Thursday, October 11, 2007

THE MORTIFICATION OF SIN

I have been reading John Owen's The Mortification of Sin lately. It is very quickly becoming one of the best books I have ever read. My top three right now are the Bible, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, and then Owen's book.

I am almost done with the book. It has cut me to the heart and slain me deeply. I have struggled with assurance of salvation for many years. Now I am convinced that I am either not a believer, or, if I am, that I am a most miserable believer. I highly recommend especially chapters 8 and 9.

My wifey took a quote from Owen and posted it on her blog about how God requires nothing less than universal obedience. When I read this quote in my car, tears came. As I read it to my wife one evening, it was difficult to read without crying. God blessed Owen with so much wisdom. I felt like I have come to one of the best doctors for my soul.

I too would like to place that quote here on my blog for my readers to consider. May our Lord bring us into true spiritual mortification!
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We must hate all sin, as sin, and not just that which troubles us. Love for Christ, because He went to the cross, and hate for sin that sent Him there, is the solid foundation for true spiritual mortification. To seek mortification only because a sin troubles us proceeds from self-love. Why do you with all diligence and earnestness seek to mortify this sin? Because it troubles you and takes away your peace, and fills your heart with sorrow, trouble, and fear, and because you do not have rest through it? Yes, but, friend, you have neglected prayer and reading! You have been vain and loose in your conversation with other things. These are just as sinful as the one that troubles you. Jesus Christ bled for them also. Why do you not set yourself against them? If you hate sin as sin, and every evil way, you would be watchful against everything that grieves and disquiets the Spirit of God. You would not be concerned only about the sin that upsets your own soul! It is evident that you fight against this sin merely because it troubles you. If it did not bother your conscience you would let it alone. If it did not bother you, you would not bother it. Do you think God will help you in such a hypocritical effort? Do you think that the Holy Spirit will help in the treachery and falsehood of your own spirit? Do you think He will free you from this so you are free to go and commit another sin which grieves Him?

‘No’, says God, ‘if I free him from this lust, I will not hear from him anymore, and he will be content in his failure.’ We must not be concerned only with that which troubles us, but with all that troubles God. God’s work is to have full victory, and universal obedience, not just the victory over the sins that trouble our soul.

‘Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God’ (2 Cor. 7:1). If we will do anything, we must do everything. So, then, our need is not only an intense opposition to this or that particular lust, but a universal humble frame and temper of heart that watches over every evil, and seeks the performance of every duty that is pleasing to God.
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John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, 50-51 (Banner of Truth)

Friday, October 05, 2007

ZWINGLI: A CALVINIST ON THE LORD'S SUPPER?

I was surprised to read the following quotes from someone quite unexpected:

"In the Lord's Supper the natural and essential body of Christ in which he suffered and is now seated in heaven at the right hand of God is not eaten naturally and literally but only spiritually."

"So then, when you come to the Lord's Supper to feed spiritually upon Christ, and when you thank the Lord for his great favour, for the redemption whereby you are delivered from despair, and for the pledge whereby you are assured of eternal salvation, when you join with your brethren in partaking of the bread and wine which are the tokens of the body of Christ, then in the true sense of the word you eat him sacramentally. You do inwardly that which you represent outwardly, your soul being strengthened by the faith which you attest in the tokens."

Yup, those quotes came from, you guessed it: Ulrich Zwingli!

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(The quotes are from his Exposition of the Faith sent to King Francis of France. Thanks to Tom Nettles for the quotes.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A PRAYER

O Lord, help me to hate that which is ugly and to love that which is beautiful. Amen.

Monday, October 01, 2007

MY UPCOMING DIET

Well, next month sometime I will be officially starting a weight-loss program with Kaiser Permanente called Positive Choice. I would start it now, but I have to complete a physical and a body assessment, and one class. So I'm sure that next month sometime, Lord willing, I will be starting it.

My sister-in-law did the program and she lost a lot of weight. She lost it quickly too. The only thing is, of course, keeping the weight off after you lose it. I have a personal trainer who I work with three times a week, and I try to do cardio every other day except for the Lord's Day. So, I anticipate keeping the weight off.

The diet consists of liquid formulas, and it's only like 425 calories a day. They are formulated to give your body all the nutrition it needs so you can lose the weight fast, as well as in a healthy way. You are monitored by a personal physician and also have to keep going to the lab every week.

The only downside is that I have to go to a weekly "support group" where I have to meet with a psychologist. Yuck! But one of my elders told me not to let that stop me, so away I go.

Please pray for me! This will be 5 months of only these liquid formulas (and some kind of soup broth as well). I have 60 lbs. to lose, and I wouldn't mind losing even more.

I do plan on having my final fling with food the nights before I start. :0D

Anyways, I am looking forward to losing all that weight in 5 months that it took me ten years to put on.