Notes on Mortification (45)

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

If you have lost the help of the Holy Spirit that you once had, search and find out how you lost it. Perhaps some secret lust that you were willing to spare. This may not only undo your comforts, but altogether undo the Spirit’s operations. Maybe there are some old scores that need to be settled, sins never accounted for, which the Spirit has brought to mind, and yet you just bury them. But usually it is something in your present state or walk, and perhaps something you think isn’t of any account, something you would never suspect, maybe a fretful, unbelieving, or injurious thought. Take note of the first motions of sin, for sin has no bounds, but what limits the Spirit puts upon it, so do not oppose him, kindly entreat him. So, look to your thoughts and words, “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:29-30). Especially in carnal company, whose converse greatly cherishes those sins in us which we should mortify, and by complying with, or gratifying, their spirits, we often wound our own, and grieve God’s Spirit, and thus give sin some reprieve. We cannot converse with such, but they will either afflict us, or defile us. Look diligently then, to your way, recall when and where the Spirit began to withdraw his usual assistance, and when you’ve found the cause, you must do two things. 1. You must, by renewed acts of repentance and faith, be reconciled to God through Christ, because the giving of the Spirit is a primary fruit of the satisfaction of Christ, and of the favour of God. Expect no new gift of the Spirit, till you have made up your peace with God through Christ. 2. Beware of the way in which you found the Spirit begin to withdraw from you. It may, no it will, require much circumspection and heedfulness, this being a matter of infinite advantage to your soul. Rest assured that the mortification of sin is necessary to salvation.

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