Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Year with Owen #18

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.
Temptation in general is comprehensive of our whole warfare; as our Savior calls the time of his ministry the time of his “temptations” (Luke 22: 28). We have no promise that we shall not be tempted at all; nor are to pray for an absolute freedom from temptations, because we have no such promise of being heard therein. The direction we have for our prayers is, “Lead us not into temptation” (Matt. 6: 13); it is “entering into temptation” that we are to pray against. We may be tempted, yet not enter into temptation. ~ John Owen
Something more is intended by this expression than the ordinary work of Satan and our own lusts, which will be sure to tempt us every day. There is something signal in this entering into temptation, that is not the saints’ every day’s work. ~ John Owen
It is not to be conquered by a temptation, to fall down under it, to commit the sin or evil that we are tempted to, or to omit the duties that are opposed. A man may “enter into temptation” and yet not fall under temptation. God can make a way for a man to escape, when he is in; he can break the snare, tread down Satan, and make the soul more than a conqueror, though it have entered into temptation. ~ John Owen
It is, as the apostle expresses it, “to fall into temptation” (1 Tim. 6: 9), as a man falls into a pit or deep place where [there] are gins or snares, wherewith he is entangled; the man is not presently killed and destroyed, but he is entangled and detained— he knows not how to get free or be at liberty. ~ John Owen
When we suffer a temptation to enter into us, then we “enter into temptation.” While it knocks at the door we are at liberty; but when any temptation comes in and parleys with the heart, reasons with the mind, entices and allures the affections, be it a long or a short time, do it thus insensibly and imperceptibly, or do the soul take notice of it, we “enter into temptation.” ~ John Owen
Every great and pressing temptation has its hour, a season wherein it grows to a head, wherein it is most vigorous, active, operative, and prevalent. It may be long in rising, it may be long urging, more or less; but it has a season wherein, from the conjunction of other occurrences, such as those mentioned, outward or inward, it has a dangerous hour; and then, for the most part, men enter into it. Hence that very temptation, which at one time has little or no power on a man— he can despise it, scorn the motions of it, easily resist it— at another, bears him away quite before it. ~ John Owen
How Temptation Generally Attains Its Hour It does the first by several ways: By long solicitations, causing the mind frequently to converse with the evil solicited unto, it begets extenuating thoughts of it. ~ John Owen
When it has prevailed on others, and the soul is not filled with dislike and abhorrency of them and their ways, nor with pity and prayer for their deliverance. This proves an advantage unto it, and raises it toward its height. When that temptation sets upon any one which, at the same time, has possessed and prevailed with many, it has so great and so many advantages thereby, that it is surely growing toward its hour. Its prevailing with others is a means to give it its hour against us. ~ John Owen
By complicating itself with many considerations that, perhaps, are not absolutely evil. ~ John Owen
How We May Know When Temptation Has Attained Its High Noon For the second, it may be known— By its restless urgency and arguing. When a temptation is in its hour it is restless; it is the time of battle, and it gives the soul no rest. ~ John Owen
There is [a] means of prevention prescribed by our Savior; they are two: (1) “watch”; (2) “pray.” ~ John Owen
To watch is as much as to be on our guard, to take heed, to consider all ways and means as to be on our guard, to take heed, to consider all ways and means whereby an enemy may approach to us: so the apostle (1 Cor. 16: 13). This it is to “watch” in this business, to “stand fast in the faith” [1 Cor. 16: 3] as good soldiers, to “quit ourselves like men” [1 Sam. 4: 9]. It is as much as to “take heed,” or look to ourselves, as the same thing is by our Savior often expressed (so Rev. 3: 2). A universal carefulness and diligence, exercising itself in and by all ways and means prescribed by God, over our hearts and ways, the baits and methods of Satan, the occasions and advantages of sin in the world, that we be not entangled, is that which in this word is pressed on us. ~ John Owen
For the second direction, of prayer, I need not speak to it. The duty and its concerns are known to all. I shall only add that these two comprise the whole endeavor of faith for the soul’s preservation from temptation. ~ John Owen

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