[This third set of questions is to help in reading John Owen’s great treatise on Spiritual Mindedness. These are based on Part 1, chapter 5, chapter 6, chapter 7, chapter 8 and chapter 9, accessible at the links highlighted.]
Q12 What is the spiritually minded response to God’s calls to us in providence?
We are to examine ourselves as to how we may have provoked God by our sins and sincerely repent of what we find by considering the guilt of our sins. We are to submit humbly to God’s ordering of our lives.
Q13 What is the spiritually minded response to temptation?
We must seek to know:
a) the temptations to which we are especially prone and which obstruct the life of God in us.
b) our only remedy and way of deliverance, which is going by faith to him who “is able to succour them that are tempted”.
c) the love, care, compassion and tenderness of Christ with his ability to help so as to strengthen our faith in him.
Q14 What heavenly things should we think about if we are to be spiritually minded?
We should think about the reality and glory of things above or eternal things, our future enjoyment of them and of how the glory of God is revealed in them (Col 3:1-2; 2 Cor 4:16-18).
Q15 Why should we consider these things?
a) Faith is increased and strengthened by focussing upon the things unseen and more persuaded of their reality.
b) It strengthens and exercises the grace of hope which is an earnest expectation of things believed in together with longing desires to enjoy them.
c) It makes us ready to suffer in this life by enabling us to compare the temporary nature of present sufferings and afflictions (Rom 8:18) with “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:16-18).
d) It is the most effective way to wean our affections from earthly things.
Q16 How ought we to think of heavenly things?
a) We must ensure that we have distinct and correct views of them and their true spiritual blessedness.
b) We must be greatly exercised in contemplating them.
c) We must compare the glory of heaven with the opposite state of eternal death and misery.
d) We must think much upon Christ as the life and centre of all things heavenly.
e) We must have spiritual thoughts of God himself in his being and glory as the origin, centre and goal of all things spiritual (Rom 11:36) as well as all that he is to the child of God.