Random Rants

"What Mortification Is Not"

5. Occasional victories over sin are not mortification. There are two occasions or seasons in which a man who is fighting with a particular sin may seem to have mortified it, but has not in reality. (i) When that sin breaks out sadly and seriously in a way that greatly disturbs his peace, terrifies his conscience, brings the dread of scandal, and clearly provokes the Lord to judgment. This may awaken and stir up all that is in that man, filling him with the abhorrence of sin, and sending him to God to cry out for life and help to set himself against the sin. The whole man, both spiritual and natural, is aroused. Sin shrinks. The sin in question appears to lie dead before him. It is like a soldier who draws near the enemy lines and kills an important person. The guards then awake and make strict inquiry after the enemy. The enemy, meanwhile, has hidden himself like one that is dead until the noise and tumult is over. Though for the time being he is quiet, there is in his mind the firm resolution to do more mischief at the first opportunity. (John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, abr. R. Rushing, Banner of Truth, pp. 29-30)


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