Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Fill Your Hearts With the Cross of Christ"

John Owen writes:

As to the object of your affections, in an especial manner, let it be the cross of Christ, which has exceeding efficacy towards the disappointment of the whole work of indwelling sin. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). In the cross of Christ, Paul gloried and rejoiced. His heart was set upon this; and these were the effects of it—it crucified the world unto him, making it a dead and undesirable thing. The baits and pleasures of sin are all taken out of the world, and the things that are in the world entice and entangle our souls. If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesirableness upon them all. It leaves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure or comeliness, in them.

Labor, therefore, to fill your hearts with the cross of Christ. Consider the sorrows he underwent, the curse he bore, the blood he shed, the cries he put forth, the love that was in all this to your souls, and the mystery of the grace of God. Meditate on the vileness, the demerit, and punishment of sin as represented in the cross, the blood, and the death of Christ. Is Christ crucified for sin, and shall not our hearts be crucified with him unto sin? Shall we give entertainment unto that, or hearken unto its dalliances, which wounded, and pierced, and slew our dear Lord Jesus? God forbid! Fill your affections with the cross of Christ that there may be no room for sin.

(from Owen's Indwelling Sin, in Works 6).