Tag Archives: self deception

Pike and Hayward – Am I Being Led By the Spirit of Truth or of Error? 1 John 4:1-6

The operations of the Spirit come with pureness and pleasure: the light in the understanding diffuses itself through all the faculties. But Satan’s influence, and that of our own hearts, as there is no light in it for the understanding, so there is no purity, peace, or pleasure for the believer; but something painful and defiling. To transgress is a hard way; an unclean and troublesome way, Prov. 13, the way in which transgressors choose to walk..

The operations of the Spirit, the influence of Satan, and the motions of our own hearts, are all at times very sudden, and something surprising; but the operations of the divine Spirit, however sudden or surprising, are always calm, pure, transforming, and humbling, referring all unto the uninterrupted word. Whereas the motions of our own hearts, and Satan’s suggestions, are always attended with something or other inconsistent with, and directly opposite to these. Oh, that those who have eyes to see, would but make use of them.

John Owen The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Hebrews 4:2

There is a failing, temporary faith with respect to the promises of God, which will not advantage them in whom it is. It is known how often the people of old professed that they did believe and that they would obey accordingly; but, saith the apostle, notwithstanding all their pretensions and professions, notwithstanding all the convictions they had of the truth of the word, and the resolutions, they had of yielding obedience, wherein their temporary faith did consist, yet they perished in their sins, because “the word was not mixed with faith in them;” that is, truly and really believed.

Now, this giving a subsistence in the mind unto the things believed, that they shall really operate and produce their immediate effects therein, of love, joy, and obedience, is that spiritual mixture and incorporation whereof we speak. And here lies the main difference between saving faith and the temporary persuasion of convinced persons. This latter gives no such subsistence unto the things believed in the minds of men, as that they should produce their proper effects therein. Those in whom it is, believe the promise, yet not so as that thereby the things promised should have such an existence in their minds as to produce in them and upon them their proper effects. It may be said of them, as it is of the law in another sense, “They have the shadow of good things to come, but not the very image of the things.”

Faith in its acting towards and on the promise is also said to receive it. By it we receive the word; that is, it takes it into the soul and incorporates it with itself. There is more herein than a mere assent to the truth of what is proposed and apprehended. And sometimes we are said by it to receive the word itself, and sometimes to receive the things themselves which are the subject-matter of it. So are we in the first way said to” receive with meekness the ingrafted word,” James 1: 21; to “receive the promises,” Hebrews 11: 13; “having received the word,” 1 Thessalonians 1: 6; 1 Thessalonians 2: 13. In the latter way to “receive Christ” himself, John 1: 12, and “the atonement” made by him, Romans 5: 11; which are the principal subjects of the gospel. And herein lies the life of faith; so that it is the proper description of an unbeliever, that “he doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God,” 1 Corinthians 2: 14. And unbelief is the not receiving of Christ, John 1: 11. There may be a tender made of a thing which is not received. A man may think well of that which is tendered unto him, and yet not receive it.

Jonathan Edwards – The Reason Many Profession Christians Live in Sin But Are Ignorant of It

Many men who live in ways which are not agreeable to the rules of God’s Word, yet are not sensible of it. And it is a difficult thing to make them so because the same lust that leads them into that evil way, blinds them in it. — Thus, if a man [lives] a way of malice or envy, the more malice or envy prevails, the more will it blind his understanding to approve of it. The more a man hates his neighbor, the more will he be disposed to think that he has just cause to hate him, and that his neighbor is hateful, and deserves to be hated, and that it is not his duty to love him. So if a man live in any way of lasciviousness, the more his impure lust prevails, the more sweet and pleasant will it make the sin appear, and so the more will he be disposed and prejudiced to think there is no evil in it.

Why Many Professors Live in Sin and Are Ignorant of It

Jonathan Edwards – A Warning to Sleeping Professors, Slumbering While the Bridegroom Tarries

From Sermons on the Parable of the 10 Virgins.

The doctrine of the day of judgment, in which men are taught that Christ will come with glory, majesty and mighty power on the clouds of heaven to judge the quick and dead, and that all, both small and great, must stand before him to give an account, is a very awful and awakening doctrine, tending very much to rouse both saints and sinners, and excite to watchfulness and diligence that they may be ready for such a day. But this doctrine has been preached in the world now for many ages, but men see nothing of the accomplishment of it; and many that hear of it are the less moved by it, because they look upon [it] as at a great distance. They hear that there are many things yet to be accomplished in the world before the day of judgment, and they never expect to see it while they live, nor till a great while after they are dead.

Warning to Sleeping Professors Slumbering While the Bridegroom Tarries


John Flavel – Discovering the Soundness or Corruption of Men’s Hearts 1698

Discovering the Soundness or Corruption of Men’s Hearts by the Manner in Which They Regard Indwelling Sin – From the Book,  The Touchstone of Sincerity … 1698

They undoubtedly have graceless hearts who are distressed at the discovery of their sins by others, but who are not troubled on account of their guilt. Multitudes there are of this class: they are not awed by the consideration that God sees them; they are concerned chiefly that their appearance before men may be reputable; they scruple not to commit ten sins against God in order to hide one from the eyes of men.

Regarding Indwelling Sin, the Saint and Wicked Contrasted

Thomas Sullivan – Pilgrim’s Progress Study – Talkative, Adam the 1st, Shame

In this lesson the conversation is continued between Faithful and Christian. Faithful recounts his interaction with Adam the First, Moses, Discontent, and then they both encounter Talkative. It includes an introduction to Jonathan Edwards on The Religious Affections, what are NOT signs that a person has holy affections.

Pilgrim’s Progress – Faithful, Christian and Encounter with Talkative


That religious affections are very great, or raised very high, is no sign

  1. That they have great effects on the body, is no sign

III. That they cause those who have them to be fluent, fervent, and abundant, in talking of the things of religion, is no sign

  1. That persons did not excite them of their own contrivance and by their own strength, is no sign
  2. That they come with texts of Scripture, remarkably brought to the mind, is no sign
  3. That there is an appearance of love in them, is no sign

VII. Persons having religious affections of many kinds, accompanying one another, is no sign

VIII. That comforts and joys seem to follow awakenings and convictions of conscience, in a certain order, is no sign

  1. That they dispose persons to spend much time in religion, and to be zealously engaged in the external duties of worship, is no sign
  2. That they much dispose persons with their mouths to praise and glorify God, is no sign
  3. That they make persons that have them exceeding confident that what they experience is divine, and that they are in a good estate, is no sign

XII. That the outward manifestations of them, and the relation persons give of them, are very affecting and pleasing to the godly, is no sign

Samuel Pike – Christian Fears His Faith is False – 1755

From Cases of Conscience, Case 23  “How may a professor, who fears lest his experiences are counterfeit and not genuine graces, come to such a satisfaction concerning his state, as shall encourage his continued reception of the Lord’s Supper?”

Christian Fears His Conversion is False