Notes on Mortification (2)

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

So what do the words of the text mean (Romans 8:13)? Mortify means to slay, to pursue to death. Sin is not immediately and totally slain, it gets an initial and severe death-blow by the first work of saving grace. It never recovers from that; but it still dies a lingering death, that’s why it’s called crucifixion sometimes. It is a great part of the Christian’s work to pursue it to death, to be driving nails into it, to keep it bleeding until it expires. The word flesh signifies the state of the natural man, i.e., he that is in the flesh cannot please God (John 3:6). It here refers to the remainder of sin in the Christian, it is to be mortified (Colossians 3:5). The stump of sin can’t be gotten out; we must be daily mutilating it, cutting off its members. God’s saving work, in which we are passive, wounds, weakens it, but the work in which we are active is this, striking at the body of remaining sin (Romans 8:13). Sin is called a man, and an old man, it’s not a dead carcass, nor is it seated on the outward members of a man, his deeds (Colossians 3:19), are these same, deeds of the body. By the Spirit, that is by the Holy Spirit, it is by his immediate efficiency this work is to be carried out. This would include the graces of the Spirit, by the actings of which we perform this task. Next we will look at what this mortification is, and, what it isn’t.

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