Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

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March 12, 2019 by directorfsm

by John Owen – March 12th, 2019

Chapter 10
PREPARATORY DIRECTIONS
Clear Sense of Sin (Continued)

b.Consider the danger of your sin

Consider the danger of your sin, which has many aspects.

1). Being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness

   Sin hardens us by its deceitfulness. This the apostle sorely charges on the Hebrews: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:12-13). “Take heed”—that is, use all means, consider your temptations, watch diligently. There is a treachery, a deceit, in sin that tends to the hardening of your hearts toward the fear of God.

   The hardening here mentioned is to the utmost: utter impenitence. Sin tends to it, and every corruption and lust will make at least some progress towards it. You that were tender and used to melt under the Word and under afflictions, will grow—as some have spoken— “sermon-proof and sickness-proof.” You that trembled at the presence of God, thoughts of death, and appearance before Him, when you had more assurance of His love than you have now, shall have a stubbornness upon your spirit so as not to be moved by these things. Your soul and your sin shall be spoken of and spoken to, and you shall not be at all concerned, but shall be able to pass over duties (such as praying, hearing, and reading), and your heart be not in the least affected. Sin will grow a light thing to you. You treat it as if it were nothing. This it will grow to.

   And what will be the end of such a condition? Can a sadder thing befall you? Is it not enough to make any heart to tremble, to think of being brought into that state in which he will have slight thoughts of sin? Slight thoughts of grace, of mercy, of the blood of Christ, of the Law, heaven, and hell come all in at the same season. Take heed, this is that which your lust is working towards: the hardening of the heart, searing of the conscience, blinding of the mind, stupefying of the affections, and deceiving of the whole soul.

2). Some great correction

   Consider the danger of some great temporal correction, which the Scripture calls “judgment,” or just vengeance and punishment (Ps 89:30-33). Though God should not utterly cast you off for this abomination that lies in your heart, yet He will visit you with the rod.(79) Though He pardon and forgive, He will take vengeance of your inventions. Oh, remember David and all his troubles! Look on him flying into the wilderness and consider the hand of God upon him. Is it nothing to you that God should kill your child in anger, ruin your estate in anger, break your bones in anger, suffer you to be a scandal and reproach in anger, kill you, destroy you, make you to lie down in darkness—all in anger? Is it nothing that He should punish, ruin, and undo others because of you? Let me not be misunderstood I do not mean that God sends all these things always on His people in anger. God forbid! But this I say: that when He does so deal with you, and your conscience bears witness with Him what your provocations have been, you will find His dealings full of bitterness to your soul. If you fear not these things, I fear you are under hardness from your sins.

(79)  See The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod by Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), available from CHAPEL LIBRARY.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from:The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

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