We Are Left to Do Battle With…Ourselves

Since God hates sin and teaches his children to hate it also, it might seem logical to us that he would free us from the power of indwelling sin at the same time that he freed us from the power of sin to send us to hell.  If he had done that, then we would have become completely perfect at the time of saalvation and been left to experience the rest of our lives here on earth in a sinless state.  His will, however, has appointed otherwise.

Instead, at the moment of conversion he frees us from the spiritual power that our sin had to condemn us, but he leaves us with a sinful nature that will wage war against our new nature for the remainder of our lives.  When he takes us to be with him in heaven, sin’s power over us will fully and finally be broken.  In the meantime, it will often win.  Many believers, naively underestimate the power of this inner sinful man that is left to do battle with our new nature.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 59

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The More Deeply We See Our Sin…

When we are in the wilderness, the obedience of Christ on our behalf can become a cherished doctrine.  The more deeply we see our sin, the more grateful we become for the perfect obedience of our Savior credited us.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 57

Evidence of the Holy Spirit’s Work Within a Believer

Out of his [John Newton] extensive pastoral experience, he observed that one mark of a Christian moving from infanthood to greater maturity was a work of the Holy Spirit within the believer that enabled them to stop doubting their salvation when they sinned and trust more fully in the finished work of Christ on their behalf.  He also believed that the richest of  God’s work in our hearts would be evidenced by increasing humility and dependence on Christ for everything, rather than in a “victorious Christian life.”

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 51

In This, We Must Practice Great Caution

We can’t help but compare ourselves to others, and other to one another.  Unfortunately, we frequently use these observations to feel superior or inferior to people around us.  We should therefore practice great caution in evaluating the spiritual maturity of people around us.  We can, and at times do, use this information to judge and demean other, or we can use it to love and encourage.

–  Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 43

The Wilderness of Our Own Sinful Hearts

[John] Newton observed that like Israel on the banks of the Red Sea, the immature Christian thinks that his troubles are now over.  The strong arm of God has parted the seas for him and led him to safety, and he presumes that it will always be so.  He thinks that there is nothing left now but to walk through life with the victorious hand of God on his side, and then to inter heaven for ever.  He doesn’t yet know that, like Israel, there is a huge desert to cross before entering the Promised Land.  The desert he has yet to see and grapple with properly is the wilderness of his own sinful heart.

– John Newton

as quoted by Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philippsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 27