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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ten Marks of A Flesh-Pleaser

In looking around for some solid Puritan Sermons (because they are so dead on much of the time, blunt and get me jealous for the holiness of my own heart)

How can we tell if we are walking by the Spirit or by the Flesh ?

V. The signs of a flesh-pleaser or sensualist are these
(which may be gathered from what is said already):

1. When a man in desire to please his appetite, referreth it not (actually or habitually) to a higher end, viz. the fitting himself to the service of God; but continues on only in the delightful times of it.

2. When he looks more desirously and industriously after the prosperity of his body than of his soul.

3. When he will not part with or forbear his pleasures, when God forbiddeth them, or when they hurt his soul, or when the necessities of his soul do call him more loudly another way, but he must have his delight whatever it cost him, and is so set upon it, that he cannot deny it to himself.

4. When the pleasures of his flesh exceed his delights in God, and his holy word and ways, and the forethoughts of endless pleasure; and this not only in the passion, but in the estimation, choice, and prosecution. When he had rather be at a play, or feast, or gaming, or getting good bargains or profits in the world, than to live in the life of faith, and love, a holy and heavenly conversation.

5. When men set their minds to contrive and study to make provision for the pleasures of the flesh; and this is first and sweetest in their thoughts.

6. When they had rather talk, or hear, or read of fleshly pleasures, than of spiritual and heavenly delights.

7. When they love the company of merry sensualists, better than the communion of saints, in which they may be exercised in the praises of their Maker.

8. When they account that the best calling, and condition and place for them to live in, where they have the pleasure of the flesh, where they have ease, and fare well, and want nothing for the body, rather than that where they have far better help and provision for the soul, though the flesh be pinched for it.

9. When he will be at more cost to please his flesh than to please God.

10. When he will believe or like no doctrine but libertinism, and hateth mortification as too strict preciseness. By these, and such other signs, sensuality may easily be known; yea, by the main bent of the life.

~ Richard Baxter

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