26 May 2012

Why Mortify the Flesh?

John Owen
What were your first thoughts this morning? Thoughts of work, mowing the lawn, fixing the sink, bbq'ing tonight with friends, or watching or attending some sporting event this afternoon? Maybe your first thoughts should have been on the fact that the Lord's "mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [His] faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV) And following on the heels of that praise you and I both should should move on to mortifying our flesh for those sins that beset us the most. "Put to death [mortify] therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Colossians 3:5 ESV) For John Owen wrote, Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? You must always be at it while you live; do not take a day off from this work; always be killing sin or it will be killing you.*

Owen directs us to Romans 8:13 where we have clear direction to mortify the deeds of the flesh:

    For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13 ESV)

And the five points of this text reveal:

1. To whom it is directed: 'You believer.'
2. The condition: 'If you.'
3. The means of accomplishment: 'The Spirit.'
4. A duty: 'Put to death the deeds of the body.'
5. A promise: 'You will live."*

So take a moment right now to consider those sins that trouble you the most and how you'll put them to death today.

*From The Mortification of Sin: Abridged and made easy to read by Richard Rushing, Banner of Truth, pgs. 1&5.

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