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Killing Sin

Do you feel like you just aren’t gaining ground? Do you feel stuck on the merry-go-round of failure? Christ, the Holy Spirit, and His Word are what we need most to gain victory in killing sin habits in our lives. And like our recent post on Pride, there is a plethora of helpful authors who speak on killing sin in our lives (mortification). We’d like to give you a sampling quotes from these sources, compiled by our friend, Dr Stuart Scott.

  • “True mourning for sin must flow from spiritual convictions of the evil, and vileness, and dimmable nature of sin…true morning for sin is more for the evil that is in sin, than the evil that comes by sin; more because it dishonours God, and wounds Christ, and grieves the Spirit, and makes the soul unlike God, than because it damns the soul. Now, there are many that mourn for sin, not so much for the evil that is in it, as for the evil that it brings with it…” Matthew Mead, The Almost Christian Discovered, 56-57
  • “A truly mortified man is like a warrior: he will either kill or be killed. He will kill his sins or else his sin will kill him. Now examine yourselves in this: are you only fencers, to sport and play with your lusts, or are you warriors who fight with an implacable opposition against sin? Do you only give a slight scare to sin or have you given it a deadly wound?” Christopher Love, The Mortified Christian, 38 (A short article by Christopher Love on mortification can be found here.)
  • “Though Christ justifies us from the guilt of sin, we must labor to be freed from the filth of sin.” Christopher Love, 4
  • “Mortification prunes all the graces of God, and makes room for them in our hearts to grow.” John Owen (Owen’s definitive work on this topic can be bought here or for free from here.)
  • “Exercise and success (in mortification) are the two main cherishers of grace in the heart, let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies of his lusts.” John Owen
  • “It will bring disgrace on the Christian testimony and harden others against the gospel when they see such a contrast between profession and reality.”  John Owen
  • “Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of thy sin…Live in this, and thou wilt die a conqueror. Mortification of sin is peculiarly from the death of Christ. This is the reason why He died. Such faith will look to Christ for power to mortify sin, and for grace to be conformed to Him in His death.”  John Owen
  • “Mortification can never be thought of as separated from the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He brings the work to a consummation. He convinces of sin in the first place, and reveals the help that is in Christ. He establishes the heart to expect relief, and He alone brings the cross of Christ into our hearts with its sin-killing power; for by the Spirit we are baptized into the death of Christ. He is both Author and Finisher of sanctification. His presence gives support in this essential work.” John Owen
  • “Many do their sins, as mariners do by their goods, cast them out in a storm, wishing for them again in a calm… Many confess their sins, but with no intent to forsake sin; they confess the sins they have committed, but do not leave the sins they have confessed.”  Mead, 59
  • “All sin may be chained, and yet the heart not changed; and so the nature of the sinner is the same as ever. A dog chained up, is a dog still, as much as if he was let loose to devour.” Mead, 62
  • “Exercise grace whenever you would see it; idle habits are not perceived. Believe and repent till you feel that you do believe and repent, and love God till you feel that you love him.” Richard Baxter, Christian Directory, 903 (Baxter’s practical works are compiled for free here.)

Pastor Paul’s recent lesson on Mortification of Sin is a helpful introduction to this topic. Take a listen, apply, and may God grant you much grace in this daily battle!