Our Fight Against Indwelling Sin

Exhortations to Fight:  “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1Ti 6:12)

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:10-12 NAU)

A Personal Resolution in the Fight:  “Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.” Jonathan Edwards

Our Danger in the Fight:  “Men little consider what a dangerous companion is always at home with them. When they are in company, when alone, by night or by day, all is one, sin is with them. There is a living coal continually in their houses; which, if it be not looked unto, will fire them, and it may be consume them. Oh, the woeful security of poor souls! How little do the most of men think of this inbred enemy that is never from home! How little, for the most part, does the watchfulness of any professors answer the danger of their state and condition!”  John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

The Experience of the Fight:  “Pain and grief, moans and groans, will certainly be involved, for your sin does not want to die, now will it enjoy the killing process. Jesus told us, very vividly, that mortifying sin could well feel like plucking out an eye or cutting of a hand or foot, in other words, self-mutilation. You will feel you are saying good-bye to something that is so much a part of you that without it you cannot live.” J.I. Packer

Our Armory and Weaponry in the Fight:  “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (Eph 6:17-18)

Our Helper in the Fight:  “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.” (Romans 8:13)

Our Hope in the Fight:  “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24-25)

Fight the good fight with all thy might!
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

John Monsell


The Irrationality of Intellectual Autonomy

“What distinguishes modern views of revelation from orthodox (to my mind biblical) views is their affirmation of human autonomy in the realm of knowledge. Intellectual autonomy is the view that human beings have the right to seek knowledge of God’s world without being subject to God’s revelation. It first appears in the history of thought in Genesis 3’s narrative of the fall, in which Adam and Eve make their decision to disobey God’s personal word to them. In their decision, they affirm their right to think autonomously, even to the point of contradicting God himself. The spirit of autonomy underlies every sinful decision of every human being. . . . How could anyone imagine that contradicting the Master of the universe could be a wise decision? This foolishness mirrors the biblical paradigm of irrationality, the foolishness of Satan himself, who (again in the face of clear knowledge) tries to replace God on the throne of the universe. In this satanic project, man seeks to become his own lord.” John Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God, P&R Publishers, 2010

I’m enjoying my first read of Frame’s final contribution to his Theology of Lordship series. It is excellent so far.