Tag Archives: Indwelling Sin

“Look to the bright side” by John Newton

“I observe your experience is a mixture of joy and complaint, and thus it must be till the Lord shall be pleased to put an end to our conflict with indwelling sin. Both are right.

We have reason to mourn that there is such an opposition within us to all that is good; and we have reason to rejoice, for Jesus is all-sufficient, and we are complete in Him.

We cannot but mourn to find that our passage lies through fire and water; we ought to rejoice that this difficult way will lead us to a wealthy place, where joy will be unspeakable, glorious, and endless.

We may well mourn that our love to the Lord is so faint and wavering; but oh! What a cause of joy to know that His love to us is infinite and unchangeable.

Our attainment in sanctification is weak and our progress slow; but our justification is perfect, and our hope sure.

May we so look to the bright side of our case as not to be cast down and discouraged, and may we maintain such a sense of the dark side as may keep us from being exalted above measure.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 80.

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“The costume kingdom” by Paul David Tripp

“These three things– lack of excitement with the gospel, disappointment with God and with Christianity, and taking on the traits of my treasure rather than the character of Christ– can rip the mask off of the costume kingdom in your life.

Could it be that you have shrunk the kingdom of God down to the size of your little kingdom treasures? Could it be that your excitement with the things of the Lord is not really about the Lord at all?

Could it be that the transcendent glory of God and His kingdom has become for you more of a means to an end rather than the end itself?

The scary thing about the kingdom of self is that it is a costume kingdom. It very quickly takes on the shape and appearance of the kingdom of God.

It is very easy to think that we are living for God, while our personal agenda still rules our hearts and shapes our decisions, words, and actions.

It is very easy to think that we are living for the transcendent joys of intimate communion with God, fueled by a personal enthusiasm for His glory, when in fact we have placed our hope in the shadow glories of this created world.

It is very easy to think that we have exited the narrow confines of our little cubicle kingdoms to breathe the spiritually invigorating air of the kingdom of God, when really we are more entrapped in our cubicles than ever before.

It is very easy for our earth-bound treasures and anxiety-bound needs to masquerade as love for Christ and enthusiasm for His work on earth.

It is very easy to shrink the size of your life to the size of your life and not know it, because the little kingdom of self has been a costume kingdom since the time the fatal deception in the garden…

You are not alone in this battle to unmask and dismantle the little kingdom in your life. Be excited! Your Messiah gives you just what you need for this battle.

The little kingdom leaves you poor, so He offers you the good news of the eternal riches of His grace.

The little kingdom enslaves you, so He endured the cross to set you free. The little kingdom leaves you blind, so He places hands of grace on you to restore your sight.

The little kingdom has left you oppressed, so He purchased your release. In your Lord you find all the resources you need to live with insight and liberty while you breathe the big sky air of His glorious kingdom.”

–Paul David Tripp, A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008),  81-82.

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“Where sin can’t breathe” by Kris Lundgaard

“We worship a tender Father as well as a ‘consuming fire’ (Hebrews 12:28-29). Sin can’t breath in an atmosphere of fear and reverence before God. It suffocates. Can you imagine your lust cheery and prosperous when you are on your face before a holy God?”

–Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1998), 131.

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“Indwelling sin is our Judas” by Kris Lundgaard

“Dante found Brutus, Cassius, and Judas in the deepest pit of hell. Those who are traitors, who win the trust of their friends and then betray from the inside, are the most wicked of all. Indwelling sin is our Judas.”

–Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1998), 31.

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“Indwelling sin is a beard” by Martin Luther

“The original sin in a man is like his beard, which, though shaved off today so that a man is very smooth around his mouth, yet grows again by tomorrow morning. As long as a man lives, such growth of the hair and the beard does not stop. But when the shovel beats the ground on his grave, it stops. Just so original sin remains in us and bestirs itself as long as we live, but we must resist it and always cut off its hair.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry  no. 4176, 1302-3.

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“Take the soul to task” by Richard Sibbes

“It were an easy thing to be a Christian, if religion stood only in a few outward works and duties, but to take the soul to task, and to deal roundly with our own hearts, and to let conscience have its full work, and to bring the soul into spiritual subjection unto God, this is not so easy a matter, because the soul out of self-love is loath to enter into itself, lest it should have other thoughts of itself than it would have.”

–Richard Sibbes, The Soul’s Conflict, and Victory Over Itself by Faith, XV:vii:6, in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. 1, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1862), 200.

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