Fallen man can have no idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of God
“I do not think… that mortal man can at all realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin in the sight of that holy and prefect One with whom we have to do… He is the One who reads thoughts and motives as well as actions… The very animals whose smell is most offensive to us have no idea that they are offensive and are not offensive to one another. And man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect…
“… let us… settle it firmly in our minds that sin is ‘the abominable thing that God hates’; that God ‘is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and cannot look upon that which is evil’ (Jeremiah 44:4; Habakkuk 1:13).
“No proof of the fullness of sin… is so overwhelming and unanswerable as the cross and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole doctrine of His substitution and atonement. Terribly black must that guilt be for which nothing but the blood of the Son of God could make satisfaction… Nothing, I am convinced, will astonish us so much, when we awake in the resurrection day, as the view we shall have of sin and the retrospect we shall take of our own countless shortcomings and defects. Never till the hour when Christ comes the second time shall we fully realize the ‘sinfulness of sin’.
“I ask my readers to observe what deep reasons we all have for humiliation and self-abasement. Let us sit down before the picture of sin displayed to us in the Bible and consider what guilty, vile, corrupt creatures we all are in the sight of God… For my part I am persuaded the more light we have, the more we see our own sinfulness; the nearer we get to heaven, the more we are clothed with humility.
There is a remedy
“On the other hand, I ask my readers to observe how deeply thankful we ought to be for the glorious gospel of the grace of God. There is a remedy revealed for man’s need, as wide and broad and deep as man’s disease. We need not be afraid to look at sin and study it… if we only look at the same time at the almighty medicine provided for us in the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. Though sin has abounded, grace has much more abounded… Awful and tremendous as the right view of sin undoubtedly is, no one need faint and despair if he will take a right view of Jesus Christ at the same time.”
From the work of J. C. Ryle, from his chapter on “Sin” in his book “Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots”.