Archive for March 8, 2011

Mar 8

Sermon Follow-up: “Dying to Live”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s message, “Dying to Live,” Ryan preached from Colossians 3:5-11 to show us how gospel realities work to transform very specific sins. After Paul exhorts us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in [us]” (3:5), he tells us what that kinds of things he has in mind: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness…anger, wrath, malice, sander, and obscene talk” (3:5-8).

During the course of his sermon, Ryan quoted from John Owen’s work, The Mortification of Sin, which was originally a series of sermons delivered to Oxford students in 1656. These sermons were an exposition of Paul’s words in Romans 8:13, when he gave a similar exhortation. There, Paul wrote, “if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Owen’s famous warning from this set of sermons is as memorable as it is serious: “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

What follows are some helpful notes compiled by Ryan from Owen’s work, some of which he read on Sunday:

The Need for Mortification

  1. Sin is always active
  2. We ought to make it our daily work
  3. Only the Holy Spirit is sufficient for this work
  4. Our life, health, and comfort depends much on this work

The Meaning of Mortification

  1. What Mortification is Not: It is not the total and final the eradication of sin: It is not improvement. It is not mere avoidance. It is not occasional conquests.
  2. What Mortification is: It is the habitual, ongoing weakening of sin. It is the constant warfare against sin. It consists of frequent successes.

General Principles for Mortifying Sin

  1. You must set your faith on Christ
  2. You must rely on the Holy Spirit
  3. You must be truly converted
  4. You must intend universal, not partial, obedience

The Means of Mortification (how)

  1. Consider the dangerous consequences of the sin
  2. Get a clear sense of the guilt, danger, and evil of that sin
  3. Load your conscience with the guilt of that sin
  4. Get a constant longing for deliverance from that sin
  5. Consider whether that temptation is exacerbated by your temperament
  6. Consider the advantages of preventing that sin
  7. Rise mightily against the first step toward that sin
  8. Meditate on your self-abasement and vileness in light of the majesty of God
  9. Listen to what God says to your soul; do not speak peace until God does

The Basis for Mortification (the “general direction for mortification”)

  1. Setting faith firmly on the cross-work of Christ
  2. Putting full dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit

In their book, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic have edited three of Owen’s works on the subject of sin and temptation, updating Owen’s Old English where necessary.