Thursday, April 24, 2014

John Owen counsels us:

Rise mightily against the first sight of sin. Do not allow it to gain the smallest ground. Do not say, 'Thus far I shall go, and no farther.' If you allow it one step, it will take another. It is impossible to fix boundaries for sin! It is like water in a channel. If it ever breaks out, it will flow on through the breach. it is easier to sop it in the beginning than after it has begun to run.

James teaches that sin is progressive (James 1:14-15). Do you find corruption beginning to entangle your thoughts? Rise up with all of your strength against it, as if it had already started to overcome you. Consider what an unclean thought desires. It desires to have you immerse yourself in folly and filth.

If you do not in this way attack temptation, you will not win the battle. If sin gains ground in your affections so that you delight in it, your understanding will also come to think little of it.

(John Owen, Mortification of Sin, [Banner of Truth, 2004], 85-86).

Romans 8:12-13 — So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

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