Yesterday Todd Murray posted an article titled Satan's Mirror which had many quotations from John Newton. I would encourage each of you to go read the entire article here. Below is a snippet from Todd's post:
"Sin is the burden under which he [i.e. a believer] groans; and he would account nothing short of a deliverance from it worthy of the name of salvation. A principal part of his evidence that he is a believer, arises from that abhorrence of sin which he habitually feels. It is true, sin still dwelleth in him; but he loathes and resists it: upon this account he is in a state of continual warfare; if he was not so, he could not have the witness in himself, that he is born of God. We may be afraid of the consequences of sin from other considerations: but it is only by looking to him who was pierced for our transgressions, that we can learn to hate it.”(John Newton from Forty-One Letters on Religious Subjects: Letter)
Later he quotes one of Newton's hymns (Sin's Deceit) with this verse:
"When the gospel trumpet sounds,
When I think how grace abounds,
When I feel sweet peace within,
Then I'd rather die than sin."
I think it is a good measure to see whether you truly love Christ or not by asking yourself, "Would I rather die or sin?" The answer takes much self examination of your heart. May we be faithful to Christ rather than sin.
Grace upon grace,