Sunday, September 20, 2015

Being One of Another World

The signs and wonders--the lying, deceptive signs and wonders--and especially the attacks and temptations targeting your inner life, your mind, your heart, your very soul . . . are such--and are only going to increase--that you have got to take the spiritual battle seriously.  It can't be a sometime thing.  It can't be a once a week engagement.  It can't be stuffed in among a hundred other distractions and passions and curiosities.

Oh what a slap in the face--a blatant disregard and shunning we give to God daily.  What garbage--yes, pure garbage and and rot and waste and meaninglessness are chased and wallowed in before the holy God Who gives us life; Who gives us eyes and ears and taste and minds, which ought be filled with good things, what is "true, right, noble, lovely" (Phil. 4:8).  But instead entertains what is base, lascivious, petty, shallow, passing, self-referential.

*"Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness."

**Holiness is God's crowning attribute, which sheds light on all of His other attributes.  Holiness is in a peculiar manner the beauty of the divine nature. . . . This renders all his other attributes glorious and lovely.  'Tis the glory of  Gods' wisdom, that is a holy wisdom, and not a wicked subtlety and craftiness.   This makes his majesty lovely, and not merely dreadful and horrible, that it is a holy majesty."

***"Those who have a weak view of God's holiness are prone to fashion God after their own image.  We must return to the biblical view of God's holiness.  We must remember Isaiah's vision of God on His throne, surrounded by seraphim who call to each other, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" (Isa. 6:3)

****"Mortification means continually putting to death every form of sin.  Owen warned that we must be mortifying sin 'every day and in every duty.'  He wrote, 'It will no otherwise die but by being gradually and constantly weakened; spare it, and it heals its wounds and recovers strength.'  We must continually watch against the operations of this principle of sin: ' in our duties, in our calling, in our conversation with others, in our retirements, in the frames of our spirits, in our straits, in our mercies, in the use of our enjoyments, in our temptations.  If we are negligent on any occasion we shall suffer by it. . . . Every mistake and every neglect is perilous.'
         "The complement of mortification is vivification.  Vivification is the quickening, or bringing to life of the new nature we have received from God.  We must not only seek to kill sin; we must also seek to do the will of God.  We must conform our lives to the standards God has given.  The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and other ethical teachings throughout the New Testament are not merely good advice; they are meant to shape the way we live.  'So the sanctified sinner lives as one of another world, not conforming himself to the sinful courses of this world, but being transformed into the likeness of those of the better world, (Rom. 12:2; Phil 3:20).

*Westminster Shorter Catechism, q35.
**Jonathan Edwards
***"A Puritan Theology, pg 529
****"A Puritan Theology, pg. 531-32

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