But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
Whenever you feel the least motion toward disobedience, meet it with an army of holy graces – zeal, courage, and love to God. Quench every spark that falls upon your hearts before it breaks into flame. When sin is little and weak, it can be easily resisted. When temptation grows strong, grace grows weak and we lack the sense of God’s presence, attributes, and truths to rebuke it. O, do not drift out of the range of God’s voice, straying beyond his call. The habit of obedience will be dangerously abated, if you do not resist quickly the act of sin. Labour for a clear understanding of God’s will that you will not delay in your obedience through doubt. If you doubt whether sin is sin, this weakens your resolve so that you are willing to draw near to it. When a man is sure of his duty, it is a great help against all temptations. When he is sure a thing is sinful it is easier to resist. It is the devil’s method to delude the understanding, and make men believe that duty is no duty, and sin is no sin. It is no wonder that duties are neglected and sin is committed. It is almost incredible how much ground the devil takes when he has once made sin a matter of controversy: some are of one mind, and some of another; you are of one opinion and I am of another. If it were ever a controversy whether drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, swearing, stealing, or any villainy were a sin or not, it would be committed more commonly and with much less regret of conscience. By this means, good men themselves are dangerously disabled to resist sin, and are more prepared to commit it. Take heed lest the devil cast you into this sleep of carnal security. When you are in a careless sleep, obedience seems a tiresome thing; like a tired horse, you don’t feel the spur. You are half-conquered, and have lost your love for obedience and are in danger to yield at last.
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.