April 3, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – April 3rd, 2019
HOW TO MORTIFY SIN (Continued)
2). Expect relief from Christ
Raise up your heart by faith to an expectation of relief from Christ. Relief from Christ in this case is like the prophet’s vision; it “is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab 2:3). Though it may seem somewhat long to you while you are under your trouble and perplexity, yet it shall surely come in the appointed time of the Lord Jesus, which is the best season.
If, then, you can raise up your heart to a settled expectation of relief from Jesus Christ—if your eyes are towards Him “as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters” (Ps 123:2) when they expect to receive somewhat from them—your soul shall be satisfied. He will assuredly deliver you. He will slay the lust, and your latter end shall be peace. Only look for it at His hand; expect when and how He will do it. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Isa 7:9).
b. Jesus Christ: The ground of faith
But will you say, “What ground have I to build such an expectation upon, so that I may expect not to be deceived?”
As you have necessity to put yourself on this course, you must be relieved and saved this way or not at all. To whom will you go (Joh 6:68)? So there are in the Lord Jesus innumerable things to encourage and engage you to this expectation.
For the necessity of it, I have in part discovered it before, when I showed that this is the work of faith and of believers only. “Without me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing” (Joh 15:5), speaking with special relation to the purging of the heart from sin (15:2). Mortification of any sin must be by a supply of grace; of ourselves we cannot do it! Now, “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Col 1:19), that of His fullness we might receive grace for grace (Joh 1:16). He is the head from whence the new man must have influences of life and strength, or it will decay every day. If we are “strengthened with all might” “in the inner man,” it is by Christ’s dwelling “in your hearts by faith” (Col 1:11; Eph 3:16-17).
I have also showed before that this work is not to be done without the Spirit. Whence, then, do we expect the Spirit? From Whom do we look for Him? Who has promised Him to us, having procured Him for us? Ought not all our expectations to this purpose to be on Christ alone? Let this, then, be fixed upon your heart, that if you have not relief from Him, you shall never have any relief at all! All ways, endeavors, and contendings that are not animated by this expectation of relief from Christ, and Him only, are to no purpose and will do you no good. If they are anything but supports of your heart in this expectation, or means appointed by Himself for the receiving help from Him, they are in vain.
Now, further to engage you to this expectation, consider the following.