Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the habit of grace

"The habit of grace wherewith such believers are endued is infused, not acquired by a frequency of acts in themselves. The root is made good, and then the fruit, and the work of God. It is “a new creation,” planted in them by “the exceeding greatness of his power,” as “he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead;” which he also “strengthens with all might”47 and all power to the end. Is it now supposed, or can it rationally be so, that vicious acts, acts of sin, should have in the soul a natural efficiency for the expelling of an infused habit, and that implanted upon the soul by the exceeding greatness of the power of God? That it should be done by any one or two acts is impossible. To suppose a man, in whom there is a 98habit set on by so mighty an impression as the Scripture mentions, to act constantly contrary thereunto, is to think what we will, without troubling ourselves to consider how it may be brought about. Farther; whilst this principle, life, and habit of grace is thus consuming, doth their God and Father look on and suffer it to decay, and their spiritual man to pine away day by day, giving them no new supplies, nor increasing them with the increase of God?48 Hath he no pity towards a dying child? or can he not help him? Doth he, of whom it is said that he is “faithful,” and that he “will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape,” let loose such flood-gates of temptations upon them as he knows his grace will not be able to stand before, but will be consumed and expelled by it? What, also, shall we suppose are the thoughts of Jesus Christ towards a withering member, a dying brother, a perishing child, a wandering sheep?49 Where are his zeal, and his tender mercies, and the sounding of his bowels? Are they restrained? Will he not lay hold of his strength, and stir up his righteousness, to save a poor sinking creature? Also, “He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world;” and will he suffer himself to be wrought out of his habitation, and not stir up his strength to keep possession of the dwelling-place which he had chosen? So that neither in the nature of the thing itself, nor in respect of him with whom we have to do, doth this seem possible." John Owen

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