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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual decline’


Some great thoughts from William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour (Oct. 23) on the differences between doubt and unbelief.

“A person should no more sit down and be content in his unresolved doubt than one who thinks he smells fire in his house would go to bed and sleep.  He will look in every room and corner until he is satisfied that everything is safe.

“The doubting soul is much more afraid of waking with hellfire about it, but a soul under the power of unbelief is falsely secure and careless. … In spite of his doubts the true believer leans on and desires still to cling to Christ. … The weak Christian’s doubting is like the wavering of a ship at anchor- he is moved, yet not removed from his hold on Christ; but the unbeliever’s doubting is like the wavering of a wave which has nothing to anchor it and is wholly at the mercy of the wind.”

In a section on faith and unbelief (October 24) we are reminded of this scary, yet oddly comforting, reality.

“This dispute is from two contrary principles, faith and unbelief, which lust against each other; and your unbelief, which is the elder- no matter how hard it fights for mastery- shall serve the younger.  Presumptuous faith lacks balance.”

Faith and unbelief are at war in the Christian’s heart.  This is part of the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh.  When we follow the lead of the Spirit, we live by faith and grow in grace.  When we follow the lead of the flesh, we experience spiritual entropy & apathy, or spiritual decline.  This stuff isn’t talked about much these days.  We lack the spiritual insight of the Puritans, and suffer for it.

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