April 5, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – April 5th, 2019
HOW TO MORTIFY SIN (Continued)
2). Christ’s faithfulness
Consider His faithfulness Who has promised, which may raise you up and confirm you in this waiting in an expectation of relief. He has promised to relieve in such cases, and He will fulfil His Word to the utmost. God tells us that His covenant with us is like the “ordinances” of heaven: the sun, moon, and stars, which have their certain courses (Jer 31:35-36). Thence Da-vid said that he watched for relief from God “more than they that watch for the morning” (Ps 130:6)—a thing that will certainly come in its appointed season. So will be your relief from Christ. It will come in its season, as the dew and rain upon the parched ground, for faithful is He Who has promised (Heb 10:23). Particular promises to this purpose are innumerable. Let the soul be always furnished with some of them that seem peculiarly to suit its condition.
c. Eminent advantages
Now, there are two eminent advantages that always attend this expectation of succor from Jesus Christ.
1). Speedy assistance
This expectation of help from Christ engages Him to a full and speedy assistance. Nothing more engages the heart of a man to be useful and helpful to another than the man’s expectation of help from him, if justly raised and countenanced by him who is to give the relief. Our Lord Jesus has raised our hearts to this expectation by His kindness, care, and promises; certainly our rising up to it must of necessity be a great engagement upon Him to assist us accordingly. This the psalmist gives us as an approved maxim: “Thou, Lord, hast never forsaken them that seek thee” (Psa 9:10). When the heart is once won to rest in God, to repose itself on Him, He will assuredly satisfy it. He will never be as water that fails; nor has He said at any time to the seed of Jacob, “Seek ye me in vain” (Isa 45:19). If Christ be chosen for the foundation of our supply, He will not fail us.
2). Attend to all Christ’s ways
This expectation of help from Christ engages the heart to attend diligently to all the ways and means whereby Christ is accustomed to communicate Himself to the soul, and so takes in the real assistance of all graces and ordinances whatever. He that expects anything from a man applies himself to the ways and means whereby it may be obtained. The beggar that expects alms lies at the door or in the way of the person from whom he expects it. The way whereby and the means wherein Christ ordinarily communicates Himself are His ordinances. He that expects anything from Him must attend upon Him therein.
It is the expectation of faith that sets the heart on work. It is not an idle, groundless hope that I speak of. If now there be any vigor, efficacy, and power in prayer or sacrament(98) to this end of mortifying sin, a man will assuredly be interested in it all by this expectation of relief from Christ. On this account, I reduce all particular actings—by prayer, meditation, and the like—to this head; and so, shall not further insist on them when they are grounded on this foundation and spring from this root. They are of singular use to this purpose, and not else.
(98) sacrament – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. “Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by Christ, to represent him and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him, and solemnly to engage us to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.”—Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order, chapter 28. Baptists often refer to these as “ordinances.”