January 12, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 12th 2019
Chapter 2 – CONTINUOUS ACTIVITY OF INDWELLING SIN Continued
c. Results of sin
Sin will not only be striving, acting, rebelling, troubling, disquieting, but if let alone, if not continually mortified, it will bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, soul-destroying sins. The apostle tells us what the works and fruits of it are: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness(16), Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Gal 5:19-21). You know what it did in David and many others. Sin aims always at the utmost: every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it might have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression; every thought of unbelief would be atheism, if sin could fully develop. Men may come to the point that sin may not be heard speaking a scandalous word in their hearts—that is, provoking to any great sin with scandal in its mouth—but yet every rise of lust, if it could have its course, would come to the height of villainy. It is like the grave that is never satisfied (Pro 30:15-16).
And herein lies no small share of the deceitfulness of sin by which it prevails to the hardening of men, and so to their ruin (Heb 3:13). It is modest, as it were, in its first motions and proposals; but having once got footing in the heart by them it constantly makes good its ground and presses on to some further advances in the same kind. This new acting and pressing forward makes the soul take little notice of what an entrance to a falling off from God is already made. It thinks all is indifferently well if there be no further progress. Now, so far as the soul is made insensible of any sin—that is, as to such a sense as the gospel requires—so far it is hardened. But sin is still pressing forward, and that because it has no bounds but that it proceeds to its ultimate goal: the utter abandonment of God and opposition to Him. That it proceeds towards its height by degrees, making good the ground it has got by hardening the heart, is not from its nature but its deceitfulness.
Now, nothing can prevent this but mortification, which withers the root and strikes at the head of sin every hour, so that sin is crossed in whatever it aims at. There is not the best saint in the world but if he should give over this duty would fall into as many cursed sins as ever any did of his kind.