>Grace Gems for SEPTEMBER 2004
The carnal man’s trinity!
(“Soul Idolatry” David Clarkson, 1621-1686)
“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy
person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
For a such a person is really an idolater who worships
the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16
Pleasures, and riches, and honors are the carnal
man’s trinity. These are the three great idols of
worldly men, to which they prostrate their souls!
Idolatry is to give that honor and worship to ‘the creature’,
which is due to the Creator alone. When this worship is
communicated to other things, whatever they are, we
thereby make them idols, and commit idolatry. When the
mind is most taken up with an object, and the heart and
affections most set upon it, this is “soul worship”—and
this worship is due to God alone.
Now this worship due to God alone, is given . . .
by the savage heathen to their stick and stones;
by the papist to their angels, saints, and images;
by carnal men to their lusts.
There are two kinds of idolatry:
1. Open, external idolatry—when men, out of a religious
respect, bow to, or prostrate themselves before anything
besides the true God. This is the idolatry of the heathen,
and in part, the idolatry of papists.
2. Secret and soul idolatry—when the mind is set
on anything more than God; when anything is . . .
more valued than God,
more desired than God,
more sought than God,
more loved than God.
Hence, secret idolaters shall have no inheritance in
the Kingdom of God. Soul idolatry will exclude men
from heaven, as much as open idolatry!
He who serves his lusts is as incapable of entering
heaven, as he who worships idols of wood or stone!
“Therefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry!”
1 Corinthians 10:14