Mortification of Sin (19)

How to deal with besetting sins: Get a clear sense of:

  • The guilt of the sin perplexing
  • The danger manifold – Hardening
  • Temporal correction
  • Loss of peace and strength
  • ? Eternal destruction
  • Rules for the management of this consideration .
  • The evil of it (1.)In grieving the Spirit  (2.) Wounding the new creature (3.)
    Taking away a man’s usefulness.

John Owen


Mortification of Sin (18)

Consider the dangerous symptoms of any lust:

  • Inveterateness…if it is longstanding (Psalm 38:5)
  • False peace obtained under it e.g.  to apply mercy to a sin not vigorously mortified is to fulfill the end of the flesh upon the gospel, to cherish thoughts of it even when not acted upon, to only think of the consequences of the sin.
  • Frequency of success in its seductions
  • Its being attended with judiciary hardness
  • Its withstanding particular dealings (discipline) from God (Isaiah 57:17).


  • THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IS: Those who are Christ’s, and are acted in their obedience upon gospel principles, have the death of Christ, the love of God, the detestable nature of sin, the preciousness of communion with God, a deep-grounded abhorrency of sin as sin, to oppose to any seduction of sin, to all the workings, strivings, fightings of lust in their hearts. So did Joseph. “How shall I do this great evil,” saith he, “and sin against the Lord?” my good and gracious God. And Paul, “The love of Christ constrains us;”  and, “Having received these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all pollution of the flesh and spirit,” 2 Cor. 7:1

Mortification of Sin (17)

Keep thy heart (mind)!

Whilst a man keeps a diligent watch over his heart, the root and fountain of lust,  whilst above all keepings he keeps his heart, whence are the issues of life and death, lust withers and dies in it.

He, then, that would really, thoroughly, and acceptably mortify any disquieting lust, let him take care to be equally diligent in all parts of obedience, and know that every lust, every omission of duty, is burdensome to God..

Hear Paul, ”  And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.” (Acts 24:16).

Adapted from John Owen.

ONE Mediator!


  • Heidelberg catechism (one of the creeds of our church)
  • Q. 29.  Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is, a Saviour?
    A.  Because He saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins; and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other.
  • Q. 30.  Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?
    A.  They do not; for though they boast of Him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Saviour; for one of these two things must be true, either that Jesus is not a complete Saviour, or that they who by a true faith receive this Saviour must find all things in Him necessary to their salvation.
  • This last explanation rules out Mary as any kind of “co-redemptrix”.
  • A true Christian boasts only in the cross of Christ.
  • May this be a warning to all who follow a false religion, be it Bahai, Islam or Roman Catholicism.

Mortification of Sin (16)


Owen states that the true and acceptable principles of mortification are:

Hatred of sin as sin, not only as galling or disquieting, a sense of the love of Christ in the cross, lie at the bottom of all true spiritual mortification.

God’s work consists in universal obedience; Hence we have 2 Cor. 7:1, “Cleanse yourselves from all pollution of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” If we will do anything, we must do all things. Hence all sin of every sort is to be guarded against and mortified, not just one particular lust.

John Owen

Feast of Tabernacles (12)

Sung Psalm 118:20-29 (a Psalm traditionally sung at the feast AND sung by the crowds who welcomed Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday).

Reading Ezekiel 45:17-25

Verse 25 refers to “the” feast i.e. the Feast of Tabernacles and dwells on the sacrifices which are different from those in Numbers 29:12-40. The burnt offerings have no lambs, no eighth day is mentioned, the meal offerings given with the sacrifices change and there is more oil (see Numbers 15, 1/10 deal=an ephah) and the prince/king offers them. So why is Ezekiel changing the ceremonial law as a prophet and priest in exile? The Jews had a problem accepting this book as being canonical but as we believe they are Spirit inspired i.e. God-breathed then they are authoritative and point to the fact that there will yet be a total, radical change in the ceremonial law in that it will be totally abrogated by Christ who is the fulfillment of it all. Note that Stephen was charged with this same “crime” in Acts 6:13-14. Note well Hebrews 7:12.

Read Zechariah 14:16. This is a difficult passage but to my mind, since Christ is THE FULFILLMENT OF TABERNACLES, all who do not worship him will be plagued and ultimately destroyed. Read John 1:14 where Christ, the Word incarnate pitches his tent (body) among us just as God dwelt in the wilderness tabernacle (Lev. 26:11-12). The ultimate fulfillment of the feast is the new heavens and new earth where God dwells with his people (Rev.21:3)

Mortification of Sin (15)

Principle two:

There must be universal sincerity for the mortifying of every lust, or no lust will be mortified.
So when subject to a powerful, strong, captivating, vexing, disquieting lust that takes away peace; it is not enough to set yourself against that alone but you must be in constant communion with God, in reading, prayer, and meditation, in all the means of grace and in the rest of your life and habits not be loose and negligent. In other words you must be totally consecrated to God (Romans 12;1,2)

Hear the Heidelberg Catechism LD 44:

  • Q. 113.  What doth the tenth commandment require of us?
    A.  That even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness.
  • Q. 114.  But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?
    A.  No; but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience; yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.

The Bible is Sufficient

Because Scripture is the Word of God it partakes of the attributes of God whose word it is. This historical perspective defends the Bible’s infallible inspiration and perfection (see also Psalm 19:7). It is impossible for the all-perfect God to produce something imperfect. Scripture also possesses the authority of God. Scripture is the sole source of the knowledge of God, of how to love him and how to live for him. It contains all that is necessary for this life and our hope for that which is to come — the Sola Scriptura of the Reformation.  As the source of truth and authority, we must add nothing to it, especially man-made traditions because then they supplant it’s truth as Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:9). This is what Roman Catholicism does. Whether it’s creation, gender, relationships or church practice we need no supplementation to the Bible. It alone fully equips us (II Tim.3:15-17).



Full Article (p12)

Mortification of Sin (14)

To mortify sin:

  • You must be a believer (no death to sin without the death of Christ and it is by the Spirit we put to death…) Can sin be killed without an interest in the
    death of Christ, or mortified without the Spirit? The root must be holy, the foundation gold. There is no real meaningful killing of sin if you are not truly converted.
  • It is an act of faith…Acts 15:9, “Purifying their hearts by faith.”
  • First job on conviction is confession and note the promise attached (I John 1:9,10)

Adapted from John Owen’s book.

Mortification of Sin (13)

Lust gets strength by temptation. When a suitable temptation falls in with a lust, it gives it a new life, vigour, power, violence, and rage, which it seemed not before to have or to be capable of.
Some lusts are far more sensible and discernible in their violent actings than others. Paul puts a difference between uncleanness and all other sins: 1 Cor. 6:18, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins
against his own body.” The one temptation we cannot stand up and fight!-JK

“Sin,” saith he, “is crucified; it is fastened to the cross.” To what end? “That the body of death may be destroyed,” the power of sin weakened and abolished by little and little, that “henceforth we should not serve sin;” that is, that sin might not incline, impel us with such
efficacy as to make us servants to it, as it has done heretofore. And this is spoken not only with respect to carnal and sensual affections, or desires of worldly things, — not only in respect of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, — but also as to
the flesh, that is, in the mind and will, in that opposition unto God which is in us by nature. .

To labour to be acquainted with the ways, wiles, methods, advantages, and occasions of its success, is the beginning of this warfare. So do men deal with enemies. They inquire out their counsels and designs, ponder their ends, consider how and by what means they
have formerly prevailed, that they may be prevented. KNOW YOUR ENEMY!-JK

From John Owen.

Mortification of Sin (12)

Description of the mortification of sin

  • — the parts and degrees thereof
  • — The habitual weakening of its root and principle
  • — The power of lust to tempt
  • — Differences of that power as to persons and times
  • — Constant fighting against sin
  • — The parts thereof considered
  • — Success against it
  • — Summary.

The mortification of a lust consists in three things:–
(1.) An habitual weakening of it. Every lust is a depraved habit or disposition, continually inclining the heart to evil. Thence is that description of him who has no lust truly mortified, Gen. 6:5, “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually.” He is always under the power of a strong bent and inclination to sin. All lie towards the satisfaction of self. So the lust is a strong, deeply-rooted, habitual inclination and bent of will and affections unto some actual sin. Hence, men are said to have their “hearts set upon evil,” the bent of their spirits lies towards it, to make “provision for the flesh.” This sinful, depraved habit, impels with violence and impetuousness; whence lusts are said to fight or wage “war against the soul,” to lead captive as in success in battle, darkening the mind, extinguishing convictions, dethroning reason. The power of the lust depends on the disposition of the man, opportunity or temptation. Some more obvious than others e.g. uncleanness 1 Cor. 6:18, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.”

Adapted from John Owen.

Mortification of Sin (12)


Any particular sin will never be entirely killed or eradicated in this life as Paul says in Phil.3:12, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.”

Owen goes on to state what mortification IS NOT.

  • Diverting it is not mortification. “He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he has mortified the sin that he seems to have left. He has changed his master, but is a servant still.” Simon Majus gave up his sorcery but wanted spiritual gifts for personal aggrandizement.
  • Defeating it for a time is not mortification.
  • Turning from it in a time of chastisement or judgment and then being hypocritical is not mortification (Psalm 78:34-37).

Watching for Christ’s Return

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;” Luke 12:35 King James Version (KJV)

Let your loins be girded about,…. With the girdle of truth, Ephesians 6:14 keeping close to the doctrines of the Gospel, abiding faithfully by them, even unto death: the allusion is either to the eating of the first passover, Exodus 12:11 or rather to servants, who, in these eastern countries, wore long garments; and therefore, when in business, used to gather them up, and gird them about them, that they might perform their service with greater strength, more ease, quicker dispatch, and less hindrance: the phrase denotes readiness for business: and your lights burning (torches perhaps that were held in the hand-JK): and may design either the Scriptures of truth, which were to be a light or lamp unto them, guiding and directing them in the ministration of the Gospel; or the lamps of profession, which should be kept clear and bright, and good works, becoming them, that should so shine before men, that all may see them, and glorify God. The allusion is to persons waiting at a wedding in the night, with torches in their hands.   John Gill


Feast of Tabernacles (11)

Sung Psalm 60:1-6 (ref. to Succoth)

Reading Hosea 9:1-10

Regarding the name Succoth which means booths we have two places named “booths”. The first was east of the Jordan so named by Jacob after he built booths there for his cattle (Gen.33:17). The tribe of Gad was given territory that included this town (Joshua 13:27). Gideon whipped the elders of this city after they refused to succour his hungry men (Judges 8:4-16). It was also where Solomon’s bronze temple furnishings were cast, presumably in the thick clay.The other was in Egypt (Ex.12:37).

Booths in the prophets.

Is.1:8 mentions a look-out booth in a vineyard or cucumber field to guard it. Is.4:6 has a booth for protection (God’s of us) in the context of a salvation oracle. Amos 9:11-12 quoted in Acts 15:14-18 is prophetic of the building of the N.T. church after 400 years of no Davidic dynasty, which would involve the gentiles.

Jonah 4:5 speaks of the huffing prophet in his flimsy booth by Nineveh.

Hosea 12:9 in speaking to the Northern Kingdom the prophet mentions “tent” but does refer to the Feast of Tabernacles to be re-instituted (unlike Jeroboam’s idolatrous counterfeit) whereas 9:5 refers to it as “the feast” which can be proven from v1 joy, v2 agriculture and v4 wine and sacrifices, a feast they would not celebrate as they were under impending judgment.

Points: A tabernacle or booth is not a permanent but a temporary dwelling just like our earthly bodies, as we go through this wilderness pilgrimage, but God acts as our tabernacle of protection during this period as he leads us to the promised land.

Mortification of Sin (11)


[2.] Sin that is not killed weakens and  it darkens the soul. It is a cloud, a thick
cloud, that spreads itself over the face of the soul, and intercepts all the beams of God’s love and favour. It takes away all sense of the privilege of our adoption; and if the soul begins to gather up thoughts of consolation, sin quickly scatters them.

Now, in this regard does the vigour and power of our spiritual life depend on our mortification: It grieves the Spirit leading to spiritual weakness.  Men sick and wounded under the power of lust make many applications for help; they cry to God when the perplexity of their thoughts overwhelms them, even to God do they cry, but are not delivered; in vain do they use many remedies, — ” they shall not be healed.” So, Hos. 5:13,
“Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound,” and attempted various remedies: nothing will do until they come (verse 15) to “acknowledge their offence.” Men may see their sickness and wounds, but yet, if they do not confess and forsake, their cure will not be effected.

Mortification prunes all the graces of God, and makes room for them in our hearts to grow. The life and vigour of our spiritual lives consists in the vigour and flourishing of the plants of grace in our hearts. Now, as you may see in a garden, let there be a precious herb
planted, and let the ground be untilled, and weeds grow about it, perhaps it will live still, but be a poor, withering, unuseful thing. You must look and search for it, and sometimes can scarce find it; and when you do, you can scarce know it, whether it be the plant you look
for or no; and suppose it be, you can make no use of it at all. But let it be well weeded, and everything that is noxious and hurtful removed from it, — it flourishes and thrives;
you may see it at first look into the garden, and have it for your use when you please. So it is with the graces of the Spirit that are planted in our hearts. That is true; they are still, they abide in a heart where there is some neglect of mortification; but they are ready
to die, Rev. 3:2, they are withering and decaying. The heart is like the sluggard’s field, — so overgrown with weeds that you can scarce see the good corn. Such a man may search for faith, love, and zeal, and scarce be able to find any; and if he do discover that these graces are there yet alive and sincere, yet they are so weak, so clogged with lusts, that they are of very little use; they remain, indeed, but are ready to die. But now let the heart be cleansed by mortification, the weeds of lust constantly and daily rooted up (as they spring daily,
nature being their proper soil), let room be made for grace to thrive and flourish, — how will every grace act its part, and be ready for every use and purpose!

(3.) Mortification is the soul’s vigorous opposition to self, wherein sincerity is most evident and it leads to peace.

Adapted from John Owen

Mortification of Sin (11)

John Owen continues his exposition of Romans 8:13…

Every unmortified sin will certainly do two things:

[1.] It will weaken the soul, and deprive it of its vigour.

[2.] It will darken the soul, and deprive it of its comfort and peace.

[1.] It weakens the soul, and deprives it of its strength. When David had for a while harboured an unmortified lust in his heart, it broke all his bones, and left him no spiritual strength; hence he complained that he was sick, weak, wounded, faint. “There is,” saith he, “no soundness in me,” Ps. 38:3; “I am feeble and sore broken,” verse 8; “yea, I cannot so much as look up,” Ps. 40:12. An unmortified lust will drink up the spirit, and all the vigour of the soul, and weaken it for all duties.

  • Because it untunes and unframes the heart itself, by entangling its affections. It diverts the heart from the spiritual frame that is required for vigorous communion with God; it lays hold on the affections, rendering its object beloved and desirable, so expelling the love of the Father, 1 John. 2:15, 3:17; so that the soul cannot say uprightly and truly to God, “You art my portion,” having something else that it loves. Fear, desire, hope, which are the choice affections of the soul, that should be full of God, will be one way or other entangled with it.
  • The mind will dwell on this lust.
  • It breaks out and actually hinders duty. Godless ambition, unrestrained worldliness and the sensual pursuit of pleasure or providing for vanity, displaces the worship of God.

Adapted from John Owen

Mortification of Sin (10)



John Owen continues:

The usefulness of mortification (killing). Headings of this section…

  • That the life, vigour, and comfort of our spiritual life depend much on our mortification of sin. Strength and comfort, and power and peace.
  • The desperate effects of any unmortified lust; it weakens the soul, Ps. 66: 18, 88:3, 8.
  • All graces improved by the mortification of sin.
  • The best evidence of sincerity.

Acts (3)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

Acts 1:9-14

Part 1

  1. Scriptures referring to Christ’s ascension (in Bible order)

Psalm 68:18, 110:1, Mark 16:19, Luke 9:51, 24:51, John 3:13, 6:62, 7:33,8:14, 14:2-4,16:7,28, 20:17, Acts 3:21, Rom.8:34, Eph.1:20-22, 4:8-11, Phil.2:9, I Tim.3:16, Hebrews (10): 1:3-4, 13, 2:9, 4:14-16, 6:19-20, 8:1, 9:12,24, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Pet.3:22. Total  30. Why so many in Hebrews? Because the OT ministry of the tabernacle and high priest, especially on the day of atonement, are fulfilled in Christ’s ascension into the true tabernacle above where he as sacrifice and priest brings himself.

  1. The nature of Christ’s ascension was a bodily, miraculous ascension from earth to heaven in the final stage of his exaltation (Phil. 2:9) at the end of his earthly work. It signified his successful completion of all his work and his reward in taking his throne to reign (in grace over his church, his iron rod over the nations, and his providence over all things), entering the most holy place to intercede for us.
  2. In previous resurrection appearances he had appeared suddenly and also disappeared at will but in this one which was pre-arranged, he uniquely ascended bodily without change of state.
  3. Cloud(s) in Scripture have various significance. The cloud signified God’s presence in the wilderness, it hides a clear vision of God (Ex.13:21). Clouds and chariots signify God’s angels and it would be fitting if he was escorted into glory by those beings. He will come in the same way. We also have a cloud of witnesses (glorified saints) in heaven. See Matt.17:5, Luke 21:27, Heb.12:1, I Thess. 4:17, Rev.1:7, Ps.104:3, Ps.68:17, 2 Kings 2:11).
  4. In like manner meaning similarly, bodily, miraculously Christ will return but every eye will see him.
  5. Angels appear as at other times to bring a message to disciples to grant them understanding/interpretation c.f. Daniel, Zachariah, Mary, Joseph. White apparel signify their glory and holiness.
  6. The angels perhaps ask the question to encourage them to stop staring and get on with their business of witnessing.
  7. For himself the ascension of Christ meant his vindication, his glory, coronation and reward, joy (Heb.12:2), unlimited power, the Spirit without measure to pour out, the continuation of his work of intercession, his being out of reach of Satan and his demons, in fact Satan was permanently cast out of heaven at the ascension (Rev.12:10-12) and the prelude to his return.
  8. The significance of Jesus’ ascension for the church is the absolute confirmation of the effectiveness of his atonement (Lev.16:17), our future glory as we shall ascend likewise, the outpouring of the Spirit he earned, the fact he will come again, his reigning (and us in him) over self, sin and the world, his effective intercession for us and his preservation (by all his power) of us over all the power of Satan. We are seated with him even now (Eph.2:6).

Part 2

  1. The disciples went to an upper room in Jerusalem after the ascension because Christ had instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit was poured out (Luke 24:49, Matthew 28:16).
  2. A sabbath day’s journey was what the Jewish leaders had worked out was lawful to travel on the sabbath and about 1000 metres.
  3. The names plus the 120 in the room did not constitute the whole church at that time, but rather the closest disciples. There were other Jews and Gentiles e.g. Zacchaeus, Joseph of Arimathea, rich young ruler, Nicodemus, Bartimaeus, the man born blind, many Samaritans (John 4), the demoniac, the Syrophoenician woman and the centurion.
  4. The gathering were characterized by unity. They prayed in line with the Lord’s prayer and for the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
  5. There were ten days between the ascension and Pentecost because God works to a timetable and Pentecost, the time for the Spirit to be outpoured (in line with the wheat harvest and giving of the law) came 50 days after the waving of the sheaf of first-fruits (Resurrection) (Lev. 23:15,16) and was a time when Jerusalem was full of Jews and proselytes from all over the empire. Christ’s appearances lasted 40 days after the resurrection and then there were ten more till Pentecost. Ten is the number of completeness (10 commandments, ten plagues, ten virgins etc) and it meant they had to persevere in prayer.



Next study (DV) Saturday March 24th on Acts 1:15-26

Mortification of Sin (9)

Secondly. If this be the work of the Spirit alone, how is it that we
are exhorted to it? — seeing the Spirit of God only can do it, let the
work be left wholly to him. GOOD QUESTION!

[1.] It is no otherwise the work of the Spirit but as all graces and
good works which are in us are his. He “works in us to will and to do
of his own good pleasure,” Phil. 2:13; he works “all our works in
us,” Isa. 26:12, — “the work of faith with power,” 2 Thess. 1:11,
Col. 2:12; he causes us to pray, and is a “Spirit of supplication,”
Rom. 8:26, Zech. 12:10; and yet we are exhorted, and are to be
exhorted, to all these.

[2.] YET…He does not so work our mortification in us as not to keep it
still an act of our obedience. The Holy Ghost works in us and upon us,
as we are fit to be wrought in and upon; that is, so as to preserve our
own liberty and free obedience. He works upon our understandings,
wills, consciences, and affections, agreeably to their own natures; he
works in us and with us, not against us or without us; so that his
assistance is an encouragement as to the facilitating of the work, and
no occasion of neglect as to the work itself. And, indeed, I might here
bewail the endless, foolish labour of poor souls, who, being convinced
of sin, and not able to stand against the power of their convictions,
do set themselves, by innumerable perplexing ways and duties, to keep
down sin, but, being strangers to the Spirit of God, all in vain. They
combat without victory, have war without peace, and are in slavery all
their days. They spend their strength for that which is not bread, and
their labour for that which profits not.
This is the saddest warfare that any poor creature can be engaged in. A
soul under the power of conviction from the law is pressed to fight
against sin, but has no strength for the combat. They cannot but
fight, and they can never conquer; they are like men thrust on the
sword of enemies on purpose to be slain. The law drives them on, and
sin beats them back. Sometimes they think, indeed, that they have
foiled sin, when they have only raised a dust that they see it not;
that is, they distemper their natural affections of fear, sorrow, and
anguish, which makes them believe that sin is conquered when it is not
touched. By that time they are cold, they must to the battle again; and
the lust which they thought to be slain appears to have had no wound.
And if the case be so sad with them who do labour and strive, and yet
enter not into the kingdom, what is their condition who despise all
this; who are perpetually under the power and dominion of sin, and love
to have it so; and are troubled at nothing, but that they cannot make
sufficient provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof?

Great stuff Mr Owen!

Indoor Rowing


Coming back to some kind of form 12 weeks after major right femur surgery. Next week is the virtual world Concept 2 rowing championships over 1000m. You record your time in your local gym and upload it to Concept 2 website.


I need to make the weight of 75Kg. I still have ambitions to become Irish Record holder at a few more longer events but know I have a lot of hard wok required to build up endurance for 1000 and 2000m.


Very rarely row further though there are many regularly rowing 10K, half marathons etc.

The atmosphere of a real championship (never been to a European Championship)-some day?!

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8)

In the book which pre-eminently has as it’s theme the church, Paul describes the mysterious body of Christ made up of Jew and Gentile and alludes to the unsearchable, infinite resources that Christ possesses and which all believers have in him.

He is infinitely rich because he is divine and IS eternal life and blessedness. His riches are his glory and his fullness. We ought to extol him.

Full sermon by Rev. Martyn McGeown

Mortification of Sin (8)

How does the Spirit mortify the flesh?

[1.] By causing our hearts to abound in grace and the fruits that are contrary to the flesh. The apostle opposes the fruits of the flesh and of the Spirit: “The fruits of the flesh,” says he, “are so and so,” Gal. 5: 19-21; “but,” says he, “the fruits of the Spirit are quite contrary, quite of another sort,” verses 22, 23. Yea; but what if these are in us and do abound, may not the other abound also? No, says he, verse 24, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” But how? Why, verse 25, “By living in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit;” — that is, by the abounding of these graces of the Spirit in us, and walking according to them. For, saith the apostle, “These are contrary one to another,” verse 17; so that they cannot both be in the same subject, in any intense or high degree. This “renewing of us by the Holy Ghost,” as it is called, Tit. 3:5, is one great way of mortification; he causes us to grow, thrive, flourish, and abound in those graces which are contrary, opposite, and destructive to all the fruits of the flesh and of the thriving of indwelling sin itself.

[2.] By a real physical efficiency on the root and habit of sin, for the weakening, destroying, and taking it away. Hence he is called a “Spirit of judgment and burning,” Isa. 4:4, really consuming and destroying our lusts. He takes away the stony heart by an almighty efficiency; for as he begins the work as to its kind, so he carries it on as to its degrees. He is the fire which burns up the very root of lust.

[3.] He brings the cross of Christ into the heart of a sinner by faith, and gives us communion with Christ in his death, and fellowship in his sufferings: of the manner whereof more afterward.

John Owen

So the Spirit works by the FRUIT, FIRE and CROSS OF CHRIST -JK

Mortification of Sin (7)

Wrong ways to attempt mortification:


(1.) Using ways and means as Papists do that were never appointed of God for that purpose. Like rough garments, vows, penances, disciplines, their course of monastical life, and the like; concerning all which God will say, “Who has required these things at your hand?” and, “In vain do you worship me, teaching for doctrines the traditions of men.” Of the same nature are sundry self-vexations insisted on by others.
(2.) Because those things that are appointed of God as means are not used by them in their due place and order, — such as are praying, fasting, watching, meditation, and the like, these are the means only, subordinate to the Spirit and faith. These (Papist ideas) are sundry means to mortify the natural man, as to the natural life here we lead; none to mortify lust or corruption, (because they do not know the gospel and are not born again-JK).
Much is superstition and will-worship that has been brought into the world. What horrible
self-macerations were practised by some of the ancient authors of monastical devotion! what violence did they offer to nature! what extremity of sufferings did they put themselves upon! Search their ways and principles to the bottom, and you will find that it had no other
root but this mistake, namely, that attempting rigid mortification, they fell upon the natural man instead of the corrupt old man, — upon the body wherein we live instead of the body of death. For this work an almighty energy is necessary for its accomplishment; as shall be afterward manifested.

There are no other ways of mortification than:

Confession, forsaking of the sin, ruthlessly cutting off all that is offensive (crucifying the flesh), exposure to Scripture, praying in temptation-JK

Image of God?


The vast majority of Christians believe that man is in the image of God. Man WAS made in the image of God in the creation but is fallen man still a bearer of God’s image?

Emphatically NOT. Christ said of the unbelieving Jews,” Ye are of your father, the devil.” Is Satan in God’s image or his children? Fallen man has taken on the image of Satan and has nothing left of God’s image, not even an eternal soul, rationality, conscience or a will which the fallen angels still possess. Many large and well-known Christian organisations such as Answers in Genesis, the Christian Institute and Christian Concern (in the UK) believe in the sanctity of life BECAUSE man is in the image of God STILL. Not true! The image of God Scripture tells us consists knowledge (of God), righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24, Col.3:10), this fallen man does not possess. Life is sacred because of man’s original dignity.This message deals with all the relevant passages:

Feast of Tabernacles (10)

Sung Psalm 122 (pilgrimage Psalm so appropriate for Feasts)

Reading Nehemiah 8:13-18

The altar, Zerubbabel’s temple and the walls of Jerusalem had been finished. It was the second day of the seventh month. The first day was the Feast of Trumpets and Ezra had started reading the Law and teaching it (Ezra 7:10). The leaders humbly come to him for further instruction (v13). Leviticus 23 was to be followed and a combination of types of trees were used to erect booths-thick branches for the structure, willow for binding and weaving and palm leaves for covering. They got much of these on the Mount of Olives near the city. They may well have added material drapes. The booths were made on rooftops (flat), in the courts (yards) of houses, in the temple court, in the streets near the Water Gate and Ephraim Gate where there was wide open space (v3). This keeping of the feast was the best keeping of it since Joshua’s day some 900 years before because all men came, made booths and dwelt in them. According to v18, Deuteronony 31:11-13 was obeyed and the eighth day was a special sabbath or solemn assembly (Lev.23:39) which later included a water pouring ceremony which Jesus used to teach about his life-giving Spirit (John 7:37-39).

Mortification of Sin (6)

The second general principle of the means of mortification .

  • The Spirit (is) the only author of this work.
  • The mistakes of many in this business.
  • The Spirit is promised believers for this work, Ezek. 11:19, 36:26 .
  • All that we receive from Christ is by the Spirit.
  • How the Spirit mortifies sin Gal. 5:19-23
  • How he works and what is our duty.

From John Owen.

Holy Spirit (B.C. and at Pentecost)

John 7:39

“Which they that believe on him should receive; the apostles, and others, that had believed in Christ, and had received the Spirit, as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification; as a spirit of illumination and conversion; as a spirit of faith and adoption; but on the day of Pentecost they were to receive a larger, even an extraordinary measure of his gifts and grace, to qualify them for greater work and service
for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; he was in being as a divine person, equal with the Father and Son, so he was from everlasting; and he had been bestowed in his grace upon the Old Testament saints, and rested in his gifts upon the prophets of that dispensation;
because that Jesus was not yet glorified; he had not as yet gone through his state of humiliation; he had not yet suffered, and died, and rose again, and ascended, and sat down at the right hand of God; for the Holy Spirit was to come upon his departure, and in consequence of his sufferings and death, and being made sin, and a curse for his people; and through his mediation and intercession, and upon his exaltation at the Father’s right hand; when being made, and declared Lord and Christ, this should be notified by the effusion of his Spirit;” (John Gill) see Acts 2:33.

Mode of Baptism

Notes from CPRC Bible study.

Baptism is not by immersion if:

  • the object is too big (tables Mark 7:4)
  • the object is in an unsuitable position (standing Paul Acts 9:18)
  • the object did not get wet (Noah, Israelites at Red Sea)
  • when baptism means something else (Christ’s sufferings, Hebrews sprinkling, Acts pouring)
  • when there are too many people (Acts 2 and John’s baptism of thousands)
  • when there is not enough water (Acts 8)
  • when it is necessarily ubiquitous w.g Arctic, desrts.
  • if baptism is by pouring  or sprinkling (Acts 2, Hebrews 9, Numbers 4:3,8:7-Christ’s initiation into priesthood)

The sign is WASHING, NOT A WATERY GRAVE. The problem is SIN NEEDING CLEANSED, new life follows.

The essential meaning of baptism is a RADICAL CHANGE nothing else.

Christ’s burial was a sideways entombment not a down into the ground. Spirit baptism which is what is meant to be signified by water baptism is an outpouring of the third person of the trinity onto the elect recipient. We are not immersed in the Spirit and then taken out of him! Baptism in essence means a radical change, there are many Scriptural baptisms where no-one saved got wet (Israelites at Red Sea, Noah, Christ’s in his sufferings etc). Baptism does not necessitate immersion, in fact it is the wrong mode. Christ’s blood sprinkles our evil consciences and Jeremiah prophesied clean water sprinkled upon God’s elect.…

Romans 6 is about……Spirit baptism NOT water baptism. Spirit baptism is from above (John 3:3,5), washing of regeneration is what it pictures, death and resurrection are secondary as we are united to Christ BY the Spirit.

Mortification of Sin (5)

  • A man who does not mortify sin is someone who thinks lightly of sin and is a professor characterized as in 2 Peter 2:10 and likely to apostatize.

“All those who truly belong to the covenant of God hate their sin. This is because sin dishonors and offends the God whom they love. This is the emphasis of the word “sin,” which means to “miss the mark.” In keeping with this, the psalmist speaks of sinning against Jehovah. Sin does this too: it disrupts the fellowship and friendship he had with God in the covenant.”*

  • Witnessing this hardens others and deceives them into thinking they can do the same.

* Rev. James Slopsema  Standard Bearer of P.R.C.A. March 1st 2018




The superscription over the Cross of Christ, written by Pontius Pilate read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews“. Psalm 2 reads, “Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Can any Christian believer foolishly argue against the clear teaching of Scripture that the Lord Jesus Christ is king of the church who are the true Jews, and the church is Zion, the true Jerusalem above (heaven), which is the mother of us all? (Galatians 4:26).

Good is good to Israel (all his elect believing people)
God is good all the time!

There are a lot of hard things in life. A lot of bad things. When weathering the unexpected storms that are a staple of living in this world, it’s so comforting and encouraging to know, without a doubt, that God is always good! And because of His goodness, we know that everything He does is good, too.

Take a few moments today to listen to and consider the following verses that speak to the goodness of God. We hope you are encouraged by them. You can find them in the app or on the website!

Psalm 31:19 – “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!”

James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that  all things work together for good, for those  who love God, those who are called according to his purpose.”

Psalm 34:8 – “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

1 Timothy 4:4a – “For everything created by God is good.”

We hope you have a great day, and remember: God is always good to Israel!


Lessons from the Tabernacle


Moses tabernacle in the wilderness constructed by Bezaleel and Aholiab and other skillful men from all the offerings of the people including brass, silver, gold, wood and fine linen had specific specifications laid down in DETAIL by God (Exodus 36-40). This teaches us a basic biblical truth about true religion: it must conform to the will and nature of God. Much in the Bible exists to expose man’s tendency to make religion and worship suit his own pleasure and ideas about God, “I like to think of God this way” or ” As long as we are sincere it does not matter really how we worship him,” justifying, man-made hymns, bands, drama, testimonies etc. But if religion does not match the will of God it is ultimately futile (see for example Isaiah 29:13).” This is the REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE of worship.


Brother Lawrence and “Practicing the Presence of God.”


In the February 2018 copy of Beacon Lights, the magazine of the Protestant Reformed Youth (PRCA), Brenda Hoekstra severely criticised Brother Lawrence a 17th century Roman Catholic monk and mystic on his approach to covenant fellowship with God. Please read the article first if you can, and then read my response:

Response to “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brenda Hoekstra, Beacon Lights, February 2018

Firstly I want to thank Brenda for writing her provocative article and straightaway state that people who say they glorify God and worship him in washing dishes or taking a walk are not necessarily influenced by Brother Lawrence; indeed I doubt if most believers have heard of him. These folk who include myself, are only echoing what Col.3:23 states (and Brenda quoted) along with Rom.12:1 and I Cor.6:13-20 where it seems to me that ALL we do in the body is part of our spiritual worship.  Every part of our lives, including work, leisure, public worship, private devotions and our thoughts and prayers uttered verbally or silently, is meant to glorify our Saviour.

It is true that what must and does underpin true Christian religion is INTERNAL. We cannot please God without a new heart (mind). The battle within is between the old man of flesh and the new mind of Christ. We are to renew our minds by not conforming to the world but by being transformed in the renewal of our minds principally by the word of God preached and in its other forms. Hence our thought life is the battleground,  for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Our thoughts are known to God and are as important as our words and deeds. To lust is to commit adultery and to covet is to be guilty of idolatry! So when Brenda asserts that, “God does not encourage us to find him in such an inward, secret manner.” I object. How about David’s example in various Psalms e.g. Ps. 63:5,6, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” Psalm 94:19, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 19:14,” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” I contend that such meditation on our God must inevitably issue in praise, either spoken, sung, or quietly raised heavenwards. This whole aspect of our lives and experience are where we practice the presence of God, which then come to expression in our behaviour.

Is Lawrence alone in claiming a “continual conversation with God”? I think not. Didn’t Paul say, “Pray without ceasing” and “In everything give thanks” (I Thess. 5:17,18)? This can only be done when much of it is internalized, for we don’t go around thanking and praising God or petitioning him out loud.  Didn’t Abraham’s servant worship at the well when his INTERNAL prayer was answered and didn’t Nehemiah also get a positive response after his “arrow prayer” was shot to heaven INTERNALLY before speaking to King Artaxerxes? These men were about the duties of their masters (Gen.24:26; Neh.2:4). These examples are not to be divorced from time set aside for private devotion, which I am sure both these godly men practiced. Brenda states, “Internal thoughts to ourselves or to God about how much we love him as we walk in the woods or wash dishes may fix our minds on God but is not true prayer.”  As I already stated, to God, our thoughts, and some of them will be silent prayers, are as our actions, all known to him and heard by him and should be lumped together. She mentions the Lord’s Prayer as true prayer. Of course it is! BUT true prayer may not always include all the various components of the Lord’s Prayer, which is a compendium of praise, thanks and petition. Our prayer expressed or internally spoken may just be on one aspect of A.C.T.S.* It is also worth remembering that the silent cry of the Spirit within us is heard by God. Thus we must never underestimate or discount our internal thoughts and prayer life!

Who would disagree that we only come to God through Christ. Nevertheless, we need not state this in every prayer or end our prayers “in Jesus name” for them to be heard! We can be reverentially informal with the Lord our only Mediator who lives in us by his Spirit; and because we are united to him by faith this means we can and do enjoy constant fellowship with him.

With Brenda I concur that our prayer life “must be informed and guided by the Scriptures” and I would say for most mature and Reformed believers it is. This vitally important aspect is missing from Brother Lawrence’s writings and must weaken his assertions. Nevertheless, I cannot from Scripture fault his experience.  If Lawrence was guilty of underplaying the means of grace, then I agree Brenda has a point. Never ought we to hold that practicing the presence of God is a substitute for being in the Scriptures, for they are symbiotic (live off each other)! The likelihood was that those means including preaching, Bible study, prayer and fellowship would be dead orthodoxy (or heterodoxy!) in that monastery, whereas in our Reformed churches they are alive by the Spirit. We all agree these are the pre-eminent means of sanctification, but they are not to be divorced from everyday life but rather to influence them where the knowledge we gain is to be lived out (James 3:13). It is true that if we go by our feelings we are being deceived, and I would judge closeness to God as depending on whether we “walk in the Spirit” or “after the flesh” which grieves him (Rom.8:12-14, Eph. 4:30).

Lawrence was correct in saying that the smallest deed done out of love for Christ and fellow man pleases God (Mark 9:41) and saying he experienced God’s love and presence in the act: why not? In contrast he rightly criticised much done by those in “holy orders” in the monastery because God knew most, if not all, was done self-righteously for selfish motives. Benda states that, “Loving God is more than loving him in every activity…. We love Jesus Christ by sacrificially loving and serving others” but is that not a part of “every activity”? She goes on to say that our relationship with God by the Spirit depends on God’s sustaining (grace) and renewing activity. I agree entirely, but that water “bubbling up in us” (John 7:38) affects all we do whether the activities are “spiritual” or “menial and secular”. We are mistaken to compartmentalize life like that, for it hankers back to the sacred-secular divide of priest and people, tabernacle or temple as opposed to camp or city. God now dwells in all of us.

Is Lawrence not just speaking about our daily experience as believers, nothing smacking of elitism or mysticism?  This rich life does serve to unify us and enable us to reach out to others with the gospel as we share our lives of communion with God, which includes answered prayer and his grace to cope in adversity. I believe that answered prayer in the little things and giving thanks continually are an integral part of growing in grace and the knowledge of our Saviour (Phil.4:6,7). I write having read Lawrence’s letters which comprise the “Practice” and from personal conviction.  I do agree with Brenda that if Lawrence does not distinguish time in the word from other daily activities he is mistaken, but there are times to be like Mary AND times to be like Martha! We cannot be at spiritual activities all the time! We only deliberately skip the means of grace if we are backsliding. The challenge to all of us Reformed is to be present at all the means of grace organised in our churches and to practice daily personal devotions. If we do this alongside enjoying continual fellowship with the Lord, I do believe we are rightly “practicing the presence of God”. Let’s not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” by denying Lawrence has anything to teach us.

  • The acronym for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, which encompasses all the aspects of prayer.

Dr Julian Kennedy.


Feast of Tabernacles (9)


Sung Psalm 126 (return from captivity)

Reading Ezra 3:1-7

The situation was not unlike the first exodus from Egypt and after the wilderness wanderings when the Jews were commanded to keep the feast of booths.

The captives, over 50,000 in total who had returned with Zerubbabel (Sheshbazzar)kept the feast in the 7th month. First they built the altar (probably on it’s old foundation), then the temple (chapters 3-6). Note different order than when Moses reared up the tabernacle and Solomon dedicated his temple where in both cases altar and place of worship were dedicated simultaneously.

Fire came down on Moses’ altar (Lev. 9:24) and on Solomon’s (2 Chron. 7:1). Miraculous acts of God like this were dying out!

This was the first feast that was kept after returning from the captivity although the first kept after the temple was finished was Passover (Ezra 6:19-22); both were kept with joy. The joy of the Lord is the believer’s strength (Neh.8:10).

Mortification of Sin (3)

Owen now starts into the main section of his treatise with a summary:

  • Why is mortification a necessity, it is the duty of the best
    believers, Col. 3:5; 1 Cor. 9:27 because indwelling sin always abides;
    no perfection in this life, Phil. 3:12; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Pet. 3:18; Gal. 5:17, etc.
  • What abiding sin does in believers, Rom.7:23; James 4:5; Heb. 12:1 ,its fruitfulness and tendency with every lust aiming at its maximum.
  • The Spirit and new nature are given to contend against indwelling sin, Gal. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:4, 5; Rom. 7:23 .
  •  The fearful issue of the neglect of mortification, Rev.3:2; Heb. 3:13.

Only one inhabited planet–Earth!

I’m not the first Christian to wonder why and be amazed at the fact God is playing out his seismic spiritual warfare on this tiny planet!-JK                                                                  Herman Bavinck: “The earth may be a thousand times smaller than many other planets; in an ethical sense it is and remains the centre of the universe. It is the only place fit to be the dwelling place for higher beings. Here the kingdom of God has been established; here the struggle between light and darkness is being waged; here, in the church, God is preparing for himself an eternal dwelling. From this earth, therefore, we will continue to look up from where, both in a physical and an ethical sense, the rain and the sunshine and the increase will have to come, without imagining that we are thereby determining the place of heaven in an astronomic sense or know its precise location in the universe. To say, however, that scientific investigation has robbed God and the angels of their place of residence is absurdly superficial … To our limited vision, the universe with its measureless spaces is still one vast mystery; and one who does not find God in his or her immediate presence, in his or her heart and conscience, in the word and the Christian community, will not find him in the universe either, even though he equips himself with the best telescope that money can buy “(Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2 [God and Creation], p. 485).

From Limerick Reformed Fellowship bulletin Feb.4th 2018.


The daily offerings (Exodus 29:38) of two lambs and of incense burnt (Exodus 30:7) are Old Testament types pointing clearly to the need of every believer devoting themselves to God daily by taking time with him in the word and prayer (Bible time, quiet time etc). It was said of Moses, “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend ” (Exodus 3:11). That is our privilege even more-so (Heb.4:16). David was accustomed to more (Psalm 55:17). No reason we shouldn’t pray continually but we do need to set aside time to pray and read Scripture or listen to it being preached. A complete Bible reading plan helps.



Mortification of Sin (2)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13

  1. A duty prescribed: “Mortify the deeds of the body.”
    2. The persons are denoted to whom it is prescribed: “You,” –“if you mortify.”
    3. There is in them a promise annexed to that duty: “You shall live.”
    4. The cause or means of the performance of this duty, — the Spirit: “If you through the Spirit.”
    5. The conditionality of the whole proposition, wherein duty, means, and promise are contained: “If you,” etc.

This “if you” is not a contingent condition but rather a certain connection.

The intention, then, of this proposition as conditional is, that there is a certain
infallible connection between true mortification and eternal life: if you use this means, you shall obtain that end; if you do mortify, you shall live. And herein lies the main motive unto and enforcement of the duty prescribed.
So believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin (Rom.8:1), ought to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.

This must be done by the Spirit.

What is the body? It’s deeds? To mortify?

The body is the flesh, the corruption and depravity of our natures, indwelling sin, the old man. And to crucify him (he is already crucified in principle and dethroned) is to take away the principle of all his strength, vigour, and power, so that he cannot act or exert influence to bring forth the deeds of the body.

You shall live meaning, “You shall live, lead a good, vigorous, comfortable, spiritual life
whilst you are here, and obtain eternal life hereafter.”  The vigour, and power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh. Great stuff-JK!

Adapted from John Owen’s “Mortification of sin.”




These are visible appearances of God in the Old Testament often in human form. Most believe they are pre-incarnate appearances of the Son of God, Jesus Christ who is an eternal being (John 1 and 8:58) but was only incarnated in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago (Matthew 1:23).

Genesis 12:7-9 ─ the Lord appeared to Abraham on his arrival in the land promised to him and his descendants (Covenant blessing)

Genesis 18:1-33 ─ two angels and God himself in human form visit Abraham and Sarai who entertain them before they give them the message they will have a son in their old age and that Sodom and Gomorrha are going to be destroyed (Covenant blessing)

Genesis 32:22-30 Jacob wrestles with what appears to be a man but was God in human form (Covenant discipline)

Exodus 3:2-4:17 ─God appears to Moses in the burning bush, which many believe is a picture of the church (at that time Israel in Egypt) who are persecuted but not consumed. (Covenant call)


Exodus 24:9-11 ─ God appears, again in human form to Moses, Aaron, his sons and seventy elders.(Old Covenant institution)

Deuteronomy 31:14-15 ─ God appears to Moses and Joshua as the leadership passes from one to the other. ( Both types of the covenant head)

Joshua 1:13-15 ─ God appears as a soldier who proclaims himself to be captain of the Lord’s hosts. (Covenant conquest)

Since Christ is the covenant head and mediator it is fitting he appears at key times in covenant history.

Many accept that the Angel of the Lord was a pre-incarnate Christ. Genesis 16: 7-14, Genesis 22:11-18, Exodus 23:20-23, 32:34, Judges 5:23, Daniel 3:25 and 6:22, although in the majority of other cases it was probably a created angel. The fact is that Christ was portrayed in the Old Testament in many types and shadows and is specifically mentioned as present in the wilderness as the rock that Moses smote to bring out water (I Corinthians 10:4).

Mortification of Sin (1)

Owen states his treatise describing the killing of sin in Christian believers as covering:

  • Why it is necessary
  • Of what it consists
  • How it happens.
  • Some cases.

He is speaking of how to subdue the power of internal corruption that is in all of us. He speaks as a keen student of both fallen human nature and the word of God. “The reader is made to feel, above all things, that the only cross on which he can nail his every lust to its utter destruction, is, not the devices of a self-inflicted maceration, but the tree on which Christ hung, made a curse for us.”

Psalm 119:96

 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.”  
Psalm 119:96

Ever wondered what that meant?

John Gill is helpful, ” [but] thy commandment [is] exceeding broad; the word of God is a large field to walk and meditate in; it is sufficient to instruct all men in all ages, both with respect to doctrine and duty, and to make every man of God perfect; it has such a height and depth of doctrine and mysteries in it as can never be fully reached and fathomed, and such a breadth as is not to be measured: the fullness of the Scripture can never be exhausted; the promises of it reach to this life, and that which is to come; and the precepts of it are so large, that no works of righteousness done by men are adequate and proportionate to them; no righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ, is as large and as broad as those commandments; wherefore no perfection of righteousness is to be found in men, only in Christ; who is the perfect fulfilling end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believesRomans 10:4.

Love includes warnings and rebuke.

” The Holy Spirit honours Paul’s method as love and employs it in his book on love: ‘As my beloved sons I warn you’ (I Cor.4:14). His motivation for all his warnings, sharpness, and rebuke was love. That is a testimony to the church that she may not buy into the thinking that a sharp rebuke and irony and sarcasm are out of harmony with love.”

Rev. Nathan Langerak in “Walking in the Way of Love” a Commentary on Corinthians  available here: