John Owen’s Indwelling Sin in Believers is a guide to knowing our enemy, a field-manual for the lifelong war Christ’s soldiers must wage against the sin that remains in them after conversion. Like an experienced general, Owen sets out the strategy and tactics of indwelling sin with unrivaled insight and clarity.
Based on Romans 7:21, ‘I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil present with me’, Owen’s work shows that sin is a powerful inward law or principle lodged in the heart whose whole nature is enmity against God. This powerful river, flowing from the Fall, can only be brought under control by regenerating grace. However, sin’s enmity remains in believers after conversion, and the long war against it is one in which all Christians must engage.
Though this is a book about sin, it is no less about the all-sufficient grace of Christ. There is much here to strengthen and comfort the believer. Owen never lets us think that we must depend on our own unaided efforts. Nor are we sent to the law for help, since defeating sin is something the law cannot do. Our victory lies in seeing to it that the springs of grace remain open, and that communion with God in Christ remains our joy and delight.
This abridgement seeks to make Owen more accessible to present day readers, but carefully retains the essence of his thought and as many as possible of his own expressions. It is a companion volume to The Mortification of Sin and Temptation Resisted and Repulsed, also published by the Trust in the same series.
Paperback, 176 pages
Original Publication Date: 1667
Banner Publication Date: January 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 The Enemy Within
2 The Law of Sin
3 Sin in the Heart
4 Enmity against God
5 Aversion to Everything Good
6 Lusts at War with God
7 Captive to an Enraged Foe
8 The Deceitfulness of Sin
9 Prayer and Meditation Undermine Sin
10 The Mind on Guard against Sin
11 Keeping the Heart
12 The Yielding of the Will
13 God’s Bridle on Sin
14 Sin Breaking Out
15 Blocking the Springs of Grace
16 ‘That Inbred Traitor, Sin’
17 What the Law Can and Cannot Do
This greatest of all British theologians was incredibly prolific as a writer, with John Owen’s books numbering in the dozens. He was a man of great stature with national influence during his lifetime, preaching before Parliament multiple times and serving as chaplain and advisor to Oliver Cromwell. He also enjoyed some influence with King Charles II. He is best known, though, for his writings that cover subjects ranging from doctrinal explorations to ecclesiastical themes to practical advice. No matter the topic, it was thoroughly explored and presented with authority—and, although he often wrote books to help decipher troubling current issues, they are presented in a way that is timeless. The Works of John Owen is available in a 16-volume set, and is also available in single volumes. Books that continue to be of interest include The Mortification of Sin, Duties of Christian Fellowship, and Indwelling Sin in Believers, among others.