Monday, December 04, 2006

Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That's good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.

I've often prayed that God would help us to see sin as He sees it, particularly our own sin. If so, we would hate it as we should, and cling to that which is good.

Indeed, we are to "hate evil, and love good" (Amos 5:15; cf. Rom 12:9). That's easier said than done.

We sin because we think we'll find joy there. We sin because we don't really trust God when He says sin is bad for us and obedience is not only to His glory, but our own good.

As such, we fight a half-hearted war against sin, but that should not be. I refer to our elder brother and English Puritan John Owen (1616-83), who wrote ...
“Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death.”

We don't typically think of hate as a good thing, but it is, provided the object of that hate is appropriate.

Love God. Hate sin. You have to hate it, if you're going to stand a chance fighting it.

Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.

7 Comments:

At 04 December, 2006 13:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Great post Gun!

Question: Do you think Owen is saying that it is possible to kill a particular sin habit before glory?

What I mean is, we may weaken the particular sin habit through continually overcoming the temptation so that the we do not activate the tendency and it is weakened overall. But it still lives with us all our lives. Do you think that is common?

What do you think Owen means by killing sin? Is he speaking of a definitive eradication of particular tendencies or is he speaking of the continual lifelong struggle? Or both?

 
At 04 December, 2006 14:41, Blogger GUNNY said...

I'm reminded of Edwards' Resolutions in general, and #56 in particular:
Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

If the standard for our behavior is perfection (Matt 5:48), then we keep our feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars, as Kasey Kasem would say.

I don't think Owen is speaking as much to an actual definitive eradication whereby one then moves to another, but is speaking to fighting against (indwelling) sin in general.

I think he's talking to the struggle for sanctification, a fight we ought not to wade into with half-hearted resolve lest we come out worse than before.

You wrote:
"What I mean is, we may weaken the particular sin habit through continually overcoming the temptation so that the we do not activate the tendency and it is weakened overall. But it still lives with us all our lives. Do you think that is common?"

I think that's exactly it and that, though I/we/you may gain "victory" of sorts over a particular sin by habitually resisting and/or avoiding temptation, there will always be the propensity for such. That will always remind us to "take heed" we that stand, lest we fall.

I think this side of glory, to use Owen's metaphor, it may be possible, on some level (my apologies for the abundant qualifiers), to put one's foot on the serpent's neck just behind the head and how that dude down ... for a long time.

However, as soon as we lift the foot and turn to walk away assuming that thing is dead, it will bite us ... HARD.

I think Owen speaks to being "all in" and burning our bridges where sin is concerned.

Or, to use the vernacular of the hood (displaying my street cred) ... sin, it's on! You just got served!

Of course, in my mind this is the nature of the Christian life and the difference between a believer and one who is unregenerate ... the believer is in a fight, a struggle against sin in the war of sanctification. Fighting with all our might consistently going for the knock out blow and doing our best Rocky Balboa impersonation when the Apollo Creeds of life continue to knock us back down.

We get up, say, "Is that all you got?" and put our head down for another round.

Or, as they from Australian sang, "Now I'm back in the ring to take another swing."

So, in my best Burgess Meredith as Mick ... "Now, stand up and fight that sin hard! Don't lay down in front of him like some sort of mongrel!"

 
At 04 December, 2006 22:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. That's what I was thinkin'

 
At 04 December, 2006 22:50, Blogger GUNNY said...

Hey, great minds think alike.

Apparently, you had Owen on the brain as well, Jay!

If you love Owen like I do (my area of study at Oxford), then you'll want more.

For some more good John Owen slooge that will nourish your soul, check out "OWEN ON THE GLORY OF CHRIST" on Jay's blog.

 
At 05 December, 2006 22:22, Blogger deines said...

I'm not sure if you guys know this, but in Owen's day he was kind of a big deal. I mean, his house smelled of rich mahogany from all his leather bound books.

As your pal Ron Burgundy would say, "That John Owen is good. I wanna be friends with him."

 
At 29 October, 2009 14:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

man you sound a bit fanatic don't you think?

 
At 29 October, 2009 16:26, Blogger GUNNY said...

I'm probably not the best one to ask, since I'm far from objective regarding my own slooge.

But, I think it's right on the money. Of course, if I didn't, I would change it. But, then I would think the change was right on the money also.

 

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