Notes on Mortification (19)

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

The new nature, which is born of the Spirit, cannot bear sin. The Spirit is said therefore to lust against the flesh, there is a contrariety between them, that, like fire and water in the cloud, make a thunder in the soul. The man that lacks the Spirit, has no principle in him that opposes sin, or that seeks the death of sin. By the Spirit we are united to Christ, and by virtue of this union with Christ, we are enabled to overcome sin: we by this means receive strength and supplies of grace, and are made conformable to him. We are crucified with him, and die with him, and rise with him (Galatians 6:14). The souls sees not only a pattern of holiness and mortification to sin, in Christ, but is made a partaker of the same holiness that is in Christ; and so, has the same abhorrence of sin; and the nearer it be to the soul, (the Lord Jesus had none in his person,) the more he loathes it. That which put him about destroying the works of the devil, prompts them to seek the destruction of sin. The Spirit promotes mortification, by actuating, assisting, and strengthening grace in us. The Spirit excites the exercise of grace (Galatians 5:16; John 8:38). The exercise of grace engages the Spirit to assist his own work; and this he will do, if not grieved. And thus the Spirit does not only hinder the fulfilling and bringing forth of the lusts of the flesh, but also marks the conception of them. The Spirit, by filling with the fruits of holiness and righteousness, leaves no room for the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21; Philippians 1:11; 2Peter 1:9). Now these acts of holiness, the apostle calls the fruits of the Spirit, for these the Spirit excites and produces, not by moral means only, but by an internal immediate effectual work: For which end especially he dwells in them, to cherish his own work, and to excite the actings of grace. As in the old creation the Spirit moved upon the waters, and they brought forth living creatures, so does he move upon the new creature in the soul, and brings forth fruits, which for this reason, are called the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Spirit draws forth godly sorrow, and that is like poison to sin; the Spirit draws forth acts of love, and these kill the love of sin, which is the life of it.

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