Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

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March 30, 2019 by directorfsm

by John Owen – March 30th, 2019

Chapter 13
Speak No Peace (Continued)

 3). If we do it slightly

   We speak peace to ourselves when we do it slightly.(93) This the prophet complains of in some teachers: “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly” (Jer 6:14). And it is so with some persons: they make the healing of their wounds a slight work. A look, a glance of faith to the promises does it, and so the matter is ended. The apostle tells us that “the word preached did not profit” some because it was “not…mixed with faith” (Heb 4:2)— that is, it was not “well-tempered” and mingled with faith. Healing is not from a mere look to the word of mercy in the promises, but it must be mingled with faith until faith is incorporated into the very nature of the healing. Then, indeed, it does good to the soul.

   If you have had a wound upon your conscience that was attended with weakness and disquietness of which now you are free, how did you come to it? You might say: “I looked to the promises of pardon and healing and so found peace.” Yes, but perhaps you have made too much haste: you have done it overtly, you have not fed upon the promise so as to mix it with faith, to have got all the virtue of it diffused into your soul—you have done it only slightly. You will find your wound, ere long, breaking out again; and then you shall know that you are not cured.

4). If you ignore an equal sin

   Whoever speaks peace to himself upon any one account, and at the same time has another evil of no less importance lying upon his spirit, about which he has had no dealing with God, that man cries “Peace” when there is none. Let me explain my meaning: A man has neglected a duty again and again, perhaps, when it was due from him in all righteousness. His con-science is perplexed, his soul wounded, he has no quiet in his bones by reason of his sin. He then applies himself for healing, and finds peace. Yet, perhaps in the meantime, worldliness, pride, or some other folly wherewith the Spirit of God is exceedingly grieved, may lie in the bosom of that man, and they neither disturb him nor he them. Let not that man think that any of his peace is from God! It shall be well with men when they have an equal respect to all God’s commandments. God will justify us from our sins, but He will not justify the least sin in us. He is a God “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Hab 1:13).

 5). If there is no humility

   When men of themselves speak peace to their own consciences, it is seldom that God speaks humiliation to their souls. God’s peace is humbling peace, melting peace, as it was in the case of David (Ps 51:17)—never such deep humiliation as when Nathan brought him the tidings of his pardon (2Sa 12:13).(94)

(93) slightly – negligently; superficially.
(94) The scriptural introduction to Psalm 51 places its writing as David’s response to his conviction of deep sin against Bathsheba and Uriah.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

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