Sean Scott's Blog

The Effects and Strengh of Indwelling Sin…John Owens

with 2 comments

I found this video clip to be very true and something believers should really ponder and meditate on.  In it, John Owens, speaks on the effects of strength of indwelling sin.  He speaks of how easily our hearts can be led astray when we are not watchful over our own souls and fail to use the means of grace God has given us to draw near to Him.  I find that when we (all believers) are led astray or grow cold in our affections and commitment to the Lord there is always a pattern of spiritual neglect that proceeds this condition.  Each persons temptation, sin, and pattern of neglect might be different.  The circumstances that lead one brother into neglect or slothfulness concerning the things of God might not be the circumstances that lead another brother into the same condition.  While I do not endorse a continual looking inward that those who teach sinless perfection often do I do believe it’s of utmost importance to know our own hearts and know the conditions and circumstances that tend to affect us in a negative way and that draw us away from the Lord.  By knowing these things we can diligently guard our souls and give greater care to not fall into patterns that tend to lead us away from maintaining a fervent spirit towards God.

Below is the clip containing excerpts of one of John Owens sermons on the matter.  I did not particularly like the music in the video and found it distracting.  So I turned it off while I listened to it.  Also, I found it helpful to pause the video often so I could really understand what he was saying.  I hope it blesses you and encourages you to be watchful over your own soul.

(Also, I want to make a disclaimer about the Puritans.  While I have been blessed by much of what I’ve read and seen in many of them (their seriousness and commitment to the Lord) I do also find that they too often focus on their sin and unfaithfulness in an unhealthy way.  There is healthy position of knowing our own heart so that we might guard ourselves in the things of the Lord but if we’re not carefully we can fall into continual self condemnation which I see a lot of in Puritan writings.  That is not healthy for the soul and only tends to leave  one in a place of frustration and defeat.  Romans chapter 7 is surrounded by the glorious truth of Romans chapter 6 & 8.   In examining our heart and actions we should, most of all, endeavor to keep our eyes on Christ and His faithfulness to accomplish His will and purposes in our lives in bringing us into His image.)

Written by Sean Scott

December 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. It sounds like John Owen knew of what he wrote firsthand, which gives his message some authority. I relate plenty to what he wrote/said and am thankful for the exhortation he has given. Thanks for posting.

    I was pondering this week, wondering if it’s possible to truly love God, if we do not do it with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. After all, as He is an infinite Being, and we are finite, mortal men; what other than ‘everything we have’ could possibly be enough? And I don’t think even ‘everything we have’ is enough either, but thankfully, scripture implies that God accepts this as simply what is expected of us, as it is what He has commanded.


    December 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

  2. I tried to find this version of the book the text is taken from, but all recent versions which contain the updated language as used in the video, (i.e. Song of Solomon instead of Canticles, etc.) are not previewable online. I want to read more of this book, as it appears this quote is taken midstream from a larger section of the author’s writing. Good stuff.

    Braden, I too can relate, and I think I understand and agree with the intent of your comment, but I felt compelled to repeat a question that caused me to pause when another man asked it of me a while back regarding this very premise. He repeated Mark 12:30 and then asked “how’s that working out for ya?” 🙂 I can’t speak for others, but I don’t think there have ever been more than brief moments in my life where I’ve truly loved Him with every bit of my faculties. In fact, I find that the closer I draw to Him, the more I come to recognize the extent to which I am not doing it.

    I only say this to remind us (myself included) that while we must remain vigilant, that vigilance must have a goal of depending on His strength, “the effectual communion with God” spoken of at the end.


    December 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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