March 11, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – March 11th, 2019
Clear Sense of Sin
2). How to understand your guilt
In order to a right judgment of your guilt, take these considerations to your assistance.
a). Guilt heightened by grace received
Though the power of sin is weakened by inherent(78) grace in them that have it, so that sin shall not have dominion over them as it has over others, yet the guilt of sin that still abides and remains is aggravated and heightened by that grace. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom 6:1-2). “How shall we, that are dead?”—the emphasis is on the word we. How shall we do it, who, as he afterward describes it, have received grace from Christ to the contrary? That is, we, doubtless, are more evil than any if we do it. I shall not insist on the special aggravations of the sins of such persons—how they sin against more love, mercy, grace, assistance, relief, means, and deliverances than others. But let this consideration abide in your mind: there is inconceivably more evil and guilt in the evil of your heart that remains, than there would be in so much sin if you had no grace at all.
b). Realize what God sees
Observe that, as God sees abundance of beauty and excellence in the desires of the heart of His servants—more than in any of the most glorious works of other men; yea, more than in most of their own outward performances, which have a greater mixture of sin than the desires and pantings of grace in the heart have—so God sees a great deal of evil in the working of lust in their hearts. Yes, He sees more evil in their lusts than in the open, notorious acts of wicked men, or in many outward sins where into the saints may fall—seeing that there is more opposition made against them, and more humiliation generally follows them. Thus Christ, dealing with His decaying children, goes to the root with them, laying aside their profession: “I know thy works” (Rev 3:15). That is, I know you: you are quite another thing than you profess, and this makes you abominable.
So, then, let these things, and the like considerations, lead you to a clear sense of the guilt of your indwelling lust, that there may be no room in your heart for lessening or excusing those thoughts by which sin insensibly will get strength and prevail.
(78) inherent – indwelling.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from:The Chapel Library • firstname.lastname@example.org