Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin - by Kris Lundgaard

"Believers are the only people who ever find the law of sin at work in them. Unbelievers can't feel it. The law of sin is a raging river, carrying them along; they cannot measure the force of the current, because they have surrendered themselves to it and are borne along by it. A believer, on the other hand, swims upstream - he meets sin head-on and strains under its strength." (pg. 25)

"Sin can be like trick birthday candles: you blow them out and smile, thinking you have your wish; then your jaw drops as they burst into flames." (pg. 39)

"So when Paul identifies the flesh with enmity and hatred of God [Romans 8:7], he cuts off any hope that the flesh will bow to God or befriend him. A treaty between God and the flesh is impossible." (pg. 44)

"...you can write this down as a maxim: When the flesh deceives you, you will sin. ... The flesh plies deceit to knock out the watchman of your soul: your mind." (pg. 55)

"If your mind is persuaded to believe a sin is good for your soul, and your affections work up an appetite for it, your will gives its consent - the dominoes fall and the flesh bears its putrid fruit in your life." (pg. 56)

"In order to walk before God, this is the mind's first duty: to know and hold on to the evil of sin and the love of God." (pg. 64)

"You must understand this: the flesh weakens conviction against sin by separating the remedy of grace from the design of grace. ... The flesh works to make you forget the design (that you are saved to be holy) and think only of the remedy (if you sin you'll be forgiven). (pg. 64ff)

"A duty offered to God as an act of mind and will without the affections is abominable to God." (pg. 82)

"When God's love touches your soul and moves you, and you know that every sin is against the Lover of your soul, you will not sin." (pg. 86)

"To protect your affections, you need to be careful of two things: the object of your affections, and the vigor of your affections. And the object of your affections, what you fix your eyes on, should always be heavenly things...(Colossians 3:2)." (pg. 96)

"...many ways to fight against the flesh, such as: meditating on the cross to see the rottenness of your sin and the fulness of Christ's love; keeping watch against sin's deceit; filling your affections with heavenly things; applying your will to every means of God's grace to fight temptation; renewing your first love for Jesus; hungering for a glimpse of God's holy glory." (pg. 142)

"Faith has to be the only thing that destroys the flesh because 'salvation come from the Lord' (Jonah 2:9). Faith has to be the only thing that destroys the flesh because the whole work of our salvation is God's from beginning to end." (pg. 142)

Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Company, 1998)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

God's Way of Holiness: Finding True Holiness Through True Peace - by Horatius Bonar

"These are weighty words of the apostle, 'we are his workmanship. Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things pertaining to us. Chosen, called, quickened, washed, sanctified and justified by God himself, we are, in no sense, our own deliverers. The quarry out of which the marble comes is his; the marble itself is his; the digging and hewing and polishing are his; he is the sculptor and we the statue." (pg. 10)

"How the Holy Spirit operates in producing the newness of which we have spoken, we know not; yet we know that he does not destroy or reverse man's faculties; he renovates them all, so that they fulfil the true ends for which they were given." (pg. 14)

"As the vessels of the sanctuary were at once separated to God and his service, the moment the blood touched them, so are we. This did not imply that these vessels required no daily ablution afterwards; so neither does our consecration intimate that we need no daily sanctifying, no inward process for getting rid of sin. The initiatory consecration through the blood is one thing, and the continual sanctifying by the power of the Holy Ghost is another." (pg. 17)

"The gospel does not command us to do anything in order to obtain life, but it bids us live by that which another has done; and the knowledge of its life-giving truth is not labour but rest - rest of soul - rest which is the root of all true labour; for in receiving Christ we do not work in order to rest, but we rest in order to work. In believing, we cease to work for pardon, in order that we may work from it; and what incentive to work or source of joy in working, can be greater than an ascertained and realised forgiveness." (pg. 30)

"The sinner's legal position must be set to right before his moral position can be touched. Condition is one thing, character is another. The sinner's standing before God, either in favour or disfavour, either under grace or under wrath, must first be dealt with ere his inner renewal can be carried on." (pg. 39)

"All through the ages has this struggle gone on, between the love and the dread of sin, the delight in lust and the sense of degradation because of it; men clasping the poisoned robe, yet wishing to tear it off; their life steeped in the evil, yet their words so often lavished upon the good." (pg. 53)

"Under law and its curse, a man works for self and Satan; 'under grace' he works for God. It is forgiveness that sets a man a-working for God." (pg. 57)

"The cross on which we are crucified with Christ, and the cross which we carry, are different things, yet they both point in one direction, and lead us along one way. They both protest against sin, and summon to holiness. They both 'condemn the world,' and demand separation from it." (pg. 69)

"It may seem a possible thing just now, by avoiding all extremes and all thoroughness, either in religion or in worldliness, to conjoin both of these, but in the day of the separation of the real from the unreal, it will be discovered to have been a poor attempt to accomplish an impossibility; a failure; a failure for eternity, a failure as complete as it is disastrous and remediless." (pg. 70)

"We want not merely a high and full theology, but we want that theology acted out in life, embodied nobly in daily doings, without anything of what the world calls 'cant' or 'simper'. The higher the theology, the higher and the manlier should be the life resulting from it." (pg. 110)

"Christ's truth sanctifies as well as liberates; his wisdom purifies as well as quickens; let us beware of accepting the liberty without the holiness, the wisdom without the purity, the peace without the zeal and love." (pg. 132)

Horatius Bonar, God's Way of Holiness: Finding True Holiness Through True Peace (Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 1999)