1. Because the study for this
fall is a good follow-up to our
focus on knowing God.
For two years we have made the pursuit of the knowledge of
God the priority for our Wednesday evening services. The
feedback from the congregation has been extremely positive.
However, when one very sincere and faithful member of our
group stated that given how wonderful the material has been
she wished the subject had made a greater impact on her, my
mind traveled to a book I was then reading entitled, The
This book focuses on the power of sin to block our most
heart-felt and diligent pursuit of the sweet knowledge of
the Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore a very appropriate
follow-up for us. The pursuit of Christ places us on the
front-line of battle where victories are not readily won.
This book will fortify our efforts to know God!
2. Because The Enemy Within is a “user friendly” version of
John Owens’ treasured writings entitled Indwelling Sin and
The Mortification of Sin.
John Calvin has been labeled the Church’s genius from
Europe, and Jonathan Edward’s her genius from the United
States, while Owens has been described as the genius of the
Church from Great Britain. He is one of the most famous of
the Puritans who lived in England from 1616 to 1683. The
above two works on sin by Owens have been digested by
thousands of saints seeking intimacy with the Lord. But
today it is very likely that relatively few believers are
tapping into these two profoundly life changing books.
John Owens’ writings are voluminous and powerful. However
many sincere believers now find him difficult to read and to
digest. His writings are jammed with keen Biblical insight.
His style is what one might call pithy. That is to say that
Owens condensed an immense amount of keen Biblical insight
into every one of his sentences. Compounding this
difficulty, most of his sentences are quite lengthy.
Knowing how invaluable Owens’ works Indwelling Sin and The
Mortification of Sin are to the Church in her pursuit of
intimacy with Christ, while also aware of how hard Owens is
for most believers in our Christian culture to read, the
author of The Enemy Within, Pastor Kris Lungaard, spent
hours and hours studying these two writings. He then shaped
The Enemy Within into a “user friendly” version of Owens’
masterful works on the power of sin to block our view of the
majesty of Christ.
In his preface to The Enemy
Within, Pastor Kris writes of the great effort he took to
own Owens’ insights into the power and destruction of
indwelling sin. He states,
“It was for my mind the back-breaking work of digging a mine
with a pickaxe. But there was gold along the way – not just
a handful of dust, but a mother-lode-full of nuggets. The
gold I found was hope, renewed love for Christ, an approach
to holiness by faith in Him. Along the way I was sick to my
stomach over my sin, yet somehow lifted up to the cross for
deliverance. When I finished Indwelling Sin, I didn’t miss a
beat, but drove my pick into The Mortification of Sin. By
now the whole way I looked at holiness was changing, and I
believed that by God’s grace, looking into the face of
Christ to see His glory, I could resist sin to the point of
shedding my blood (Hebrews 12:1-4).”
3. Because The Enemy Within will fortify us to defeat sin so
that we might pursue Christ with greater effectiveness:
Pastor Lungaard combines Owens’ insight from the Scriptures
with practical guidelines that will help us take steps to
defeat specific sins that often hinder our communion with
the Lord. Each chapter is calculated to fan the flame of our
1ST love for Christ. The book builds to a crescendo
providing those who deeply digest it with renewed passion to
fight the deceitfulness of sin in its efforts to prevent the
Holy Spirit from disclosing the beauty of Christ to our
earnest and hungry souls. Thus The Enemy Within will both
arm and inflame us to pursue the face of Jesus Christ.
4. Because the weekly work required in the study of The
Enemy Within will be a welcome break to those of you who
were diligent to study Dr. Packer’s remarkable book, Knowing
While Knowing God was well worth all the pain and effort it
took to study it carefully, this effort was very time
consuming. Pastor Lungaard’s book will not take nearly as
long each week for you to get ready for the Wednesday night
sessions. Each chapter is only 10 to 12 pages long at the
most. At the end of every chapter the book will pro-vide you
with probing questions to help you reflect on what you have
learned. These questions will prepare you for our Wednesday
night discussions. The fall season is daunting for some of
us with the holidays rapidly approaching. Thus our next
study will be a welcomed break for many of us.
I say this not to encourage our group to slack off. On the
contrary! But the subject matter for our new study will give
us much needed time to review, to internalize, and to
meditate on the material. The benefit of such intense,
concentrated intake will Lord willing grant us great
encouragement in our battle to follow the example of Paul,
who by God’s grace, [1 Cor 15:10] pressed on [Phil 3:12-14]
to pursue our great God and Savior.
Philippians 3:8 - More than that, I count all things to be
loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus
my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,