Particular Directions for Mortification VIII

Do Not Speak Peace to Yourself Before God Speaks It,
But Hearken to What God Says to Your Soul

Part 9 of 9 of “On the Mortification of Sin in Believers” by John Owen

“This is a business of great importance. It is a sad thing for a man to deceive his own soul. God reserves the privilege to himself to speak peace to whom he pleases, and in what degree he pleases, even among them on whom he has bestowed grace.

I shall give some directions whereby men may know whether God is speaking peace to them, or whether they are merely speaking peace to themselves:

a. Men certainly are merely speaking peace to themselves when their doing so is not accompanied by the greatest detestation of that sin about which they are speaking peace to themselves. Let not poor souls that walk in such a path as this speak peace to themselves: those who address themselves to the Lord in Christ for mercy and forgiveness, but yet keep the sweet morsel of their sin under their tongue.

b. Men certainly are speaking peace to themselves when they make a light thing of forgiveness and assume that merely a glance of faith to the promises of forgiveness will do it, and so the matter is ended. We must consider the cost to Christ of our forgiveness.

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