Today we will consider the eight characteristic of a godly man: that he is an evangelical weeper. This may seem like a strange characteristic. After all, aren't believers supposed to be joyous? Why is weeping a grace? Watson will give us six reasons why a godly man weeps:
- He weeps for indwelling sin
- A godly man weeps for clinging corruption
- A child of God weeps that he is sometimes overcome by the prevalence of corruption
- A godly heart grieves that he can be no more holy
- A godly man sometimes weeps out of the sense of God's love
- A godly person weeps because the sins he commits are in some sense worse than the sins of other men
This godly sorrow also has three qualifications: it is inward, it is ingenuous, and it is influential. (By the way, what Watson means here by ingenuous is that the godly man weeps for the evil that is in sin more than the consequences of sin). How then are we to use this doctrine?
One use is to ask yourself, if you be one that never sheds a tear, whether or not you are actually godly. Can a man really be in love with Christ and not shed a tear for his adulteries with sin? Therefore, our second use is that we ought to pursue this characteristic. As Watson closes, "let us give Christ the water of our tears and he will give us the wine of his blood."
Do you agree that the sins of a believer are in some sense worse than the sins of other men? Remember Watson's reasoning: because the believer acts contrary to himself, because it is a sin of unkindness, because it causes reproach upon the name of God.
How would one go about pursuing the discipline of being an evangelical weeper?
Strokes of Genius:
On to Part 7...
"The sins of the wicked pierce Christ's sides, the sins of the godly wound his heart." (p.58)
"Divine tears not only wet but wash; they purge out the love of sin." (p.59)
"It was a greater plague for Pharaoh to have his heart turned into stone than to have his rivers turned into blood." (p.59)