January 15, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 15th, 2019
Chapter 2 – CONTINUOUS ACTIVITY OF INDWELLING SIN Continued
f. The first principle of mortification
It is our duty to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2Co 7:1), to be growing in grace every day (1Pe 2:2; 2Pe 3:18), to be renewing our “inward man…day by day” (2Co 4:16). Now, this cannot be done without the daily mortifying of sin. Sin sets its strength against every act of holiness and against every degree we grow to. Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies (18) of his lusts. He who does not kill sin in this way takes no steps toward his journey’s end. He who finds not opposition from sin—and who sets not himself in every particular to its mortification—is at peace with sin, not dying to it.
This then is the first general principle of our ensuing discourse: Notwithstanding the meritorious mortification (if I may so speak) of all and every sin in the cross of Christ; (19) not with-standing the real foundation of universal mortification laid in our first conversion, by conviction of sin, humiliation for sin, and the implantation of a new principle opposite to it and destructive of it—yet sin does so remain, so act, and work in the best of believers while they live in this world, that the constant daily mortification of it is all their days required of them.
(18) walks not over the bellies – Ancient kings caused conquered enemy leaders to lie down on their backs and would walk on them as a symbol of victory; figurative speech for conquering and mortifying one’s lusts.
(19) meritorious mortification…Christ – Through the cross of Christ, those who believe are dead to sin’s reigning power, which is the foundation of our sanctification.