Aggravating Guilt

On Tuesday, during the big kids’ swimming lesson I took the opportunity to sit in the shade and read the eleventh chapter from the abridged and updated version of John Owen’s book, The Mortification of Sin. He lays out very specific guidelines to put sin to death, and one of these guidelines to consider your own sin in relation to the gospel. He writes, “Bring your lust to the gospel. Not for relief, but for further conviction of your guilt.”

There is a temptation to zoom past our guilt and shame to get to relief. But would not thoughtful consideration (godly grief, 2 Corinthians 7:10) of our own guilt drive us to put this sin to death?

He gives three instructions to aggravate guilt.

I’ll summarize here and I’d encourage you to read the book.

  • Consider the infinite patience and forbearance of God towards us. Owen writes, “He has spared you from time too time and you have tested Him to see how long He might be patient. Will you continue to sin ageist Him?”
  • Consider how many times you’ve been right on the edge of being hardened and God’s been gracious to restore you.
  • Fill your conscience with the memories of God’s gracious dealings with you.

Why aggravate guilt? Because you probably do not feel enough of it. We may be too cold and too hard to have that sensitivity. May God use the aggravation of guilt to see our sin for what it is: great. And may God use our knowledge of our great sin to reveal to us our great Savior.

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About clydeblogs
I am husband to my sweetheart Lisa, and we are parents of our sweetheart Claire Renae and the curiously cute Evan. I wish I could say that I speak a little, and think a lot, but I think I speak a lot and think less than I should.

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