Reading John Owen (Part 6): How Sin Perverts Grace

"There is a twofold mystery of grace: one aspect concerns coming to God, the other, walking with God. The great objective of sin is to confuse these two. In 1 John 1-2:1 the whole design and use of the gospel is briefly expressed. The Person of Christ, and pardon, forgiveness and the expiation of sin by his blood, are revealed ‘so that you may not sin.’ This is the proper purpose of the doctrine of the gospel.

But what if we have sinned? Is there no relief provided for our souls and consciences in the gospel? Yes, there is full relief in the propitiation and intercession of Christ for us. This, then, is the proper order for those who are walking with God: first, we are to be kept from sin, and second, there is relief if we sin.

But here the deceit of sin enters. It changes the order of the application of gospel truths. When we desire to come to God by believing it will tell us we must first be free from sin, but when we are walking with God it will pervert the truth that there is pardon for sin."

--John Owen, Indwelling Sin in Believers, p. 105

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