Posted by: William | November 25, 2007

Sin’s Utmost for My Lowest

As I said before, I’ve been reading through Of The Mortification of Sin in Believers by John Owen, as well as The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning. The texts bear some similarities; Mr. Venning quotes and references scripture a lot more, which is good for me to plant my feet in the Word that is the wisdom of God. When I first began reading these books, I heard on several occasions, people say things like, “This book changed so-and-so’s life,” or talking about how highly esteemed the books are in different circles of influential people. To be honest, hearing these things, somewhere in my heart I said, “they’re going to be good and add to my intellectual ammunition, but ultimately not really affect me.” What a wicked thing to say, “O sinful sin” as Mr. Venning says repeatedly in his book. I like it.

Well, fitting right into God’s character, I couldn’t be more wrong. Both books bear similarities to one another, and I’m not going to go into them, I just want to point out one thing that Mr. Owen says in the second chapter of Of The Mortification Of Sin In Believers. “Sin aims always at the utmost;” he says, “every time it rises up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin in that kind.” At first the saying just seemed really quotable; but in ordinary life, the statement illuminated the nature of sin in my life. Habakkuk 2:5 says death is never satisfied; that is like the nature of sin. Mr. Owen says, “Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could… every thought of unbelief would be atheism.”

All this has rung really true in my life; by the grace of God, I’m seeing the deceitfulness of sin more clearly than before. I’m finding easier, I think, to bear up under temptation in the Lord, when in my heart I really truly hate sin.



  1. Very true in my life as well. A teacher recently explained to me that his view of sanctification has changed. He once thought of sanctification as growing in Christ-likeness with a corresponding decrease in the amount of sin in his life. This is just a summary (admittedly, poor) of a popular interpretation. This teacher has since modified his interpretation of sanctification as an ever increasing awareness of our depravity (sin) and God’s divinity.

  2. […] Poetry, Sanctification, Writing Recent blogosphere conversations with William Petruzzo (see have resurrected my thoughts concerning sanctification. As many time as I attempt to articulate my […]

  3. The Lord said,
    “The Lord has given a command to the enemies of the cross, wake up ye mighty men of war, prepare yourselves, come to the place where I shall slaughter you. Make weapons of war in your factories, say to yourselves that you are strong, assemble yourselves against my people, and the people of Israel.

    I will judge you all as you surround Israel, your blood will overflow the land because your wickedness is great.”
    “I will judge you in the valley of Decision, these are the end times spoken of by the prophet Joel 3 v 9-21. From Israel my voice shall be heard from the city of Jerusalem, it will be a time when the heaven and the earth will shake with a mighty shaking.

    For war shall be in the sky and in the earth, the Christians will put their trust in Christ for they know that He is their hope and salvation, and Christ Jesus is the strength of the children of Israel.

    By these things the world will know that I am the Lord Jesus Christ your God, who dwells in Zion my Holy mountain. “The people of Jerusalem will then be Holy. The wicked shall not be found in that land anymore. A time of great joy, and peace and prosperity will flow like a mighty river over all Israel, coming from the house of the Lord, and filling every valley.”

    “The nations that have raised their hands against my people of Judah, and have shed their innocent blood, shall be made a desolate wilderness. My people will dwell in the city of Jerusalem, from generation to generation, for I will forgive them and cleanse them, for the Lord Jesus Christ dwelleth in Zion.” Thus saith the Lord.

    This prophecy came to me in the morning of the third of December 07, Billy.

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