Posted by: William | January 22, 2008

Mortification of Sin: Chapter 10

This week in John Owens’ Mortification of Sin, he continues to share some practical steps in mortifying sin. Last week, he discussed that, when perplexed by a particular sin, we ought to consider that sin in a historical sense as it applies to us; have we become comfortable living with this sin, have we already been convicted by God for this sin? This week, we look at sin as it regards to our future.

I would be a liar if I said that I found this chapter as powerful as some of the ones that preceded it. It’s likely that I didn’t understand all of his words as well; it’s also possible that I rushed through it out of duty. Either way, the chapter didn’t resound as heavily in my heart as did others, but none the less they’re some insights that I believe will affect me silently when the time comes.

The chapter is sectioned off mostly over the discussion of our guilt and the actual evil of the sin. In regards to guilt, Owens implores that we look at whether or not we have silenced our guilt. “[Sin’s] noisome exhalations darken the mind, that it cannot make a right judgment of things. Perplexing reasonings, extenuating promises, tumultuating desires, treacherous purposes of relinquishment, hopes of mercy, all have their share in disturbing the mind in its consideration of the guilt of a prevailing lust.” We find ourselves digging our own grave when our minds have silenced our guilt.

To the end that we would silence our guilt, Owens demands we must consider heavily the evil of our sin. Even the smallest and unnoticed of sin “grieves the holy and blessed Spirit,” The Lord Jesus Christ is wounded “afresh” by it, and from a man it robs him of his “usefulness in his generation.” Owen warns, “many men harbor spirit-devouring lusts in their bosoms, that lie as worms at the root of their obedience, and corrode and weaken it day by day.”

Jesus, I pray that you would give me the grace not to harden my heart against you in sin. I pray that I and your church would not silence our guilt, but own it and wait for you to absolve it. Jesus, I pray that where my heart turns a deaf ear to the guilt of my sin, you would reveal to me the evil in it and to your glory I would be wounded and brought to repentance.



  1. Great blog! Found it while searching blogs. This hardening of heart about which Owens speaks reminds me of the disease leprosy. Whenever leprosy is taken from a person in the Bible by God’s miraculous mercy, the text always says the person was “cleansed” from leprosy, rather than “healed,” as if the Spirit was going out of His way to make a connection with leprosy and the effects of sin on the heart, for the Lord always washes and “cleanses” us from sin. We collapse at His feet as spiritual lepers, too ashamed of our condition to look up at Him, but too afraid of our condition to not seek his help, and without hesitation He speaks into our hearts the words “I am willing” and cleanses us. How great a God we serve!
    -Kevin Ott

  2. Amen brother

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