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Annie Oakley
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He who is really honest with himself and has had his eyes opened in some degree to see the awful sinfulness of self, and who is becoming more and more acquainted with that sink of iniquity, that mass of corruption which still indwells him, often feels that sin more completely rules him now than ever it did before. When he longs to trust God with all his heart, unbelief seems to paralyze him. When he wishes to be completely surrendered to God’s blessed will, murmurings and rebellion surge within him.

When he would spend an hour in meditating on the things of God, evil imaginations harass him. When he desires to be more humble, pride seeks to fill him. When he would pray, his mind wanders. The more he fights against these sins, the further off victory seems to be. To him it appears that sin is very much the master of him, and Satan tells him that his profession is vain. What shall we say to such a dear soul who is deeply exercised over this problem?

The very fact that you are conscious of these sins and are so much concerned over your failure to overcome them, is a HEALTHY SIGN. It is the blind who cannot see; it is the dead who feel not – true alike naturally and spiritually. Only they who have been quickened into newness of life are capable OF REAL SORROW FOR SIN. Moreover, such experiences as we have mentioned above evidence a spiritual growth: a growth in the knowledge of self. As the wise man tells us, ‘he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow’ (Eccl. 1:18). In God’s light we see light (Ps. 36:9). The more the Holy Spirit reveals to me the high claims of God’s holiness, the more I discover how far short I come of meeting them.

Let the midday sun shine into a darkened room, and dust and dirt which before were invisible are now plainly seen. So with the Christian: the more the light of God enters his heart, the more he discovers the spiritual filth which dwells there. Beloved brother, or sister, it is not that you are becoming more sinful, but that GOD IS NOW GIVING YOU A CLEARER AND FULLER SIGHT OF YOUR SINFULNESS. Praise Him for it, for the eyes of the vast majority of your fellows (religionists included) are blind, and cannot see what so distresses YOU!

~ A.W. Pink

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I really love this quote. There are many who so struggle with sin that they despair, and I know some who have been greatly comforted by this and many of Pink's other works.

But how do I learn to grieve sin enough to stop???

And if there is never any victory over sin, then how do I claim to have the indwelling Holy Spirit, or the new nature described in 2 Cor. 5:17?

Why should Jesus have died for me, if, at no point in my entire life, have I ever come close to living for Him (though I still hope that perhaps by His Grace, and for His Glory, He may choose to be glorified in and though me, though I know not how)??

And yes, to anticipate the common response, yes, this could sound somewhat like what Pink is describing, the difference being that, when a person grows in Christ, other people can see that growth, even if he or she cannot because of growing awareness of God's holiness, righteousness, and justice. No one, saved or not, seems to see anything like that in me; it's a lot more like, "if that's a Christian than I don't want anything to do with it."


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Originally Posted by chestnutmare
He who is really honest with himself and has had his eyes opened in some degree to see the awful sinfulness of self, and who is becoming more and more acquainted with that sink of iniquity, that mass of corruption which still indwells him, often feels that sin more completely rules him now than ever it did before. When he longs to trust God with all his heart, unbelief seems to paralyze him. When he wishes to be completely surrendered to God’s blessed will, murmurings and rebellion surge within him.
Good, truthful and accurate! Thankfully, the more we grow in the Lord Jesus (Eph 4:15), the less "the old man" can harass (but will always harass to some degree), because we become more aware of the sin nature and the Enemies "devices;" and I believe its the old man that Satan uses when tempting us. Of course, the worst he can do is delay our growth! Those who do not grow are not connected to the Vine, and if continues disconnected manifests a lost condition.

Thanks for the really good post, and God bless!


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
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[But how do I learn to grieve sin enough to stop???

And if there is never any victory over sin, then how do I claim to have the indwelling Holy Spirit, or the new nature described in 2 Cor. 5:17?
This sounds like someone who has been ensnared, to one degree or another, by Mysticism. Some of the more foul individuals who promoted this and who's influence still has a crushing effect on many poor souls, are J.C. Philpot and William Huntington. There are others who came out of the R.C. Church, certain sects and cults as well. They promoted morbid introspection which they themselves rarely if ever experienced which has no biblical basis whatsoever. One is bound by fear and not joy and thanksgiving. Salvation becomes like the proverbial 'carrot on a string'; within reach but never able to be grasped. Why? Because the victims of this devilish teaching are preoccupied and obsessed with self-examination of the soul asking such questions as, "Have I been convicted ENOUGH? Have I repented ENOUGH? Is my repentance REAL? Do I love God ENOUGH? Do I believe ENOUGH? Is my faith REAL?, etc., etc,. ad nauseam. It's a never ending pursuit that crushes the soul and is dishonoring to God. All the signs of regeneration are dismissed as genuine and probably self-induced. The glory and miraculous transformation of regeneration is not recognized nor owned leaving the individual to ponder nothing more than one's self and the weight of sin becomes the dominating focus.

There has never been nor ever will be a true Christian who looks to their accomplishments, growth in grace, the manifestation of holiness nor anything else and is satisfied and thus rests in total assurance. Sanctification is a life-long process that too often is rarely recognized by one's self because remaining sin is ever present to obscure the reality of the Spirit's transforming work. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus for He is our righteousness and hope of eternal life. He came to redeem SINNERS from their sin and destruction not the righteous nor those who pursue to be righteous. Paul in his best days proclaimed that he was "the chief of sinners" yet it did not diminish his pursuit of the "prize", to "run the race" and do the work which the Lord Christ commissioned him to do. Biblical self-examination is a good thing but it is never to be the principle of life above all else.

Have you ever read John Owen's The Glory of Christ? This writing will doubtless bring tears to one who loves Christ and solace and joy to the living soul. It focuses upon HIM and HIM alone and leaves no room for one's despair or doubts of His love for us who have been given eyes to see, a mind to comprehend and a yearning to be like HIM. The end goal is not intended to be fully reached on this earth but in the New Earth to come where all our sorrows, doubts, fears, failings and sin will be no more. Now, we can only "see through a glass darkly" but then "face to face". Don't become bogged down by Satan's heavy influences which only destroy the soul.

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Matthew 11:25-30 (KJV) 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. 28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.


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That quote is a blessing!!!

Last edited by Anthony C.; Fri Oct 14, 2022 7:39 PM.

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