Archive for the ‘conviction of sin’ Category

November 23, 2009

(Having come under conviction of sin, Bunyan ‘cleaned up’ his life and ‘got religion’. Realising he had broken it, he was now trying to keep God’s Law. His neighbours were impressed – but he was still a child of the devil; now whitewashed but yet a tomb)

…my neighbours were amazed at this my great conversion, from prodigious profaneness, to something like a moral life; and, truly, so they well might; for this my conversion was as great, as for Tom of Bedlam to become a sober man. Now, therefore, they began to praise, to commend, and to speak well of me, both to my face, and behind my back. Now, I was, as they said, become godly; now, I was become a right honest man. But, oh! When I understood that these were their words and opinions of men, it pleased me mighty well. For though, as yet, I was nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, yet I loved to be talked of as one that was truly godly. I was proud of my godliness, and, indeed, I did all I did, either to be seen of, or to be well spoken of, by man. And thus I continued for about a twelvemonth or more.’

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.75

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Bunyan’s Vision on the Green

November 23, 2009

…as I was in the midst of a game of cat, and having struck it one blow from the hole, just as I was about to strike it the second time, a voice did suddenly dart from heaven into my soul, which said, ‘ Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to Heaven, or have thy sins and go to Hell?’ At this I was put in an exceeding maze; wherefore, leaving my cat upon the ground, I looked up to heaven; and was as if I had with the eyes of my understanding seen the Lord Jesus looking down-upon me, as being very hotly displeased with me, and as if He did severely threaten me with some grievous punishment for those and other ungodly practices.

John Bunyan, in

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.69

Conversion – the need for repentance

August 4, 2009

If you don’t have a new relationship with sin you don’t have a new relationship with God.

Paul Washer

False Assurance & Conviction of Sin – Spurgeon

November 23, 2008

‘I have heard young people say, “I know I am saved, because I am so happy.” Be not sure of that. Many people think themselves very happy, and yet are not saved.’ A sense of peace he likewise regarded as no sure sign of true conversion. Commenting on the verse, ‘The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he woundeth, and his hands make whole,’ he asks: ‘But how can He make those alive who were never killed? You that were never wounded, you who tonight have been sitting here and smiling at your own ease, what can mercy do for you? Do not congratulate yourselves on your peace.’ There is a peace of the Devil as well as the peace of God.

Throughout his ministry Spurgeon warned men of this danger but in some of his later sermons this note of alarm is increasingly urgent. In one such sermon entitled ‘Healed or Deluded? Which?’ preached in 1882, Spurgeon speaks of the large numbers who are deceived by a false healing. This may even be the case, he shows, with those who have gone through a period of spiritual anxiety: ‘Convinced that they want healing, and made in a measure anxious to find it, the danger with the awakened is lest they should rest content with an apparent cure, and miss the real work of grace. We are perilously likely to rest satisfied with a slight healing, and by this means to miss the great and complete salvation which comes from God alone. I wish to speak in deep earnestness to everyone here present upon this subject, for I have felt the power of it in my own soul. To deliver this message I have made a desperate effort, quitting my sick bed without due permit, moved by a restless pining to warn you against the counterfeits of the day.’

Forgotten Spurgeon, Iain Murray, p.107

Need for the Law first

November 13, 2008

Until men are weary and heavy laden, and pricked at the heart, and quite sick of sin, they will not come to Christ for cure, nor sincerely enquire, ‘What shall we do?’ [Acts 2:37] They must see themselves as dead men, before they will come unto Christ that they may live. Labor, therefore, to set all your sins in order before you; do not be afraid to look upon them—but let your spirit make diligent search. Enquire into your heart, and into your life; enter into a thorough examination of yourself and all your ways, that you may make a full discovery; and call in the help of God’s Spirit, out of a sense of your own inability to do this by yourself, for it is His proper work to convince of sin. Spread all before your conscience, until your heart and eyes are set weeping. Do not leave striving with God and your own soul, until it cry out under the sense of your sins, as the enlightened jailer, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ [Acts 16:30]

Alarm to the Unconverted
Joseph Alleine, 1671