Monday, January 3, 2011

Fighting the Flesh

A new year is here but as Christians our pursuit of holiness should continue on in the grace of the Lord. I have recently been reading Thomas Watson's book The Godly Man's Picture which has been hard to get through because I have been reading over again and again his section on humility. Pride is so evident in my life so I love the godly wisdom Watson provides in this section of the book. Watson starts by asking the question: "How may a Christian know that he is humble - and consequently godly?" This is a question all of us need godly counsel. Watson helps us:

1. A humble soul is emptied of all swelling thoughts of himself. (Job 22:29; Psalm 22:6; Job 10:15)
2. A humble soul thinks better of others than of himself. (Phil. 2:3; Proverbs 30:2)
3. A humble soul has a low esteem of his duties.
"[The Christian] sees that his best duties weigh too light; therefore he desires that Christ's merits may be put into the scales."
4. A humble man is always giving bills of indictment against himself. (Rom. 7:24)
"The more knowledge a humble Christian has, the more he complains of ignorance; the more faith a humble Christian has, the more he bewails his unbelief."
5. A humble man will justify God in an afflicted condition. (Neh. 9:33; Psalm 97:2)
6. A humble soul is a Christ-magnifier. (Phil. 1:20)
7. A humble soul is willing to take a reproof for sin. (Proverbs 9:8)
"The humble-spirited Christian can bear the reproach of an enemy, and the reproof of a friend."
8. A humble man is willing to have his name and gifts eclipsed, so that God's glory may be increased.
"A humble Christian is content to be laid aside, if God has any other tools to work with which may bring him more glory."
9. A humble saint in content with that condition which God sees is best for him. (Gen. 32:10)
10. A humble Christian will stoop to the lowest person and the lowest office.

I think these are helpful as we examine our souls for the new year to weed out the sins which make us more content with ourselves and less content with Christ. Our satisfaction and joy ought to be completely found in our great Savior. I hope you will join with me in this pursuit of holiness. May we rely on the grace of God and his Spirit's work as we fight the battle against our flesh.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

Happy New Year

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