Walk and row

Managed two satisfying outings today. First my best time walking the 5K Ecos Parkrun  (36m25s) and second a best in the 5K on-line rowing competition (19m52s).

 

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Mortification of Sin (28)

More thoughts from John Owen about killing sin:

Think much of the excellency of the majesty of God.

Be much in thoughtfulness of the excellency of the majesty of God and your infinite, inconceivable distance from him. Many thoughts of it cannot but fill you with a sense of your own vileness, which strikes deep at the root of any indwelling sin. When Job comes to a
clear discovery of the greatness and the excellency of God, he is filled with self-abhorrence and is pressed to humiliation (Job 42:5,6). And in what state does the prophet Habakkuk affirm himself to be cast, upon the apprehension of the majesty of God?  (Hab. 3:16). “With
God,” says Job, “is terrible majesty.”  Hence were the thoughts of them of old, that when they had seen God they should die. The Scripture abounds in this self-abasing consideration, comparing the men of the earth to “grasshoppers,” to “vanity,” the “dust of the balance,” in respect of God.  Be much in thoughts of this nature, to abase the pride of your heart, and to keep your soul humble within you. There is nothing will render you a greater indisposition to be imposed on by the deceits of sin than such a frame of heart. Think greatly of the greatness of God.

The Practical Aspects of Prayer

This is true whatever the age-and the younger the better! The so called “Quiet time” or “Personal devotions”.

Young Calvinists

To finish off this series on prayer, this post will lay out four practical aspects of prayer that come out in the life and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first is simply time. In Mark 1:35 we read, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Even in the busyness of Jesus’ life and work of casting out demons, talking with his disciples, and preaching, he went into a solitary place to have communion with his Father in prayer. We likewise ought to set aside time to be alone and commune with God in prayer. Throughout the busyness of our lives as Christian young people, it is easy for us to overlook personal devotions, or at least, not make them a priority. We often find time for other things an allow those…

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Mortification of Sin (27)

This is Owen’s seventh direction for the killing of sin:

Rise mightily against the first actings of your lust, its first conceptions; suffer it not to get the least ground. Do not say, “Thus far it shall go, and no farther.” If it have allowance for one step, it will take another. It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a channel, — if it once break out, it will have its course. Or like the camel getting his nose into the tent AND the entrance of false teaching and practice into church denominations-JK
Therefore does James give that gradation and process of lust, chap. 1:14, 15, that we may stop at the entrance. Do you find your corruption to begin to entangle your thoughts? rise up with all your strength against it, with no less indignation than if it had fully accomplished what it aims at. Consider what an unclean thought would have; it would have you roll yourself in folly and filth. Ask envy what it would have; murder and destruction is at the end of it. Set yourself against it with no less vigour than if it had utterly debased you to wickedness. Without this course you wilt not prevail. As sin gets ground in the affections to delight in, it gets also upon the understanding to slight it. This is the CUTTING OFF Jesus speaks of numerous times, “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out”. If you know looking at a girl or woman will cause you to lust, and 99% of the time this is so, just don’t even look!-JK. Gill agrees, “that persons should make a covenant with their eyes, as Job did; and turn them away from beholding such objects, which may tend to excite impure thoughts and desires; deny themselves the gratification of the sense of seeing, or feeding the eyes with such sights, as are (giving in) to the flesh; and with indignation and contempt, reject, and avoid all opportunities and occasions of sinning; which the eye may be the instrument of, and lead unto:
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Mortification of Sin (26)

Owen continues his advice as to how we go about killing sin and walk in holiness:

Consider the occasions when your lust exerts itself and watch against them all.
This is one part of that duty which our blessed Saviour recommends to his disciples under the name of watching: Mark 13:37, “I say unto you all, Watch;” which, in Luke 21:34, is, “Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged.” (with worldly cares and excesses) Watch against all eruptions of your corruptions. I mean that duty which David professed himself to be exercised unto. “I have,” saith he, “kept myself from mine iniquity.” He watched all the
ways and workings of his iniquity, to prevent them, to rise up against them. This is that which we are called unto under the name of “considering our ways.” Consider what ways, what companies, what opportunities, what studies, what businesses, what conditions, have at any time given, or do usually give, advantages to your lusts, and set yourself strenuously against them all. Men will do this with respect unto their bodily infirmities aiming to avoid dangerous habits, situations, pollution, foods etc. Are the things of the soul of less importance?

Pentecost

Sung Psalm 65:8-13 (a harvest Psalm)

Read Leviticus 23:9-22

In Exodus 23:14-17 we are first introduced to this pilgrim feast called the feast of harvest and feast of first-fruits (of wheat harvest). Later in Exodus 34:18-22 it is called the feast of weeks but we are not told why, till we get to Leviticus where it is set in the yearly calendar between the other two great pilgrimage feasts namely Passover/Unleavened bread and Tabernacles. It was a one day feast.

During this feast there was a new offering of two wave loaves made of the newly harvested wheat  (cf Lev. 2:11 where all other meal offerings were unleavened). This was ordinary leavened household bread.

It occurred on a Sunday (first day of the week),  the day after the seventh Sabbath counted from the sabbath of unleavened bread and first-fruit wave sheaf offering of the barley harvest (day after that sabbath and day of resurrection-verses 15,16) and was ultimately fulfilled 50 days after the resurrection on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), when the first great harvest comprising the church occurred.

Mortification of Sin (25)

Continuing my summary and adaptation of John Owen’s treatise:

For the mortification of any lust so rooted in the nature of a man, Paul’s example is, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” (I Cor.9:27). The bringing of the very body into subjection is an ordinance of God tending to the mortification of sin. The bringing of the body into subjection in the case insisted on, by cutting short the natural appetite, by fasting, watching, and the like, is doubtless acceptable to God, so it be done with the ensuing limitations:–
(1.) Fasting and prayer are only a means for the end proposed, — the weakening of any lust in its natural root and seat. A man may have leanness of body and soul together.
(2.) Fasting and prayer in themselves cannot produce true mortification of any sin; for if they would, sin might be mortified without any help of the Spirit in any unregenerate person in the world. They are to be looked on only as ways whereby the Spirit may, and sometimes does, put forth strength for the accomplishing of his own work, especially in the case mentioned.

Compromise

Why do professing Christians reject the word of God and hence resist the Holy Spirit? BECAUSE THEY WANT TO COMPROMISE WITH THE WORLD THAT THEY LOVE MORE THAN CHRIST and they don’t want to stand out from the crowd but rather save their reputation, job or whatever. They are also denying the antithesis, the enmity that God put between Satan and his seed (the world) and the seed of the woman namely Christ and all his people (Genesis 3:15). HENCE the widespread belief in “common” grace which is in fact always particular (for the elect only) and the idea that fallen man still has something of the image of God (he hasn’t!). This is why Nicodemus was a secret believer and why the Pharisees wanted to prop up and stay in their false church! Count the cost of discipleship and be prepared to pay it!

Mortification of Sin (24)

  •  Consider the infinite patience and forbearance of God towards you
    in particular.  And will you yet sin against him?
  •  How often hast you been at the door of being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, and by the infinite rich grace of God hast been recovered to communion with him again?
  •  All God’s gracious dealings with you, in providential dispensations, deliverances, afflictions, mercies, enjoyments, all ought here to be considered. By these, I say, and the like means, load your conscience; and leave it not until it be thoroughly affected with the guilt of your indwelling corruption, until it is sensible of its wound, and lie in the dust before the Lord. Unless this be done to the purpose, all other endeavours are to no purpose. Whilst the conscience has any means to alleviate the guilt of sin, the soul will never vigorously attempt its mortification.
  • Being thus affected with your sin, in the next place get a constant longing, breathing after deliverance from the power of it. Suffer not your heart one moment to be contented with your present frame and condition. In spiritual things it is otherwise. Longing, breathing, and panting after deliverance is a grace in itself, that has a mighty power to conform the soul into the likeness of the thing longed after. Hence the apostle, describing the repentance and godly sorrow of the Corinthians, reckons this as one eminent grace that was then set on work, “Vehement desire,” 2 Cor.7:11. And in this case of indwelling sin and the power of it, what frame does he express himself to be in? Rom. 7:24. His heart breaks out with longings into a most passionate expression of desire of deliverance. Now, if this be the frame of saints upon the general consideration of indwelling sin, how is it to be heightened and increased when thereunto is added the perplexing rage and power of any particular lust and corruption! Assure yourself, unless you longest for
    deliverance you shalt not have it.

Adapted from John Owen.