John Owen, the author of the classic works on sin such as, The Mortification of Sin in Believers; Of Temptation; and The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin, make this striking comment about sin in believers:
“The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you.”
Jerry Bridges responds:
“Does that sentence surprise you? Would you have expected Owen to say that the greatest sorrow and burden we can lay on the Father is to commit some scandolous sin? Isn’t that the way we tend to think of God, more as our Judge than as our Father? That is because we do not keep the gospel constantly before us.” Discipline of Grace, p. 127.