Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

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February 6, 2019 by directorfsm

by John Owen – February 6th, 2019  

chapel@mountzion.org www.ChapelLibrary.org


2. Not to Utterly Destroy Sin

To mortify a sin is not utterly to kill, root it out, and destroy it, so that it has no more hold at all nor residence in our hearts. It is true this is that which is aimed at, but this is not in this life to be accomplished. There is no man that truly sets himself to mortify any sin, but he aims at, intends, and desires its utter destruction so that it leaves neither root nor fruit in the heart or life. He would so kill it that it should never move nor stir any more, cry or call, seduce or tempt, to eternity. Its “not-being” is the thing aimed at.

Now, though doubtless there may be attained, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, a wonderful success and eminency of victory against any sin—so that a man may have almost constant triumph over it—yet an utter killing and destruction of it, that it should not exist at all, is not in this life to be expected. This Paul assures us of: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect” (Phi 3:12). He was a choice saint, a pattern for believers, who had not his equal in the world in faith and love and all the fruits of the Spirit, and on that account ascribes perfection to himself in comparison to others, as shown by his statement: “Let us…as many as be perfect” (Phi 3:15);(39) yet he had not “attained,” he was not “perfect,” but was “following after.” He still had a vile body, as do we, that must be changed by the great power of Christ at last (3:21). This we desire to have; but God sees it best for us that we should be complete in nothing in ourselves, so that in all things we must be “complete in Christ”—which is best for us (Col 2:10).

  (39)  Many conservative scholars understand “perfect” to mean “spiritually mature,” not sinless perfection

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