Monday, February 28, 2011

Conquer or Die!

"All apparent resistance to sin, then, which does not disturb its place in the affections, the very centre and spring of the soul's activities, leaves it in its full power. Destroy it there, and the curse is re­pealed, Satan dethroned, God and man again in full and loving communion, and all warfare ended.

This renders the conflict most difficult and fierce, and most painful to flesh and blood, and utterly impossible to mere nature. For it follows, from the very nature of sin, that self is the great enemy in this conflict. The "flesh" is but another name for this corrupt self,—the natural heart, which regards the interests of this world,—of the flesh, as of more practical importance than those of the Spirit. This makes the world an enemy, and gives to Satan his power. The very essence of this conflict, therefore, is self-denial….. It is self, not the world and Satan merely, that are to be denied; self as opposed to God, to Jesus and His kingdom, in its manifold forms of self-righteousness, self-wisdom, self-dependence, and self-indulgence….

…ministers cannot fight it for their people, nor can a whole church of faithful officers and members, by their earnestness, and zeal, and courage, carry along with them a single soul, that has not itself fought its way into the kingdom. The conflict with such enemies as these cannot be carried on by delegating it to others; no priest, or minister, or church, can throw itself in between the soul and its enemy: each soul must grap­ple directly with the foe within it, and conquer or die…."

-James Ramsey in Revelation: An Exposition of the First 11 Chapters

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