Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Year with Newton #16

Today I am continuing to share my reading experience with John Newton. I have completed John Newton's sermon series on Handel's Messiah. I am moving on to his LETTERS. 

Today I'm sharing snippets from "Difference Between Acquired and Experimental Knowledge" which dates from 1766.
To hear a believer speak his apprehensions of the evil of sin, the vanity of the world, the love of Christ, the beauty of holiness, or the importance of eternity—who would not suppose him to be armored against temptation? To hear with what strong arguments he can recommend watchfulness, prayer, forbearance, and submission, when he is teaching or advising others—who would not suppose but he could also teach himself, and influence his own conduct! Yet, alas! The person who rose from his knees before he left his chamber—as a poor, indigent, fallible, dependent creature, who saw and acknowledged that he was unworthy to breathe the air or too see the light—may meet with many occasions, before the day is closed, to discover the corruptions of his heart, and to manifest how weak and faint his best principles and clearest convictions are, in their actual exercise!
Since the Lord hates sin, teaches his people to hate it and cry against it, and has promised to hear their prayers—how is it that they go thus burdened by sin? Surely, if he could not, or would not, over-rule evil for good—he would not permit it to continue. By these exercises of sin and grace, the Lord teaches us more truly to know and feel the utter depravity and corruption of our whole nature, that we are indeed defiled in every part!
His method of salvation is likewise hereby exceedingly endeared to us! We see that it is and must be of grace, wholly of grace; and that the Lord Jesus Christ, and his perfect righteousness, is and must be our all in all.
God's power likewise, in maintaining his own work notwithstanding our infirmities, temptations, and enemies, is hereby displayed in the clearest light; his strength is manifested in our weakness!
Farther, by what believers feel in themselves—they learn by degrees how to warn, pity, and bear with others. A soft, patient, and compassionate spirit, and a readiness and skill in comforting those who are cast down, is not perhaps attainable in any other way.
And, lastly, I believe that nothing more habitually reconciles a child of God to the thought of death, than the wearisomeness of this warfare with sin and temptation. Death is unwelcome to human nature. But the Christian knows that not until death—will conflict cease!
We cannot conquer the obstacles in our way by our own strength; yet we can give way to them; and if we do, it is our sin—and will be our sorrow.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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