"To gaze upon sin is to empower sin and bring condemnation"
I would like to just coment on this quote from brother Frank.
This statment has been used often to rush someone through the process of conviction.
How often have I found even here on this forum someone who is under conviction of some beseting sin to be soon swarmed by posters advising such to quit gazing at his sin but look to Jesus.
While in true repentance we see exactly the opposite.
For example, in times of revival when the Spirit of God is poured the precess of conviction can go on for a very long time.
It took Nathan Cole upon hearing George Whitefield two years to come to a saving faith in Christ, the devil trying at times to give him false comfort only to discover soon after that he was not yet saved.
It took Mary Peckham in the Lewis revival three month under agony of thinking that she was not of the elect before Christ was revealed to her soul.
A story that was told of the Hebrides revival with Duncan Champbel that a woman came to him urging him to come and see her husband who was under sever conviction to the point that she was fearful for his life. When the preacher came and heared the man groaning under sin asking God to have mercy on his soul he advised the wife to leave him alone and not give him any comfort until the Spirit of God finishes the work and impart comfort from above lest the work be cut short.
Now, you must know that during revivals time speeds up tremendously that what take years in time when the Spirit is absent normaly takes hours when He is poured.
Given this fact we should be the more aware of the danger of speeding someone through the process of conviction.
Have we not seen enough cases of sinners coming to us asking for comfort and relief and we told them to gaze upon Christ and not listen to the voice of the accuser ( ignorantly assuming that whoever if causing them to feel conviction of sin must be the accuser of course, who else would it be ) only to find them coming back under the same conviction unable to obtain relief until the Spirit imparts it.
And yet when they do obtain relief from God Himself, no man nor demon can take that away.
This is almost unheard of in this age of easy believism.
Please heed the voice of the old saints who knew and experienced first hand what it is to be under the devil's accusations and then obtain comfort from God Himself.
Heed the voice of John Bunyan in the introduction to his " Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners" for only such a sinner can speak of the true grace of God.
Here is Bunyan:
"It is written in the Scripture (Isa 38:19), The father to the children shall make known the truth of God. Yea, it was for this reason I lay so long at Sinai (Deut 4:10,11), to see the fire, and the cloud, and the darkness,
that I might fear the Lord all the days of my life upon earth, and tell of his wondrous works to my children (Psa 78:3-5).Moses (Num 33:1,2) writ of the journeyings of the children of Israel, from Egypt to the land of Canaan; and commanded also, that they did remember their forty years travel in the wilderness. Thou shalt remember all the way
which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his
commandments, or no (Deut 8:2). Wherefore this I have endeavoured to do; and not only so, but to publish it also; that, if God will, others may be put in remembrance of what he hath done for their souls, by reading his work upon me.
It is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very beginnings of grace with their souls. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the
Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations (Exo 12:42). O my God, saith David (Psa 42:6), my soul is cast down within me; therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. He remembered also the lion and the bear, when he
went to fight with the giant of Gath (1 Sam 17:36,37).
It was Pauls accustomed manner (Acts 22), and that when tried for his life (Acts 24), even to open, before his judges, the manner of his conversion: he would think of that day, and that hour, in the which he first did meet with grace;4 for he found it support unto him. When
God had brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea, far into the wilderness, yet they must turn quite about thither again, to remember the drowning of their enemies there (Num 14:25). For though they sang his praise
before, yet they soon forgat his works (Psa
106:11-13). In this discourse of mine you may see much;
much, I say, of the grace of God towards me. I thank God I can count it much, for it was above my sins and Satans temptations too. I can remember my fears, and doubts, and sad months with comfort; they are as the head of Goliath in my hand. There was nothing to David like Goliaths sword, even that sword that should have been sheathed in his bowels; for the very sight and remembrance of that did
preach forth Gods deliverance to him. Oh, the remembrance of my great sins, of my great temptations, and of my great fears of perishing for ever! They bring afresh into my mind the remembrance of my great help, my great support from heaven, and that the great grace that God extended to such a wretch as I. My dear children, call to mind the former days, and the years of ancient times: remember
also your songs in the night; and commune with your own heart (Psa 73:5-12). Yea, look diligently, and leave no corner therein unsearched, for there is treasure hid, even the treasure of your first and second experience of the grace of God toward you. Remember, I say, the word that first laid hold upon you; remember your terrors of conscience, and fear of death and hell; remember also your tears and prayers to God; yea, how you sighed under
every hedge for mercy. Have you never a hill Mizar to remember? Have you forgot the close, the milk house, the stable, the barn, and the like, where God did visit your soul?"