Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sinclair on John

From Sinclair Ferguson's John Owen on the Christian Life I came across these instructions that that the author, Ferguson, summarized from Owen's writings:

Duty is man’s responsibility to God, and there are 4 reasons Owen thinks it should be so:
1. Duties are consistent with the new nature – we have a disposition towards it
2. Duties cannot be performed without the Spirit’s help
3. Duties are defined in Scripture
4. Duties must be performed by faith

We have a duty to mortify sin, which consists of three things:
1. A cherishing and improving of the principle of grace
2. Frequent exercise in all God-given duties
3. Application of the principle, power and actings of grace in opposition to sin

The first summary, speaking of duties, undermines much of what we associate with duty; duty is not a great self-generated effort to do what is right. Rather, it is the working out of a God-generated disposition with a Spirit-fuelled ability in a faith-filled context.

The second summary is also an eye opener. The mortifying of sin begins with grace as a principle, and continues with the exercise of that grace in duties and in opposition to sin.

I read this book a few years ago and am enjoying re-reading the significant quotes I recorded.

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