In Chapter 9 there is preparatory direction number 1:
Consider the symptoms that accompany a lust. If they are deadly and serious, then extraordinary remedies must be used. The ordinary course of mortification will not work. (pp. 54)
Further, number 4 in the considerations of the first direction stood out that, “A fourth dangerous symptom is when a man fights against a sin only because of the consequences or penalty of that sin. (pp. 59)” Later Owen also says the following:
“If a man is under the power of his lust to the extent that the only opposition to it is the law, and the arms of the law, hell and judgment, and cannot fight against it with gospel weapons, it is very evident that sin has control over his will and affections, and has prevailed and conquered.
Such a person has cast off, in this respect, renewing grace, and is kept from ruin only because of restraining grace. He has fallen a great way from grace and returned under the power of the law. Must this not be a great provocation to Christ, that men should cast off His gentle yoke and rule, to cast themselves back under the iron yoke of the law, merely because of their lusts?
Examine yourself also by this: When you are tempted, and must decide whether you will serve sin and rush into folly, like a horse into battle, or fight against it and suppress it, what do you say to your soul? Is it only, ‘Hell will be the end of this course; vengeance will meet with me and find me out!’ It is time for you to look about you; evil lies at the door. Paul’s main argument that sin should not have dominion over believers is that they are ‘not under law, but under grace’ (Rom. 6:14). If your battle against sin is only on legal principles and motives, what assurance do you have that this sin will not have dominion over you, leading to your ruin? (pp. 60)”
I've read this before, but this time I really thought this piece was particularly interesting. Sometimes we start to try and fight sin with the law, when really we should be fighting sin with grace. If we cannot fight sin effectively with grace they we must look into our heart to consider if we are in the faith. If Romans 10:9-10 is still our confession of faith then we must continue to repent and walk in belief trusting that the Lord will bring to completion the work He has begun in us.
[There's more so I'll save it for another post!]