January 24, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 24th, 2019
Chapter 3 THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN MORTIFICATION continued
3. How the Spirit Mortifies Sin
The resolution of one or two questions will now lead me nearer to what I principally intend.
a. The Spirit mortifies
The first is: How does the Spirit mortify sin? I answer: in general, in three ways:
1). By causing our hearts to abound in grace and the fruits that are contrary to the flesh, and the fruits thereof and principles of them. So, the apostle puts the fruits of the flesh in op-position to the fruits of the Spirit: “The works of the flesh,” says he, “are [so and so]” (Gal 5:19- 21); “but,” he says, “the fruit of the Spirit” are quite contrary, quite of another sort (5:22-23). Yes, but what if these are in us and abound, may not the other abound also? No, he says, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (v. 24). But how? Why, “we live in the Spirit [and] also walk in the Spirit” (v. 25)—that is, through the abounding of these graces of the Spirit in us and walking according to them. For, says the apostle, “These are contrary the one to the other” (v. 17), so that they cannot both be in the same subject in any intense or high degree.
This “renewing [of us] by the Holy Ghost,” as it is called (Titus 3:5), is one great way of mortification. He causes us to grow, thrive, flourish, and abound in those graces that are contrary, opposite, and destructive to all the fruits of the flesh, and to the quiet or thriving of indwelling sin itself.