How deeply important it is that we should have a scriptural conception of the nature of sin and perceive that it is nothing less than contempt of the Almighty, the defying of His will, the disregarding of His authority, to the ruination of ourselves. Nothing is as truly humbling as a right view of sin, as plainly appears from the case of the convicted publican – smiting upon his breast and not daring to raise his eyes to heaven (Luke 18.13). Nothing will bring us into the dust, our true place before God, as a keen sense of our sinnership. The more we are awakened to the heinousness of sin, the greater check will that be upon us, causing us to act with more caution and conscience, and moving us to pray with increased earnestness for deliverance. The deeper be our realization of the vileness of sin, the higher will be our appreciation of the cleansing blood of Christ. Then see to it, brother preacher, that you preach not only against sin, but (frequently) upon sin itself – the fact that it is flaunting the red flag of lawlessness in the face of the King of kings.
It remains to be pointed out that we are entirely dependent upon the Holy Spirit for a vital and experiential knowledge of sin. One may read the Scriptures all his life and be able to quote accurately the various declarations about sin, and yet have naught but a mental grasp of the subject. One may be thoroughly acquainted with the most solemn facts about sin, and yet the heart be entirely unmoved. The Spirit, alone, can open our Satan-blinded eyes to see sin in its true hideousness. The Spirit, alone, can so convict us of depravity that our self-righteousness receives its death wound. The Spirit, alone, can make us so hate evil that we depart therefrom. The Spirit, alone, can make us conscious of the fatal malady which sin has inflicted upon us, so that we betake ourselves to the Great Physician for cleansing and healing. – Arthur Pink (1886-1952)
From: Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 32, Number 1 (January, 1953), reprint pp. 24-25.