Of Iniquity - Downhill
"The great lesson to be learned from the whole is, sin is progressive, one evil propensity or act leads to another. He who acts by bad counsel may soon do evil deeds, and he who abandons himself to evil doings may end his life in total apostasy from God." - Adam Clarke
Matthew Henry once made this comment about sin - "None reach the height of vice at once."
Spurgeon added - "When people live in sin they go from bad to worse."
From the above statements, we can easily see that sin has a gradation - there are certain steps that men take to arrive at the height of impiety.
What are these steps?
There are three, and they can be found in Psalm 1:1.
1. Walks According To The Counsel Of The Ungodly
Psalm 1:1 says - "...walketh...in the counsel of the ungodly..."
The first step in the downward slide to impiety has to deal with casually walking...taking counsel from...following the advice of...acting according to...executing the plans and purposes of...framing one's life according to...taking measures from...or consenting to the principles, views, and suggestions of those who have cast off all Fear of God in their lives.
It is the conforming of one's life to the ungodly principles of those who are - unjust...wicked...living in neglect of their duties to God and man... embracing all kinds of unrighteousness...unconcerned about Christianity, spiritual things, or godly pursuits...forward in offering their advice against the Word of God and the things of God...as well as being at the command of every lust.
2. Stands In The Way Of Sinners
Psalm 1:1 says - "...standeth in the way of sinners..."
The second step in the downward slide indicates a more fixed and decided position.
Here the person places himself in the path, stations, or situations where "sinners" usually go, congregate, or are found. He demonstrates a deliberate inclination for their society.
Who are these "sinners"? They are the ones who err from the path of duty...willfully violate God's Holy Commands...and are determined to live in open rebellion to Him and in service to sin and Satan.
3. Sits In The Seat Of The Scornful
Psalm 1:1 says - "...sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
The third and final step in the downward slide of wickedness involves the greatest degeneracy of all.
Here the individual becomes utterly confirmed in his evildoing by becoming a permanent resident among the impious. He assembles... converses...holds meetings...and sits together with the infidels and scoffers. He is so hardened through the deceitfulness of sin that he mocks at...scoffs... openly defies...or treats with contempt and derision everything that is holy or sacred. His conscience is seared to the extent where he makes a mock at sin...lives in open rebellion against God's laws...and becomes an evil enticer unto others.
So here we see how a person who starts out with a casual consenting to the views, principles, or advice of the wicked - unless turned around - ends up in total defiance against God and everything pertaining to Him.
As Adam Clarke stated earlier - "...sin is progressive, one evil propensity or act leads to another. He who acts by bad counsel may soon do evil deeds, and he who abandons himself to evil doings may end his life in total apostasy from God."
It all starts with "bad counsel." That - in turn - leads to "evil deeds" which - unless stopped - lead to "total apostasy."
Reader, are you caught in the downward spiral of sin and iniquity?
Are you - at the present moment - listening to or entertaining the advice and counsel of those who embrace all kinds of unrighteousness, are unconcerned about the salvation of their souls, or have cast off all Fear of God from their lives?
Or perhaps you have gone a step further in that you are now congregating, "hanging out," or actually enjoying the company of those who are living in total rebellion toward God and His Holy Principles.
God Forbid - but maybe there is one who has even gone so far as to become "one of the crowd" in that you are now mocking, jeering, and scorning the very holy life and principles that you once embraced.
God - through His Word, Holy Spirit, and Blood - can free you from this downward slide into Hell. Call upon His name and be saved today.
Admit your wrongdoing and cry out to Him for His Grace to keep you from ever going that route again. He is more than willing to help you... turn your life around...and set your feet on the path of righteousness where you will find strength, safety, security, and victory.
O Christian, you may be wondering - how do I keep myself from ever entering the downward spiral of sin? What preventive measures can I take?
The Scriptures offer us three admonitions -
1. Stay In The Fear Of The Lord All Day
Proverbs 23:17 says - "...be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long."
2. Submit To The Guidance Of The Word
Psalm 1:2 says - "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night."
3. Avoid At All Costs The Path Of The Wicked
Proverbs 4:14 says - "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men."
We may be in this world but we certainly don't have to be affected by it. Through His Word, Grace, and Holy Spirit, God has made provision for our safety and victory.
Will you take heed to this warning from Him?
May God Bless His Word.