John Owen talking about hating sin, here he was laying the principle that sometimes we want to mortify a particular sin because it grieves us, and gives us no peace.
If you hate sin as sin, every evil way, you would be no less watchful against everything that grieves and disquiets the Spirit of God, than against that which grieves and disquiets your own soul. It is evident that you contend against sin merely because of your own trouble by it. – Overcoming Sin and Temptation [page 87]
I’ve been trying to deal with a particular sin in my life, but I acknowledge that most times that I try to deal with it, it’s because that it makes me unhappy to be battling with it. In trying to rise up against it, I’ve found that I would not be sensitive to other things that I do, not taking care to ensure that I keep to my prayer and reading.
I haven’t been hating sin as sin, but I’ve been hating it because it takes away my peace.
Owen talking about who Romans 8:13 is directed to (“if you mortify …”)
The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.
John Owen [Overcoming Sin and Temptation; page 47]
This was from the introduction to the book, where Owen was talking about us knowing our hearts, as we can’t fight sin if we don’t know our temperament and how to deal with it.
Be acquainted, then, with thine own heart; though it be deep, search it; though it be dark, inquire into it; though it give all its distempers other names than what are their due, believe it not.
John Owen [Overcoming Sin and Temptation; page 30]
There is a wonderful book by John Owen (one of the Puritans from the 16th century) that I learnt about some time late 2012. I’ve felt that the Spirit had drawn me to discovering and reading it. Its title is called “Overcoming Sin and Temptation”.
It is honestly a difficult read, both in the form of language (old English by a buff, but has been ‘modernised’) as well as the depth of what it talks about. Sin is a difficult topic which all of us Christians should deal with, and which most of us easily stumble against.
I couldn’t “find” a print copy of the book, mainly because I didn’t have the will to put up a significant amount of money to pre-order it. I feel very cheap 🙁 . At the end of 2013, there was a bookstore in Pretoria called the Augustine Bookroom, which was unfortunately closing down. I can’t remember how i found the bookstore, but they had a fire sale which had a lot of the works of the Puritans and other authors from centuries gone. I found John Owen’s book, and placed an order for a copy.
Long story short, I got the book delivered in April while I was still in Canada, and I had embarked on starting to study it from scratch when I returned. I used to have a PDF copy which I got online, but it was a difficult read as I couldn’t make notes nor read at my normal pace.
Anyways, after what’s been going on in my life recently, I sense the Spirit stirring me to go back to the book, and start reading and studying it afresh. It’s really a wonderfully written book, and it has a lot of shareable snippets.
My intention in keeping to my allocated time of studying it, is to share a lot of these snippets. Some might fit Twitter, most might not. I’ll instead keep posting them on my blog.
So here’s to John Owen daily! I hope that this keeps me accountable to myself to keep to what the Spirit of The Lord is awakening in me.