Posted by: William | December 8, 2007

Mortification of Sin: Chapter 4

            This week’s chapter in of the Mortification of Sin in Believers, by John Owen, I felt was the most directly applicable chapter thus far and aptly following last week’s chapter that reminded us that the mortification of sin is not a work of the flesh, but a work of the Spirit. If you’d like to join in reading this book along with the folks at, go here and buy this book, then here and read this.

            This week’s chapter was all about our spiritual comfort and the great importance that the mortification of sin plays in it. I feel most notably spoken was that mortification will not in itself create “life, vigor and comfort,” that’s the product of God himself; however unmortified sin will destroy what life, vigor and comfort are there or may soon be there. Mr. Owen says, “A man may be carried on in a constant course of mortification all his days; and yet perhaps never enjoy a good day of peace and consolation.”   Mr. Owen uses the example of David, who for all intents and purposes was filled with life and vigor. However, when he allowed his lust to go unmortified he was “feeble and and crushed,” there was no soundness in him (Psalm 38).

            I think Mr. Owen’s words in this chapter ring true, as they usually do. It strikes me that there are fewer times that I feel less close to God than when I have sinned, or have allowed myself to continue in something that has been revealed to me as sin. Following a proud, selfish argument, I do not want to engage God; I feel like a hypocrite. The same, I imagine with many sins. It is because unmortified sin, in a sense, sucks the life out of my soul. It is a dangerous thing. To explain this, Mr. Owen says about sin, “It is a cloud, a thick cloud that spreads itself over the face of the soul, and intercepts all the beams of God’s love and favor. It takes away all the sense of the privilege of our adoption; and if the soul begins to gather up thoughts of consolation, sin quickly scatters them…”

            I don’t know about you, but hearing these words, it could be almost as if he is talking specifically about me.


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