THE SPIRIT, OUR PROVISION

“Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way either of goodness or badness. When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done? It is just here that He comes. Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness. ‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.’ John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. ‘He shall baptize you.’ The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 22nd).

“God has made provision for our holiness and He has also given us a responsibility for it. God’s provision for us consists in delivering us from the reign of sin, uniting us with Christ, and giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit to reveal sin, to create a desire for holiness, and to strengthen us in our pursuit of holiness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and according to the new nature He gives, we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p78).

“The saving work of the Spirit in the heart of God’s elect is a gradual and progressive one” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p78).

“It is not the work of the Spirit to tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge of divinity, without your own study and labour. To reject study on the pretense of the sufficiency of the Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself” Richard Baxter (ref#225, July 22nd).

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16 ESV).

“Weakness is a reproach when such a might is at our service. Defeat is dishonor when the partnership of God is rejected” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p73).

WHO THE SPIRIT IS

“The Third Person of the Holy Trinity agreed to sanctify the object of the Father’s eternal choice, and of the Son’s redemptive satisfaction” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p21).

“The Spirit sets apart God’s people into the sphere of the holy so that believers are now holy and righteous in their standing before God, and they grow in actual holiness in their lives” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2405).

“The Spirit dwells in men, clothes Himself with consecrated humanity, and accomplishes extraordinary things through quite ordinary people on the simple conditions of abiding surrender, implicit obedience, and simple faith” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p66).

“[T]he gracious Holy Spirit pledged Himself to sanctify wretches, and frame and fit them to be partakers of holiness, and live forever in God’s spotless presence” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p21).

“[The Spirit] comes to the things that are weak and despised and dignifies them with His Glory. Before Glory comes, the church will have to elevate those things that are despised by the world, such as modesty, chastity, inner beauty, self-effacement, willingness to serve, and willingness to be in the background. These are the kinds of values the Holy Spirit is exalting” Bob Sorge (ref#197, p17).

“[The Spirit] clothes Himself with sanctified men and women. The Spirit of the Lord clothed Itself with Gideon (Judges 6:34), He did not come upon him like a garment, but the Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon as with a garment” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p54, 60).

OUR HELPER

“God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” (2 Tim 2:19 ESV).

“[W]hen confronted with your failure you can run not away from God but to him. You can do this because your standing with him has never been based on your righteous performance, but on the perfect obedience of your Savior” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 6th).

“[W]hat he really is concerned about is our state or condition. [W]hat really matters is what we are” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p76).

“Though grace be wrought in the hearts of the regenerate, it is not in their power to act it: He who implanted it must renew, excite, and marshal it. ‘If ye through the Spirit do mortify’ (Rom 8:13). First, He it is who discovers the sin that is to be mortified, opening it to the view of the soul, stripping it of its deceits, exposing its deformity. Second, He it is who gradually weakens sin’s power, acting as ‘the Spirit of burning’ (Isa 4:4), consuming the dross. Third, He it is who reveals and applies the efficacy of the Cross of Christ, in which there is contained a sin-mortifying virtue, whereby we are ‘made conformable unto His death’ (Phil 3:10). Fourth, He it is who strengthens us with might in the inner man, so that our graces—the opposites of the lust of the flesh—are invigorated and called into exercise” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“Go, again and again, to this divine Fountain, taking to Jesus every corruption as it develops, every sin as it is felt, ever sorrow as it rises” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Mar 28th).

“[I]t was not enough for him to just forgive me; he had to come and live inside me or I would not be what I had been re-created to be or do. I need the presence and power of the Holy Spirit living inside me because sin kidnaps the desires of my heart, blinds my eyes, and weakens my knees. My problem is not just the guilt of sin; it’s the inability of sin as well. So God graces his children with the convicting, sight-giving, desire-producing, and strength-affording presence of the Spirit” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 7th).

“It is by yielding to the Spirit’s impulses, heeding His striving, submitting ourselves unto His government, that any measure of success is granted us in this most important work” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p115).

“We can bring our up-and-down moral performance into subjection to the settled fixedness of what Jesus feels about us. [L]et the heart of Christ calm us into joy” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p187).

REBELLION AGAINST GOD

“We must hate all sin for what it really is: an expression of rebellion against God” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p198).

“God cannot but look upon sin with infinite detestation” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p67).

“It’s hard to admit, but doing what is right isn’t natural for us. Sin turns us all into self-appointed sovereigns over our own little kingdoms. Sin makes us all self-absorbed and self-focused. Sin causes us all to name ourselves righteous. Sin seduces us into thinking we are somehow, some way smarter than God. Sin causes us all to trust in our own wisdom. Sin makes us all want to write our own rules. Sin makes us resistant to criticism and change. Sin makes our eyes and our hearts wander. Sin causes us to crave material things more than spiritual provision. Sin causes us to want and esteem pleasure more than character. In our quest to be God, sin causes us to forget God. It reduces us all to glory thieves, taking for ourselves the glory that belongs to him. All of this means that sin causes us to step over God’s wise boundaries in thought, desire, word, and action again and again. This is what’s natural for a sinner” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 17th).

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart” (Prov 21:2 ESV).

“Transgression means a desire to have our own way, a desire to do what we want to do. ‘Iniquity’ means perversion. [D]o you not see that so many things you do are twisted and perverted? Jealously and envy and malice—how horrible the twist! The desire that evil may come to someone, the dislike of praise of another—evil thoughts, bent, twisted, ugly, foul—‘iniquity’! And we are all guilty of iniquity” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 27th).

“The principle of self-confidence is the natural product of the human heart; the great characteristic of our apostate race is a desire to live, think, and act independently of God. Remember the divine and sovereign grace does not undertake the extraction of the root of this depraved principle from the heart of its subjects. The root still remains to the very close of life’s pilgrimage, though in a measure weakened, subdued, and mortified. It demands the most rigid watchfulness connected with ceaseless prayer, lest it should spring upward to the destruction of his soul’s prosperity, the grieving of the Spirit, and the dishonor of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 13th).

“If you are God’s child, you’re either giving in to sin or giving way to the operation of rescuing grace, but your heart’s never neutral” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 30th).

NEED MORE THAN UNDERSTANDING

“When we do something wrong, we all tend to point outside ourselves for the cause: ‘This traffic makes me so angry’, ‘She gets me so upset’; or ‘My boss pulls the worst out of me.’” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 7th).

“It is hard for us to accept that our words and behavior are not caused by what’s outside us, but by what’s inside us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 11th).

“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit” (Luke 6:43 ESV).

“[T]he Scriptures are clear that every wrong you and I do flows out of the thoughts and desires of our hearts. It is only when you admit and confess this that you begin to feel the need for and get excited about God’s grace. It you have convinced yourself that you’re not your problem, but people and situations are, you are not excited about God’s provision of powerful forgiving and transforming grace, because, frankly, you don’t think you need it. For many of us, subtle patterns of blaming God are in the way of receiving the grace that we need at the very moment we are working to convince ourselves that we don’t need it” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 11th).

“An act may be very praiseworthy; but if it displeases God, nothing can excuse its commission” William S. Plumer (ref#358, p3).

“The best thing we ever did independent of the merit of Jesus only swelled the number of our sins. For even when we have been purest in our own sight, we have not been pure in God’s sight” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 27th PM).

“A hundred preachers are unable to make an unregenerate person realize the dreadful nature of sin, or show him that he has been a lifelong rebel against God, or change his heart so that he now hates himself and longs to please God and serve Christ. Only the Spirit can bring man to the place where he is willing to forsake every idol” A.W. Pink (ref#360, p20).

“I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD” (Jer 10:23-24 ESV).

“By nature we are not only ignorant of God’s way, but reluctant to walk therein even when it is shown us. [W]e never seek unto God till we are Divinely drawn. This humbling truth was well understood by David of old. First, he prayed, ‘Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes. Give me understanding’ (Psa. 119:33,34). But second, he realized that something more than Divine illumination was needed by him: therefore did he add, ‘Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p 118).

FAUX CONFESSION

“People are optimistic about this world, and they are so because they have never understood the nature of sin” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 11th).

These are people “who are under the impelling urge of variegated, passionate desires, ever learning and never able to come to a precise and experiential knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:6-7 Wuest).

“The mere presentation of the cross to the natural eye will awaken no emotion, other than natural ones. Thus, in a contemplation of the sufferings of Christ, there may in minds of deep natural sensibility be emotion, the spectacle may affect the observer to tears—but it is nature only. [B]eware of mistaking nature for grace—the emotions of a stirred sensibility—for the tears of a broken and a contrite heart” Octavius Winslow (ref#365, p46).

“We may repent of our sins outwardly and even respect God’s Word, absorbing its teaching week after week at church and in Bible study, and getting a certain amount of joy from it. But if we repeatedly succumb to temptation without heart-sorrow and fail to change our ways, even when we are reprimanded by other godly people, we should beware lest our faith be only temporary” John Calvin (ref#164, June 25th).

“The unsound covert takes Christ by halves. He is all for the salvation of Christ, but he is not for sanctification. Jesus is a sweet Name, but men do not love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. Every man’s vote is for salvation from suffering, but they do not desire to be saved from sinning. They would have their lives saved, but still would have their lusts. O be infinitely careful here; your soul depends upon it” Joseph Alleine (ref#225, Oct 16th).

“[I]t is most important that we should distinguish between mock mortification and true, between the counterfeit resemblances of this duty and the duty itself. There is a pagan ‘mortification,’ which is merely suppressing such sins as nature itself discovers and from such reasons and motives as nature suggests. This tends to hide sin rather than mortify it. It is not a recovering of the soul from the world unto God, but only acquiring a fitness to live with less scandal among men” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p113).

“Nobody is free who is unforgiven. If I were not sure of God’s forgiveness, I could not look you in the face, and I certainly could not look God in the face. I would want to run away and hide” John Stott (ref#258, p84-85).

“God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will” (John 9:30-33 MSG).

EXCEEDING EVIL OF SIN

“God’s grace is active, rescuing, transformative grace. You celebrate this by being as serious about your need as the God of this grace is. God took sin so seriously that he did two things when the first transgression occurred—he immediately meted out punishment and he immediately set in motion his plan of rescue and redemption. Both demonstrate God’s seriousness about what we all too easily deny or minimize” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 5th).

“[T]he truth of what the Word of God declares concerning the exceeding evil of sin; for the same eye that discerns the transcendent beauty of holiness necessarily therein sees the exceeding odiousness of sin; the same taste which relishes the sweetness of true moral good tastes the bitterness of moral evil. And by this means a man sees his own sinfulness and loathsomeness; for he has now a sense to discern objects of this nature, and so sees the truth of what the Word of God declares concerning the exceeding sinfulness of mankind, which before he did not see. He now sees the dreadful pollution of his heart; and this shows him the truth of what the Scripture reveals concerning his nature, and his need of a Savior” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p83).

“Why did the Son of God come into this world of sin? He came ‘to save that which was lost’, to provide pardon and forgiveness of sin by the shedding of His own blood and the breaking of His own body upon the cross. If I say I have no sin, I am denying the incarnation, the death and the resurrection—I am making God a liar” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“[F]ailure to realise that we as sinners need forgiveness is the failure to realise the nature of sin, to grasp that our own natures are sinful and to understand that we have all actually sinned and need forgiveness” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“Corruption does not lie dormant in the Christian: though it reigns not supreme (because of a principle of grace to oppose it) yet it molests and often prevails to a very considerable extent. Because of this the Christian is called upon to wage a constant warfare against it: to ‘mortify’ it, to struggle against its inclinations and deny its solicitations” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p112).

“[W]hen divine justice is seen requiring the very heart’s blood of God’s only son in order to quench its infinite need for satisfaction; when God in Christ is seen in His humiliation, suffering, and death, all with the design of pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin; how fearful a sin against this holy Lord God seems! Do not be discouraged if the more intensely the desire for sanctification rises, the deeper and darker the revelation of the heart’s hidden evil” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 13th).

DOCTRINE OF SIN

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8 ESV).

“[O]ur very natures are sinful. The reference here is not to acts of sin, but to the nature that produces the acts of sin. [T]he state which is both the cause and the consequence of what we do” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p111).

“[S]omeone who has never realised the gospel and precisely what is meant by sin fail to realise that particular truth about sin; they will persist in thinking of it in terms of sins—particular sins and actions. But according to the Bible that is a hopelessly inadequate view of sin. Sin according to the Bible everywhere, is a realm, a kingdom. The Bible tells us that there are two kingdoms in this world, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil and the kingdom of holiness and the kingdom of Satan and of iniquity. [T]here is such a thing as sin and evil, a realm, an attitude, an outlook, a mind” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p109).

“It is one of the hardest tasks in the world to bring the heart to a sincere persuasion that sin is indeed as vile as God’s word represents it; and that it deserves all that His law threatens against it” John M’Laurin (ref#333, p263).

“The doctrine of sin is essential, and unless I realise I am a sinner and must repent, and if my only hope is not in Christ and His death for me on the cross and His resurrection for my justification, I not only have no fellowship with God, but I am dwelling still in utter darkness. Oh yes, to have fellowship with God we must not only be clear about the nature of God, we must be equally clear about ourselves and our own nature” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p114).

“[S]in has an indwelling and captivating power, whereby it continually assaults the principle of spiritual life, beating down the Christian’s defenses, battering his armour, routing his graces, wasting his conscience, destroying his peace, and at last bringing him into a woeful captivity unless it be mortified” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p112).

“If we do not realise that we are sinners and need the forgiveness of God; if we do not realise that we have always needed it and that we still need it; if we think that we have always been perfect or that now we are perfect as Christians; if we do not realise that we must repent we are making God a liar” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

“The Jews, the chosen people, thought they were all right: ‘Those others, the Gentiles,’ they said, ‘are dogs; they need it, but we do not.’ But God convicts Jew and Gentile; there is none righteous; the whole world, every mouth, has been stopped. That is the doctrine of the Bible; so if we say we have not sinned, we are denying the doctrine of the Bible” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p113).

HOW TO OVERCOME SIN

“We must recognize that we have developed habit patterns of sin. We have developed the habit of shading the facts a little bit when it is to our advantage. We have developed the habit of giving in to the inertia that refuses to let us get up in the morning. These habits must be broken but they never will till we make a basic commitment to a life of holiness without exceptions” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p92).

“Jesus was tempted in the same way that we are: although Jesus was tempted, He never sinned; therefore, it is not necessary for us to sin. Jesus was a man, and if one Man endured these temptations and did not sin, then in His power, the members of His body may also refrain from sin. There is no sin in being tempted, only in yielding to temptation” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 3rd PM).

“The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p80).

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6 ESV).

“[W]e must have conviction. [C]onvictions are developed through exposure to the Word of God” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p85).

“The Holy Spirit is the effective Helper. Men may employ the aids of inward rigor and outward severity, and they may for a time stifle and suppress their evil habits; but unless the Spirit of God work in us, nothing can amount to true mortification. The Christian is not passive, but active in this work. We are bidden to ‘cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit’ (2 Cor. 7:1). We are exhorted to ‘build up yourselves on your most holy faith’ and ‘keep ourselves in the love of God’ (Jude 20, 21)” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“[N]ot allowing sin to reign in our mortal bodies—is something we have to do” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p52).

HOW TO MORTIFY SIN

“’Am I willing to give up a certain practice or habit that is keeping me from holiness’?” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p91).

“The action we are to take is to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13). ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature’ (Colossians 3:5). The King James Version uses the term mortify. According to the dictionary, mortify means ‘to destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of; to subdue or deaden.’ To put to death the misdeeds of the body, then, is to destroy the strength and vitality of sin as it tries to reign in our bodies” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p84).

“Mortification is a task to which every Christian must address himself with prayerful and resolute earnestness. Nevertheless it is a task far transcending our feeble powers. It is only ‘through the Spirit’ that any of us can acceptably and effectually (in any degree) ‘mortify the deeds of the body.’ He it is who works in us a loathing of sin, a mourning over it, a turning away from it. He it is who presses upon us the claims of Christ, reminding us that inasmuch as He died for sin, we must spare no efforts to die to sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p115).

“The believer died to sin once and he has been translated to another realm. It is because we were in this realm of sin, under its reign and rule, that we began to sin from infancy. Because we were slaves we acted like slaves. We developed sinful habits and a sinful character. Even if we were what the world considers ‘good,’ we lived for ourselves, not for God. Our attitude toward Christ was expressed by the words of His enemies: ‘We don’t want this man to be our king’ (Luke 19:14)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p54-55).

“True mortification consists in weakening sin’s root and principle. True mortification consists in suppressing the risings of inward corruptions: by turning a deaf ear to their voice, by crying to God for grace so to do, by pleading the blood of Christ for deliverance. True mortification consists in restraining its outward actings: ‘denying ungodliness,’ (Titus 2:12)” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p114).

“Because we are dead to sin, through our union with Christ, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p53).

“[P]resent yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instrument for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:13-14 ESV).

“Departing from iniquity is the lifelong calling and pursuit of true Christians. Are you intimately involved in this pursuit? Do you long and strive to walk in the King’s highway of holiness on a daily basis” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 10th)?