Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mending Holes or Putting Out Fires

In his classic work, The Mortification of Sin in Believers, chapter VII, John Owen writes of calling unbelievers to reform particular sins apart from calling them to repentance and salvation:

“He that shall call a man from mending a hole in the wall of his house, to quench a fire that is consuming the whole building, is not his enemy.”

If we try to fight particular sins through political activism or any other means APART FROM THE GOSPEL, we are in essence merely trying to mend a hole in the wall of a house that is burning down around us. Owens recognizes that God through common grace may use such efforts to restrain evil. He reminds us however that we can never lose sight of the priority of proclaiming the gospel and calling people to repentance and faith in Christ. Otherwise, Owen continues:

“Thou settest thyself against a particular sin, and dost not consider that thou art nothing but sin.”

Let us make sure we are not only seeking to “mend holes” in people’s lives but are sharing that which will save them from the destruction of their souls.

The Mortification of Sin online

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