Puritan theologian John Owen wrote the classic work The Mortification of Sin in 1656 to analyze and apply what Paul meant in Romans 8:13 when he said, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you “put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Owen has much to share about the important topic of killing our sin including what we need to believe about our common struggle, what mortifying sin is and isn’t, and practical principles for putting your sin to death. Below is a prayer based on the book that should help us mortify our sin and live in joyful obedience to Christ:
Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
I come to you a needy and contrite sinner, with no power on my own to put to death the deeds of the body.
Daily come to my aid making it my business to mortify the indwelling power of sin in my life.
May I never attempt to mortify in my own strength, forgetting that without Your Spirit my efforts will be in vain.
Lord, through Your Spirit help me put to death the subtle and crafty strength of the enemy.
As I wake each day, give me strength to remember my task of killing sin, and remember that sin will kill me if I do not kill it.
Keep me from ever letting up in my battle with sin, knowing constantly that sin will take advantage.
Help my heart abound in grace that flows from your Spirit, and destroy in my heart the consuming lust for sin.
Give me a life characterized by the mortification of sin, and give me life, vigor and comfort for my life and for that battle.
Lord, each day remind me to strive after total obedience, and so weaken the power of sin upon my life.
Aid me to know the methods and occasions for sin’s success, and to fight and contend constantly for holiness.
May I constantly be aware of the guilt, danger, and evil of sin, knowing that without you, I fall into a seared conscience, hardness of heart, and deception of my soul.
Lord grant that your holy law is always upon my mind, so that it may guide me and cause me to fear you.
By the graces of Your Spirit, implant humility to weaken pride, purity of mind to cleanse uncleanness, heavenly-mindedness to counter a love for this world.
May Your Spirit, cause my heart to abound in grace and the fruits that are contrary to the flesh, consume and expose the root of my sin, bring the cross of Christ into my heart through faith.
For it is only by gazing at the grace displayed on the cross of Christ that I will be able experience its sin killing power.
I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ that is above every name, AMEN.
If there were a world record for the “number of times asking Jesus into your heart,” I’m pretty sure I would hold it. I’ve probably “prayed the prayer” more than five thousand times. Every time was sincere, but I was never quite sure I had gotten it right. Had I really been sorry enough for my sin that time around? Some wept rivers of tears when they got saved, but I hadn’t done that. Was I really sorry? Was that prayer a moment of total surrender? Did I really “get” grace?
So I would pray the sinner’s prayer again. And again. And again. And maybe get baptized again. Every student camp, every spring revival. Rinse and repeat.
Continue reading Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart,
We must be holy, because this is the one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world [2 Cor 5:15; Eph 5:25-26; Titus 2:14]… Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more – He breaks its power (1 Pet 1:2; Rom 8:29; Eph 1:4; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 12:10).
– J.C. Ryle, Holiness
After being a Christian for nearly 20 years, I can unfortunately say that personal holiness has not been a topic that’s received great emphasis in the churches and ministries with which I’ve been in fellowship. In Rediscovering Holiness, J. I. Packer points to the same reality.
Packer identifies 3 evidences that Christians today evidently do not think personal holiness is very important:
- It’s not the topic of much preaching, teaching, or writing.
- It’s seldom valued or expected in Christian leaders.
- It’s not shared in the message of evangelism, declaring to the world that without holiness, “no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14).
I believe Packer is unarguably correct. But fortunately we’ve not been left without help on the path of holiness. Apart from Packer’s own book, here are a few more faithful works, listed from older to recent, that I believe are good resources for every Christian in their pursuit of holiness:
J.C. Ryle, Holiness. This maybe the classic work on the subject and even Ryle’s greatest contribution to the library of faithful Christian teaching. Fortunately, it’s old enough that it can be read online. And there’s also a recent edition with a nice biographical sketch of Ryle by J. I. Packer, Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle. It’s hard to imagine a better book on holiness than this.
Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness. What can you say about Jerry Bridges? Reading him always feels like sitting down with your favorite grandfather. You know you’re going to hear it straight, but that it’s going to be loving and easy to grasp as well. In every work, Bridges is faithful and clear, and this is no exception. Whenever I find a used copy of this book, I always buy it to give away.
Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness. DeYoung has really given us a wonderful recent work that’s particularly geared to our American evangelicalism, today. It’s a great reminder that along with reviving “Gospel centered” Christianity and the doctrines of grace, we must focus efforts on the necessary result of the Gospel, personal holiness. (This was also the topic of his address at T4G 2012, “Spirit-Powered, Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled Effort”).
Whenever I get a
toy new appliance or product, I tend to skip the instruction booklet (repeated in five languages) and go right to the “Quick Start Guide.” All of the above works are worth the investment of your funds and your time to read. But if there’s a “quick start” guide to personal holiness, it might be Joel Beeke’s concise but helpful booklet, Holiness. Maybe start with it and work your way up the other books.
Whether we read all, one, or none of these helpful books, let’s not let the general neglect of personal holiness in our day be an excuse to neglect holiness in our lives. The exhortation of Hebrews 12:14 still addresses us:
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
What about you? What book would you add to this list?
How many lies can one president tell and still retain any credibility? What you are about to see is absolutely astounding. It is a long list of important promises that Barack Obama has broken since he has been president. If he had only told a few lies, perhaps the American people would be willing to overlook that. After all, pretty much all of our politicians our liars. Unfortunately, many of the lies that Obama has told appear to have been quite cold-hearted in nature. For example, Barack Obama repeatedly made the promise that “you will be able to keep your health care plan” under Obamacare. But now we are learning that he knew that this was a lie all along. Not only that, the Democrats in Congress knew that this was a lie all along too. In fact, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, said the following when she was asked about Obama’s promise to the American people recently: “He should’ve just been specific. No, we all knew.” You can see video of her making this statement right here. The truth is that they all knew that millions upon millions of Americans would lose their current health care policies under Obamacare. They deliberately lied just so that they could get the law passed.
And of course this is far from the only major lie that Obama has told in recent years. The following is a list of 23 famous Obama quotes that turned out to be broken promises or cold-hearted lies…
Ladies, do you have friends who have been taken in by the über popular book Jesus Calling? You almost can’t miss this book, which has been a bestseller on Christian book lists for several months now, and has spawned many derivatives: devotionals, teen and children’s versions, even a study Bible. But is it a biblically sound book?
Former New Ager Former New Ager Warren Smith says “no,” it’s not a biblically sound book, and explains in an interview on Stand Up For The Truth radio that the channeled entity in Jesus Calling is NOT the Jesus of the Bible, but a demonic counterfeit instead. Warren Smith is also the author of the just released book entitled “Another Jesus” Calling, which explores the problems with Sarah Young’s book in greater detail. The title of Smith’s book is taken from 2 Corinthians 11:4:
“For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” (my emphasis)
Beth Moore Recommends Jesus Calling Book Claiming Direct Divine Revelation
Jesus Calling By Sarah Young: W.U.I. (Writing Under the Influence)
Warning About Popular Jesus Calling Book
Tim Challies Reviews Jesus Calling
False Teachings About Hearing Audible Words From God Taking Even Deeper Root in Today’s Church Bestseller Experiencing God Misleading Christians With “Soft” Mysticism?
You may find what is happening at one Wal-Mart in Ohio very hard to believe. At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too. You can see a photo of the donation bins that has been posted on Twitter right here. On the one hand, it is commendable that someone at that Wal-Mart is deeply concerned about the employees that are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the food that they need for Thanksgiving. On the other hand, this is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the United States and it had operating income of 26.5 billion dollars last year. Wal-Mart is not required to pay their employees a decent wage, and it is very unlikely that anyone will force them to. But they should. Because Wal-Mart does not pay decent wages to their employees, the rest of us end up with the bill. As you will see below, huge numbers of Wal-Mart employees end up on Medicaid and other government assistance programs. Meanwhile, those that control Wal-Mart continue to enjoy absolutely massive profits. (Read More….)
The “wonder drugs” that we have been using since the middle of the last century are rapidly losing their effectiveness, and medical authorities are warning that the emergence of very powerful antibiotic-resistant superbugs represents “one of the gravest threats in the history of medicine“. Of course the “wonder drugs” that I am talking about are known today as antibiotics. These drugs attack bacteria, and when they first began to be developed back in the 1950s and 1960s they were hailed as “miracles” that would save countless numbers of lives. Well, it turns out that nature is having the last laugh. All over the planet bacteria are developing resistance to these drugs, and scientists are warning that they can’t really do anything to stop these superbugs. With each passing year these superbugs are gaining ground, and there appears to be not much hope on the horizon of being able to fight them. In fact, no new classes of antibiotics have been invented since 1987, and none are being developed right now. Meanwhile, scientists are telling us that many current antibiotic treatments will be completely obsolete by the year 2030. Are you starting to understand why so many high profile members of the scientific community are using the words “catastrophic threat” to describe this crisis? (Read More…..)
Hoover Institution – November 19, 2013
It has been a tumultuous two weeks since I last wrote about the Obamacare’s moral blindness. The President’s dismal performance since that date has only confirmed my initial impression. He has refused to take full responsibility for the key policies embedded in that legislation. He has also endorsed naïve short-term fixes that do nothing to correct the fundamental designs of the Affordable Care Act….[view article]
National Journal – November 19, 2013
Almost four months after he was unmasked as a militant black nationalist who called for murdering “Uncle Tom race traitors,” Ayo Kimathi is still employed….[view article]