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      Mortify

      February 22, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand

      Mortify

       

                  “Mortify?” Probably not a word you have used recently. In fact, it is somewhat of an obsolete word. In Webster’s dictionary “mortify” is defined as: 1) To destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of; 2) To subdue or deaden (i.e. the body, or bodily appetites; 3) to subject to severe or vexing embarrassment (“I’d be mortified if so-and-so saw me … “) As an intransitive verb the meaning is stated as: 1) To practice mortification (Ok that helps); 2) To become necrotic or gangrenous. (Necrosis is the death of living tissue) You may have heard the term mortician or perhaps an older term “Undertaker” to refer to what we commonly call funeral director. A mortician is a person whose job is to deal with the bodies of people who have died and to arrange funerals.

                  Take a moment and read our text for Sunday in two versions of the Bible: (Take particular note of the bolded phrases in both)

      Romans 8:12–13(ESV)  12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 

      Romans 8:12–13(KJV) 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 

      Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes Romans 8:12-13 as “Vital and Crucial to a true understanding of the New Testament doctrine of sanctification.” John Owen (1616-1683), the great puritan theologian wrote one book of 107 pages which primarily treats Romans 8:12-13. The name of that book is “Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers.” Reading Owen is not easy (although much of his works have been made more accessible in modern English) but the labour is worthwhile. J.I. Packer stated of Owen: 

      “I owe more to John Owen than to any other theologian, ancient or modern; and I owe more to The Mortification of Sinthan to anything else he wrote.” —J. I. Packer

      I want to leave you with two quotes from Owen as you prepare your hearts and minds for Sunday:  

      “The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.

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

       

      Ponder our text and these quotes deeply … 

       

      See You Sunday,

       

      Pastor Byron