Tag Archives: temporary believer

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.

Thomas Taylor – The Cares of this Life Choked the Word – 1634

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER, AND OF THE SEED by Thomas Taylor (1576-1632)

Those must needs fall off who never received the Word purely, for itself, but for other sinister respects; as either of glory and praise, if they see the profession in credit; or for profit, so long as they may gather with Christ and be gainers by him: they would stand on Mount Tabor with Christ, and while he is in his glory, Oh it is good being here: but are loth to go with him to Mount Calvary. Or they receive it only so far as may stand with their ease, delicacy, and slothfulness, but will put themselves to no hardness at all. Now all these that love themselves better than their Religion, must needs fail when the ends fail that put them on their profession. He that professeth for praise of men, when the world, being inconstant, withdraws her applause, he is gone: God’s Word shall have no further credit with him, than it hath from men.

This is the chapter on the seed that fell among the thorns.

Some Seed Fell Among the Thorns

Tom Sullivan – Pilgrim’s Progress Study – The Character Temporary

The full title of this adult Sunday School lesson is Temporary and the Twofold Working of the Spirit. The Twofold working of the Spirit is the title of a chapter in A W Pink’s commentary on Hebrews where he details the work of the Holy Spirit upon the non-elect. It is also called “The Common Influences of the Holy Spirit. An examination of Thomas Goodwin’s treatise from Works Volume 6 “The Holy Spirit and the Temporary Believer” is also opened up with a story in this lesson also from Davis W Clark’s Deathbed Scenes, 1851 The Apostate.

Temporary from Pilgrim’s Progress

John Owen – A Reading of Excerpts From Works 6 Sin and Temptation

From what hath been spoken it will ensue, that, if there be such a law in believers, it is doubtless their duty to find it out, to find it so to be. The more they find its power, the less they will feel its effects. It will not at all advantage a man to have an hectical distemper and not to discover it, — a fire lying secretly in his house and not to know it. So much as men find of this law in them, so much they will abhor it and themselves, and no more.
Proportionably also to their discovery of it will be their earnestness for grace, nor will it rise higher.

John Flavel – The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity – 1

All flattery, and especially self-flattery, is criminal and injurious ; but self-flattery, in regard to the concerns of salvation, is to the last degree dangerous and destructive. To persuade ourselves, or endeavor to persuade others, that we possess goodness of which we are in reality destitute, is shameful and ruinous dissimulation. But of this, Laodiceans, and self-deceivers in every age, are guilty.

Samuel Pike – Touchstone of Saving Faith – 1755

One of the most helpful chapters in one of the most experimental books on the evidences that a person has saving faith. Pike wrote, “A mistake here may be most detrimental; and we ought to be very cautious, lest we fall into an error on either hand; lest the false hope of the hypocrite be encouraged, or the true hope of the gracious – soul be discouraged. We must not administer peace, where there is no peace; nor yet grieve the hearts of those, whom the Lord would not have made sad. To steer the direct course between presumption and despondency, is most desirable, and yet truly difficult. Let every one, therefore, read what follows with close attention, comparing it with the word of God, and begging that the Lord, the Spirit, may enable them to apply it to their own cases and consciences in a right manner.” Cases of Conscience – Pike and Hayward 1755

Matthew Henry – Advice to the Sexually Wanton and Unclean

This is a sermon from the Collected Works of Matthew Henry Volume 1. From Four Discourses Against Vice and Profaneness. Henry wrote, “That is a miserable calling which lust only lives by, and which soul and body will certainly be ruined by. That is a miserable service wherein the devil is the master, sin’s drudgery is the work, and hell-fire the wages, for the end of those things is death.
Such houses, and their inhabitants and maintainers, are the scandal of a Christian nation, the pests of the towns and countries where they are, the slaughter-houses of precious souls, the rendezvous of the vilest of creatures ; and more frightful habitations of devils, holds of foul spirits, and cages of unclean and hateful birds, than Babylon the great will be when it is fallen, Rev. 18:2.