“Keep the heart full of a sense of the love of God in Christ. This is the greatest preservative against the power of temptation in the world. ... ‘The love of Christ constraineth us,’ saith the apostle, ‘to live to him’ (2 Corinthians 5:14); and so, consequently, to withstand temptation. A man may, nay, he ought to lay in provisions of the law also--fear of death ... [and] punishment, with the terror of the Lord in them. But these are far more easily conquered than the other; nay, they will never stand alone against a vigorous assault. They are conquered in convinced persons every day; hearts stored with them will struggle for a while, but quickly give over. But store the heart with a sense of the love of God in Christ, and his love in the shedding of it; get a relish of the privileges we have thereby,--our adoption, justification, acceptation with God; fill the heart with thoughts of the beauty of his death;--and thou wilt, in an ordinary course of walking with God, have great peace and security as to the disturbance of temptations. When men can live and plod on in their profession, and not be able to say when they had any living sense of the love of God or of the privileges which we have in the blood of Christ, I know not what they can have to keep them from falling into snares.”
(John Owen (1616-1683) from Of Temptation, chapter 7)
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