January 10, 2019 by directorfsm
John Owen – January 10th 2019
Chapter 2 CONTINUOUS ACTIVITY OF INDWELLING SIN continued:
2.Reasons Mortification Must be Continuous
a. Indwelling sin always abides
Indwelling sin always abides while we are in this world; therefore it is always to be morti-fied. I meddle not now with the vain, foolish, and ignorant disputes of men about perfectly keeping the commands of God, about perfection in this life, about being wholly and perfectly dead to sin. It is more than probable that the men who hold those abominations never knew what belonged to the keeping of any of God’s commands, and are so much below perfection of degrees, that they never attained to a perfection of parts in obedience or universal obedience in sincerity.
Therefore many in our day who have talked of perfection have been wiser and have affirmed it to consist in knowing no difference between good and evil—not that they are perfect in the things we call good but that all is alike to them. The height of wickedness is their perfection.
Others have found out a new way to perfection by denying original, indwelling sin, and modifying the spirituality of the Law of God to men’s carnal hearts. They have sufficiently shown themselves to be ignorant of the life of Christ and the power of it in believers, so they have invented a new righteousness that the gospel knows not of, being vainly puffed up by their fleshly minds.
For us—who dare not be wise above what is written, nor boast by other men’s lives of what God has not done for us—we say that indwelling sin lives in us in some measure and degree while we are in this world. We dare not speak as though we “had already attained, either were already perfect” (Phi 3:12). Our “inward man is [to be] renewed day by day” while we live on this earth (2Co 4:16). According to the renovations of the new are the breaches and decays of the old. While we are here, we “know [but] in part” (1Co 13:12), having a remaining darkness to be gradually removed by our growth “in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe 3:18). “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit…so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17). And we are therefore defective in our obedience as well as in our light (1Jo 1:8). We have a “body of…death” (Rom 7:24), from which we are not delivered but by the death of our bodies (Phi 3:21).
Now, it being our duty to mortify, to be killing of sin while it is in us, we must be at work. He that is appointed to kill an enemy, if he leave striking before the other ceases living, does but half his work (Gal 6:9; Heb 12:1; 2Co 7:1).