Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 7

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 7 the author answers seven objections:
  1. I am unaccustomed to suffering (pp. 111-113).
  2. I am naturally tender and sensitive (pp. 113-116).
  3. I am unable to withstand small trials (pp. 116-117).
  4. I am afflicted with depression (pp. 117-120).
  5. I am afraid God will abandon me (pp. 120-121).
  6. I am unable to persevere (pp. 122-123).
  7. I am unable to endure a violent death (pp. 123-124).
Mr. Flavel notes that "God's wisdom has ordered this affliction upon His people for gracious ends and uses.  He uses it to make them more tender--watchful, attentive, and careful in their ways, so that they may shun and escape as many occasions of trouble as possible," (p. 118).  He concludes that the "more you trust God, the less you will torment yourself," (p. 124).

I found this short treatise on sinful fear very beneficial at this time in my life.  I pray that it has been helpful to you as well.


***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 6

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 6 the author gives the true believer twelve rules or remedies for sinful fear:
  1. Study the Covenant of Grace (pp. 63-69)
  2. Consider the Misery of Sinful Fear (pp. 70-74)
  3. Prepare for Future Suffering (pp. 74-79)
  4. Commit Yourself to God (pp. 79-85)
  5. Mortify Your Affections to the World (pp. 85-89)
  6. Imitate Faithful Saints (pp. 89-94)
  7. Confirm Your Interest in Christ (pp. 94-99)
  8. Keep Your Conscience Pure (pp. 99-102)
  9. Record Your Experience of God's Faithfulness (pp. 102-104)
  10. Consider Christ's Providential Kingdom (pp. 104-106)
  11. Subject Your Carnal Reasoning to Faith (pp. 106-108)
  12. Exalt the Fear of God in Your Heart (pp. 108-109)

Mr. Flavel exhorts the Christian to "pray more, strive more, keep our hearts with a stricter watch, mortify sin more thoroughly and walk before God more accurately, how soon would we attain this blessed assurance, and in it an excellent cure for our distracting and slavish fear!" (p. 99).  He continues with the admonition that "[n]othing is better for us than to resign our reason to faith, to see all things through the promises, and to trust God over all events," (p. 108).


***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 5

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 5 the author looks at the effects of sinful fear:
  1. Distraction of the mind in duty (pp. 47-50)
  2. Deception (pp. 50-51)
  3. Vulnerability to temptation (pp. 51-54)
  4. Cowardice (pp. 54-57)
  5. Bondage of spirit (pp. 57-61)
Mr. Flavel warns the Christian that "[m]uch fear creates great tumult in the soul.  It puts everything into hurries and distractions to such an extent that we cannot perform any service for God with profit or comfort," (p. 47).  He also notes that "[w]hoever lacks possession of his thoughts never offers up his soul to God," (p. 49).  Finally, sinful fear "makes an upright soul warp and bend from those rules of integrity which should be inseparable from a Christian," (p. 50); therefore, the author cautions that "Satan spread the net, but we are not within its reach until our own fear drives us into it," (p. 51).


***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 4

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 4 the author identifies the causes of sinful fear:
  1. Ignorance of God, others, self, circumstances, and the covenant of grace (pp. 28-31)
  2. Guilt (pp. 32-35)
  3. Unbelief (pp. 35-39)
  4. Confusion (pp. 39-42)
  5. Immoderation (pp. 42-45)
  6. Satan (pp. 45-46)
Mr. Flavel reminds the Christian that a "servant of sin is necessarily a slave of fear," (p. 32), and that "[t]o the extent that our souls are empty of faith, they are filled with fear," (p. 35).  He also warns the Christian that "[m]any of our sinful fears flow from Satan's influences upon our imaginations," (p. 45).

***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 3

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 3 the author states that natural fear is necessarily used by the civil government (pp. 21-23).  Then he notes how God uses sinful fear (1) to scourge His enemies, (2) to punish His enemies in hell, and (3) to scatter wicked people (pp. 23-26).  Finally, Mr. Greenhill shows that religious fear is used by God (1) to confirm His people in the way of their duty, (2) to preserve the peace and purity of His people's consciences, and (3) to make His people prepare for future distress (pp. 26-27).

Mr. Flavel concludes by exposing the dichotomy of fear: "Sinful fear has slain some while godly fear has saved others," (p. 27).


***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 2

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In Chapter 2 the author looks at the three types of fear: natural, sinful, and religious.  Natural fear is the "trouble or agitation of mind that arises when we perceive approaching evil or impending danger," (p. 8).  Sinful fear is a self-afflicted burden; it leads to unhappiness (p. 12).  Religious fear is a holy fear planted by God so that the Christian is inclined to do what pleases God and avoids doing what displeases God (pp. 19-20).

Mr. Flavel also shows the five characteristics that lie in the sinfulness of sinful fear:
  1. Sinful fear arises from unbelief (pp. 12-14).
  2. Sinful fear lies in its excess (pp. 14-15).
  3. Sinful fear lies in inordinancy (pp. 15-17).
  4. Sinful fear consists of its distracting influence it has on the heart (pp. 17-18).
  5. Sinful fear consists of its power to incline people to use sinful means to escape danger (pp. 18-19).
He concludes with the following distinction: "The fear of man causes people to run to evil (Prov. 14:27), but the fear of God causes them to depart from evil (Prov. 16:6)," (p. 19).


***

"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear - Chap 1

Triumphing Over Sinful Fear [ISBN 978-1-60178-132-1] was written by John Flavel (1628-1691).  In his book the author condemns sinful fear, prescribes a remedy, and provides encouragement.  In Chapter 1 Mr. Flavel defines the doctrine of his text: "First, the best people are easily overcome with slavish fear in times of imminent distress and danger.  Second, the fear of God is the most effectual means for extinguishing sinful fear and keeping us from danger," (p. 7).

In the following chapters the author will address:
  1. Introduction
  2. Types of Fear
  3. Uses of Fear
  4. Causes of Sinful Fear
  5. Effects of Sinful Fear
  6. Remedies of Sinful Fear
  7. Objections Answered

***
"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  And he shall be for a sanctuary," (Isa. 8:12-14a).