Saturday, September 02, 2006

Specific Directions for the mortifying of sin

Adapted from John Owen On the Mortification of Sin in Believers

1.Consider the dangerous symptoms of the sin that you are seeking to mortify:
(a) Is it inveterate? Has it been allowed to fester and gain strength for a long time and also become familiar to the mind and conscience?
(b) Does your heart retain a good opinion of itself and think that it can satisfy the conscience with certain evidences of grace while ignoring sin? Does it think that there is mercy without mortifying the sin?
(c) Does the sin gain frequent success against you?
(d) Do the only arguments that you use against the sin relate to its consequences or punishment and not to gospel privileges and motivations?
(e) Is there a spiritual hardening with it?
(f) Has the sin has already withstood God's dealings and chastisements against it?

2.Get a clear abiding sense in your mind and conscience of the guilt, danger and evil of the sin:
(a) Its guilt is aggravated and heightened by the amount of grace and light that you have received and against which you are sinning.
(b) Its danger lies in loss of peace and strength all our days, chastisements and temporal corrections because of it, the peril of being hardened by its deceitfulness, eternal destruction if we are resolved to continue in that sin.
(c) Its evil lies in grieving the Holy Spirit, wounding Christ afresh and taking away our usefulness in our generation.
3.Load your conscience with the guilt of the sin:
(a) In general terms that it is against God's law, that it removes evidence that you are free from the condemning power of sin, that it undermines the truth and purpose of the gospel.
(b) In particular things such as God's infinite tenderness towards you in many instances in gracious providences and especially in recovering you from the hardening power of sin.
4. Get a constant longing in your soul for deliverance from this sin
5.Consider how you are naturally prone to this sin:
(a) It is important to stress that this does not relieve you of the guilt of it but rather aggravates that guilt
(b) It means that you will be better able to watch against it
(c) You will be then be able to deal with the appetites of the body by fasting in watching
6.Consider what occasions and opportunities it takes and watch against them
7.Rise immediately against the first actings of this sin
8.Meditate upon things that will humble and abase you with a sense of your own vileness. Meditate upon the difference between God's majesty, greatness and holiness and yourself. Meditate also upon how little you know Him and Christ in His being and perfections.
9.Do not speak peace to your guilty soul until God does so

1. Act faith upon Christ, on His provision and fulness in expecting relief from Him in the war against your sin
2. Act faith on the death of Christ