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The Crossover Between Infectious Disease & Abiding in Christ

Our world is presently in the midst of a pandemic. Nonetheless, we may learn well from wisdom from the past. This morning with no intention to find such a connection, I read the following which in itself makes an adequate statement on the crossover between infectious disease & abiding in Christ. Another way to put it would be that we ought to make at least as much effort as we do to avoid apostasy as we do a plague. Here is Dr. Owen speaking to the matter:

Men are careful about their health and safety at all times but whenever a general infectious disease arises (the plague, or something similar),everyone will be particularly watchful to avoid being infected by it. Now if departing from this spring of life is the prevalent plague of our age, and the plague of our locality ,and the plague or christians, we ought to be particularly careful that it does not reach us in some degree or other. It is quite clear to me that the apostasy, this cure apostasy, that has spread itself over this country, with fruits of ungodliness and uncleanness, consists of an apostasy and departure from the person of Christ. The authors of our day write of how little use the person of Christ is in religion; that his work was only that of bringing the gospel to us. Consider the preaching and moralising that we hear today. Most of it is preaching and discoursing about virtue and vice, just as in the days of the philosophers of old.But Jesus Christ is laid aside as if quite forgotten, as if he was of no use and of no consideration in religion, as if men did not know in what way he contributes to the living of a life near to God. If we are wise we should consider very carefully whether we ourselves have been influenced by this apostasy. A general tendency can affect all men, even the best of believers, and prevail upon our spirits. I am afraid that some of us do not have that love for Christ, that delight in him, that we used to have, nor do we spend as much time with him as we once did.Jesus Christ, who is the life and centre, the glory and the power, of all spiritual life and of all that we have with respect to God, has been missing, to a considerable extent, from our faith and affections…But this is his commandment, ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me’ (John I5:4).

(From John Owen, Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times, pp.15–16, Banner of Truth)