Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

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March 27, 2019 by directorfsm

by John Owen – March 27th, 2019

Chapter 13
Speak No Peace (Continued)

1). If sin is not detested (continued)

   So was it with those in Psalm 78:33-35, in their great trouble and perplexity for and upon the account of sin. I doubt not but upon the address they made to God in Christ (for that so they did is evident from the titles they gave Him: they call Him their Rock and their Redeemer, two words everywhere pointing out the Lord Christ), they spoke peace to themselves. But was it sound and abiding? No, it passed away as the early dew. God speaks not one word of peace to their souls. But why had they not peace? Why, because in their address to God they flattered Him. But how does that appear? “Their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast” (v. 37); they had not a detestation nor forsaking of that sin for which they spoke peace to themselves.

   Let a man make what application he will for healing and peace, let him do it to the true Physician, let him do it the right way, let him quiet his heart in the promises of the covenant. Yet, when peace is spoken, if it be not attended with the detestation and abhorrence of that sin which was the wound and caused the disquietment,(90) this is no peace of God’s creating, but of our own purchasing. It is but a skinning over the wound while the core lies underneath, which will putrefy, corrupt, and corrode until it breaks out again with injury, vexation, and danger. Let not poor souls that walk in such a path as this, who are more sensible of the trouble of sin than of the pollution of uncleanness that attends it; who address themselves for mercy even to the Lord Jesus Christ, but yet will keep the sweet morsel of their sin under their tongue—let them, I say, never think to have true and solid peace.

   For instance, you find your heart running out after the world, and it disturbs you in your communion with God; the Spirit speaks expressly to you: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1Jo 2:15). This puts you on dealing with God in Christ for the healing of your soul, the quieting of your conscience—but yet, with all this, a thorough detestation of the evil itself does not abide upon you. Perhaps there is some detestation, but only in respect of the consequences of your sin. Perhaps you may be saved, but only as through fire (1Co 3:12-15). Perhaps God will still have some work with you before He is done, but you will have little peace in this life. You will be sick and fainting all your days (Isa 57:17).

   This is a deceit that lies at the root of the peace of many professors and destroys it. They deal with all their strength about mercy and pardon, and seem to have great communion with God in their so doing. They lie before Him and bewail their sins and follies, so that anyone would think—yea, they even think themselves—that surely they and their sins are now parted; and so they receive in mercy what satisfies their hearts for a little season. But when a thorough search comes to be made, there has been some secret reserve for the folly or follies treat-ed about—at least there has not been the thorough abhorrence of it that is necessary—and their whole peace is quickly discovered to be weak and rotten, scarce abiding any longer than the words of begging it are in their mouths.

(90) disquietment – disturbance
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

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