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Archive for the ‘Sin’ Category

“To mortify a sin is not utterly to kill, root it out, and destroy it, that it should have no more hold at all nor residence in our hearts. It is true this is that which is aimed at; but this is not in this life to be accomplished. There is no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he aims at, intends, desires its utter destruction, that it should leave neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would so kill it that it should never move nor stir anymore, cry or call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its not-being is the thing aimed at. Now, though doubtless there may, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, a wonderful success and eminence of victory against any sin be attained, so that a man may have almost constant triumph over it, yet an utter killing and destruction of it, that it should not be, is not in this life to be expected.”

~ John Owen

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“To mortify a sin is not utterly to kill, root it out, and destroy it, that it should have no more hold at all nor residence in our hearts. It is true this is that which is aimed at; but this is not in this life to be accomplished. There is no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he aims at, intends, desires its utter destruction, that it should leave neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would so kill it that it should never move nor stir anymore, cry or call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its not-being is the thing aimed at. Now, though doubtless there may, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, a wonderful success and eminency of victory against any sin be attained, so that a man may have almost constant triumph over it, yet an utter killing and destruction of it, that it should not be, is not in this life to be expected.”

~John Owen~ Overcoming Sin & Temptation (Wheaton, IL; Crossway; 2006) p. 70-71.

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Oh, to be free from sin!

“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” Romans 7:24

The godly man has a deep sense of the evil of sin.

He looks upon sin as the bitter root, from which springs all the woes and wars, all the sadness and sorrow, all the pains and pollution, all the misery and madness, and all the torment and terror — to be found in God’s universe!

He regards sin as that abominable thing which God hates!

It is to him a loathsome object; and a subject fraught with all that is base, degrading, and horrible. He looks at sin as more dreadful than Hell! Indeed, he considers sin to be the evil of all evils, and considers that nothing is evil in comparison with sin!

He often thinks of sin as it has grieved God’s heart, murdered God’s only begotten Son, and vexed and resisted the Holy Spirit.

O if he could be but free from sin!

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be, has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is!” 1 John 3:2

~ James Smith

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Ray Ortlund shares four common strategies from the devil’s playbook.

We are not ignorant of his designs.  2 Corinthians 2:11

The Bible reveals to us the devil’s playbook.  How does he aim to defeat us?  To begin with, in these four ways:

One, a judgmental attitude.  In this passage in 2 Corinthians, the devil designs to make a church into a harsh environment, where people are “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (verse 7).  Such a church stops feeling like Jesus.  It starts feeling like a scene out of Kafka.  How to defeat this satanic design?  Repent of self-righteous judgments, and eagerly communicate Jesus’ forgiveness, inclusion, honor.

Two, normal human instincts.  In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus rebukes Peter, through whom Satan is speaking.  How did Peter open up to, of all things, satanic influence?  Not by consciously opening up to satanic influence.  All he did was think in normal human ways (“setting your mind on the things of man”).  All he did was set his heart on survival, making the way of the cross unthinkable.  Another of the devil’s designs.  How to defeat him?  Die to selfish survival.

Three, a spirit of accusation.  In Revelation 12:10 the devil is exposed as “the accuser.”  Another of his designs is to pierce our hearts with accusing thoughts about our sins – or even sins we haven’t necessarily committed, but we fear we have, or others say we have.  He spreads a mist of vague anxiety within ourselves and dark suspicion of others.  How to defeat this defeat?  Run to the cross for all our sins, and refuse to counter-accuse against our accusers.  A calm explanation might help at the interpersonal level.  But if the negative emotions are really intense, the only thing to do is not make the feeding-frenzy worse.  Wait on God to vindicate you.

Four, lying in order to win.  In John 8:44 Jesus calls Satan “the father of lies.”  It is his nature to lie, to deceive, to distort and twist and confuse.  He spreads his trademark behavior to others, especially in scenes of ungodly conflict.  He uses half-truths, self-serving accounts, spin.  How to defeat him?  Admit the plain truth, all of it, however embarrassing it might be.  We won’t die.  We will find it to be freeing.  Our safety and joy are always found in honesty before God and one another.

We have an enemy, and we know his strategies.  As C. S. Lewis taught us in The Screwtape Letters, we should neither ignore him nor obsess about him.  But fixing our eyes on Jesus, we can crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20) by humbly staying in, or humbly returning to, the ways of the gospel.

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Joe Thorn:

“As followers of Jesus we are daily confronted with our own corruption. If we are to grow in grace we must soberly, aggressively, and thoroughly address our sin and temptations. But what is the best way to do that? Here are just a few resources that have been helpful to me as I have sought to believe the gospel, fight sin, and resist temptation.

Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, Russell Moore
This is one of the best book on the subject. Seriously worth your time and money.

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, Kris Lundgaard
You’re justified and being sanctified, but sin still indwells you. You get that, right? Probably not, but this book will help you understand, and respond in faith. Short, insightful, powerful.

Overcoming Sin and Temptation, John Owen
Owen’s writing on sin and temptation is unmatched. This is a helpful edit of his work. Get it.

Licensed to Kill, Brian G. Hedges
Okay, this isn’t coming out until later this summer, but I have read the manuscript and it is excellent. Pre-order it. While you’re waiting for it to be released read his other book, Christ Formed in You.

The Sinfulness of Sin, Ralph Venning
A puritan classic that will help you see the the ugly reality and danger of sin while pointing you to the hope of the gospel. One of my wife’s favorite books! (That’s an endorsement you can trust!)

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A sobering reminder from Paul Tripp:

There’s loads of knowledge to be found, but wisdom is a rare commodity. Why? Because wisdom is one of sin’s first casualties. It’s hard to admit, but true none the less, that sin reduces all of us to fools. And the fact is that no one is more victimized by your foolishness than you are. You see the empirical evidence of the foolishness of sin on almost every page of Scripture. For example, you see foolishness in full operation in the tragic story of David and Bathsheba. This is why David says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place” (v. 6 NIV).

You read the story of David’s sin, and you say to yourself, “What was he thinking? Did he really believe that he’d get away with that? Did he completely forget who he was? Did he think that God was going to stand idly by and let this happen?” But David is not some extreme case of foolishness gone wild; you see evidence of the same foolishness in each of our lives daily. People could say of us again and again, “What was he thinking? What was she thinking?”

What does foolishness look like? Here are four of its most significant aspects.

Keep reading. . . 

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From the January 2007 edition of Tabletalk via DG

1. Learn to admit sin for what it really is.

Call a spade a spade — call it ‘sexual immorality,’ not ‘I’m being tempted a little’; call it ‘impurity,’ not ‘I’m struggling with my thought life’; call it ‘evil desire, which is idolatry,’ not ‘I think I need to order my priorities a bit better.’

2. See sin for what your sin really is in God’s presence.

‘On account of these the wrath of God is coming’ (Col. 3:6). The masters of the spiritual life spoke of dragging our lusts (kicking and screaming, though they be) to the cross, to a wrath-bearing Christ.

3. Recognize the inconsistency of your sin.

You put off the ‘old man,’ and have put on the ‘new man’ (Col. 3:9–10). You are no longer the ‘old man.’ The identity you had ‘in Adam’ is gone.

4. Put sin to death (Col. 3:5).

It is as ‘simple’ as that. Refuse it, starve it, and reject it. You cannot ‘mortify’ sin without the pain of the kill. There is no other way!

Read the entire article.

 

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