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The Mortification of Sin (Puritan Paperbacks) Paperback – Abridged, May 1, 2004
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"I owe more to John Owen than to any other theologian, ancient or modern, and I owe more to this little book than to anything else he wrote." (J. I. Packer ~ Well known author & Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
John Owen was born in 1616 in Stadhampton, Oxfordshire and died in Ealing, West London, in 1683. During his sixty-seven years he lived out a life full of spiritual experience, literary accomplishment, and national influence so beyond most of his peers that he continues to merit the accolade of 'the greatest British theologian of all time.'
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Top Customer Reviews
I usually give a book a month or more to ruminate so I can weigh the value of its contents against all that I have learned from scripture, but in this one case I'm breaking that rule. I swear John Owen just drove the sword of the Spirit into the very midst of my still-beating heart like a surgeon's scalpel. This book is life-changing. It is biblical, powerful, relevant and Spirit-filled. Owen has made all the questions which lingered in my mind with regard to sanctification and the means by which we are to pursue holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit suddenly coalesce into a coherent, scriptural, practical, spiritual whole. In 130 pages (Puritan Paperback edition) he did this! And how foolish I feel for not having seen it all before when it is so clear and simple and plainly biblical! But don't take my word for it. Here's the opening statement of the section on the actual work of mortification:
"Suppose a man is a true believer, and yet finds in himself a powerful indwelling sin. This sin makes him captive to its power, and consumes his heart with trouble. It perplexes his thoughts, weakens his soul in communion with God, takes away his peace, defiles his conscience, and exposes him to hardening through the decietfulness of sin. What shall he do? What course shall he take to mortify this sin, lust or corruption? How can he gain victory enough, even though it is not utterly destroyed, yet, in his contest with it, he may be enabled to maintain his power, strength and peace in communion with God?"
This paragraph launches the reader into the answer to these very questions. How can we "by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, [so that we] will live" (Rom. 8:13)? Of particular worth to me was Owen's pointing out that superficial application of the promises of God is NOT mortification. He points out (rightly so) that the peace and mercy of God are only lasting and effective when imparted by God Himself, not by any means we possess in ourselves. I have been foolishly speaking "peace, peace" to my heart when there was no true peace because I would not wait upon the Spirit to apply the true peace that comes from God. I have been applying the ointment of the promise while it is yet devoid of the healing medicine of the Holy Spirit.
"This is to bless ourselves, without the blessing of God."
I honestly don't think I can praise this volume highly enough. In its abridged, modernized version it is a simple enough read for any Christian. In its depth and soundness of doctrine it is worthy even of the consideration of the most astute biblical scholar. In the blessedness and value of its subject it stands head-and-shoulders above most modern Christian literature. How great would the visible church be today if all of those who belong to the church invisible would read and follow "The Mortification of Sin"! And for a mere $8, who among those who profess the name of Christ ought not to have this volume in his hands?
Mortification is a word meaning to put to death, and this book explains how we both have a duty and a necessity to actively fight against every outbreak of sin in our lives daily. His most quoted advice from the book sums up his position, "always be killing sin or it will be killing you." He urges us to "always be at it while you live; do not take a day off from this work."
There are chapters on the importance of putting sin to death, the work of the Holy Spirit in mortification, how our spiritual health depends on it, what mortification is and is not, seeing sin for what it is, keeping a tender conscience and a watchful heart, waiting for God, and the work of Christ and the power of the Spirit.
No cute word pictures, no self-affirmations---just a blunt and comprehensive examination of what every Christian must do to become more holy. As Owen says, "Live in the light of Christ's great work, and you will die a conqueror." Read this book.