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Mortifying Sin

Mortifying Sin

    Mortifying sin, crucifying sin, destroying sin in our lives. It is what we have been called to do. Romans 8:13, "For if you are living according to the flesh you must die, but if by the Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."   Gal.5:16, "Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."   God made us new creatures in Christ, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, not to continue in our former manner of life, but one that will show the supremacy of God in Christ Jesus. In Col.3:9-10, "Lay aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self, who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”  Eph.4:24, "Put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness in the truth."  Rom. 13:14, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."

    Paul speaks in a manner so that we can serve as models for others to follow, admire, and imitate. The Lord has clothed us in garments of salvation, and arrayed us in a robe of righteousness. What does it take to keep those garments clean and spotless? Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb.12:2), setting our minds on things above, not on the things of the earth (Col.3:2), and memorizing scripture, "Hiding the word of God in our heart so that we will not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11). The presence of another Helper, One that is like the Lord Jesus, mainly the Holy Spirit, His presence will make this possible. The great English Puritan John Owen has much to say about mortifying sin in his book The Mortification of Sin. He warns us that if "We are not about killing sin in our lives, sin will be killing us."

    Some sins are more easily killed than others. The Spirit has convicted us concerning them all, some of the newer ones will take some effort, but the sins that have found a way into our lives and for many seasons have found a resting place in our hearts will be much more difficult and need more drastic measures to be killed. Owen asks the probing question, that we can imagine Jesus asking us, "Have I defiled the heart that He died to wash, which the blessed Spirit hath chosen to live in?" There is no death of sin without the death of Christ. 1Peter 2:24,"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds we have been healed."

    As a Spirit filled believer, blood washed disciple, justified child of the most high God, Paul states in Rom.6:6, "Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves of sin." Owen says, "Sin, sayeth Paul, is crucified, it is fastened to the cross, to what end? That the body of death may be destroyed, the power of sin weakened, and abolished by little and little, that henceforth we should not serve sin, that is, that sin might not incline, impel us with such efficacy as to make us servants to it, as it has done heretofore." How close can we get to fire before we are burned? Let us turn away abruptly from it, watch and pray so that we will not enter into temptation, knowing greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world! Lord willing, more on this next week.

Elder Randy Slak