On the Mortification of Sin in Believers

This spring I read slowly and carefully through On the Mortification of Sin in Believers, by John Owen, and am convinced that there is no more powerful work available on the need, means, and power for battling sin in our lives. In two separate staff devotions at my church recently I unpacked Owen’s nine “particular directions for the mortification of sin,” borrowing from Owen’s language while updating and clarifying a bit. What I shared with the staff is what I will produce here in my next ten entries, beginning with two exhortations from Owen followed by his nine “particular directions.” Take time to consider carefully each of these and employ them as weapons again your particular sins.

“The mortification of indwelling sin remaining in our mortal bodies, that it may not have life and power to bring forth the works or deeds of the flesh, is the constant duty of believers. …The vigor, power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh.”

“Do you mortify;
do you make it your daily work;
be always at it while you live;
cease not a day from this work;
be killing sin or it will be killing you.”


An excellent edited volume that includes On the Mortification of Sin in Believers can be found here. The book can be read for free online here.

UPDATE: Chuck Norris could mortify all sin in the world with one flying roundhouse kick. Thanks for reminding me, Steve. Thanks also to the Crystal Softball Team. “The chief export of Crystal Softball is pain.”

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5 thoughts on “On the Mortification of Sin in Believers”

  1. Jack was nimble, Jack was quick, but Jack still couldn’t dodge Chuck Norris’ roundhouse kick.

  2. I hate to break it to you, but Jack Bauer is a fictional character. Chuck Norris is very very real.

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