Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Year with Owen #17

I will be sharing some John Owen quotes this year. The second book I'll be reading is Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It.

“Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation” (Matt. 26: 41). These words of our Savior are repeated with very little alteration in three evangelists; only, whereas Matthew and Mark have recorded them as above written, Luke reports them thus: “Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation” [Luke 22: 46]; so that the whole of his caution seems to have been, “Arise, watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation.” ~ John Owen
All our own strength is weakness, and all our wisdom folly. ~ John Owen
There are three things in the words: (1) The evil cautioned against— temptation; (2) the means of its prevalency— by our entering into it; (3) the way of preventing it— watch and pray. ~ John Owen
So temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction. ~ John Owen
Now, as to God’s tempting of any, two things are to be considered: (1) The end why he does it; (2) The way whereby he does it. ~ John Owen
Grace and corruption lie deep in the heart; men oftentimes deceive themselves in the search after the one or the other of them. ~ John Owen
God does it to show himself unto man, and that— In a way of preventing grace. A man shall see that it is God alone who keeps from all sin. Until we are tempted, we think we live on our own strength. Though all men do this or that, we will not [cf. Matt. 26: 35]. When the trial comes, we quickly see whence is our preservation, by standing or falling. ~ John Owen
God does it to show himself unto man, and that—In a way of renewing grace. He would have the temptation continue with St. Paul, that he might reveal himself to him in the sufficiency of his renewing grace (2 Cor. 12: 9). We know not the power and strength that God puts forth in our behalf, nor what is the sufficiency of his grace, until, comparing the temptation with our own weakness, it appears unto us. ~ John Owen
The efficacy of an antidote is found when poison has been taken; and the preciousness of medicines is made known by diseases. We shall never know what strength there is in grace if we know not what strength there is in temptation. We must be tried, that we may be made sensible of being preserved. ~ John Owen
Many men know not what is in them, or rather what is ready for them, until they are put upon what seems utterly above their strength, indeed, upon what is really above their strength. ~ John Owen
The duties that God, in an ordinary way, requires at our hands are not proportioned to what strength we have in ourselves, but to what help and relief is laid up for us in Christ; and we are to address ourselves to the greatest performances with a settled persuasion that we have not ability for the least. This is the law of grace; but yet, when any duty is required that is extraordinary, that is a secret not often discovered. In the yoke of Christ it is a trial, a temptation. ~ John Owen
Now, they are not properly the temptations of God, as coming from him, with his end upon them, that are here intended; and therefore I shall set these apart from our present consideration. ~ John Owen
In this sense temptation may proceed either singly from Satan, or the world, or other men in the world, or from ourselves, or jointly from all or some of them, in their several combinations ~ John Owen
Temptation, then, in general, is any thing, state, way, or condition that, upon any account whatsoever, has a force or efficacy to seduce, to draw the mind and heart of a man from its obedience, which God requires of him, into any sin, in any degree of it whatsoever. In particular, that is a temptation to any man which causes or occasions him to sin, or in anything to go off from his duty, either by bringing evil into his heart, or drawing out that evil that is in his heart, or any other way diverting him from communion with God and that constant, equal, universal obedience, in matter and manner, that is required of him. ~ John Owen
Be it what it will, that from anything whatsoever, within us or without us, has advantage to hinder in duty, or to provoke unto or in any way to occasion sin— that is a temptation, and so to be looked on. ~ John Owen

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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