Comments on chapter 12 Mortification of Sin

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Puritan Board Freshman
As in my last post I stated, im reading this book and I wanted to comment on what cahpter 12 shows and relate iot to something Ive heard many times today. i woul like to mnow others comments in this relation. Thanks.
Chapter 12 of the mortification of sin of John Owen shows that a mean to mortify sin in our lives is to have a view of the greatness of God and our state of "smallness" before him. It develops much on the reality that we only know a glance, a "thousandth " of who God is. The main point is that this knowing of God's greatness and amazement in him is a grace by wich we can kill sin by the spirit.
As I said, Ive heard this allot today, mainly in the teaching and preaching of Dr. John Piper. Ive seen him teach on the ways to kill sin and overcom lust is by knowing God and having a view of his grandious majesty and fullness.
Does anyone believe this to be a grace to overcome sin and wich have been your experiences on this topic?


Puritan Board Freshman
Does anyone relate to Dr Piper's teaching on the enjoyment of God? And do you think a knowledge of who God is, is able to govern you to the point to mortify sin as Owen teaches in chap. 12 of the mortification of sin?
thanks for your comments!


Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm unfamiliar with Pipers writing on the subject, Owens "Mortification" is excellent. So far as a knowledge of God governing our lust, that depends on what you mean by knowledge.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

WCF 8.8 To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey; and governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.

WSC Q. 30. How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us,84 And thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.85

Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ,86 And renewing our wills,87 he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ,88 freely offered to us in the gospel.89

Q. 32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, Adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.90

Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace,97 whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God,98 And are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.99

Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, Adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God's love,100 peace of conscience,101 joy in the Holy Ghost,102 increase of grace,103 And perseverance therein to the end.104


Puritan Board Junior
When I had memorized a few verses on the omnipresence of God, it gave me a serious sense that God is actually everywhere present, and sees all that I do. We can say theologically that yes, God is omnipresent and so is present with us, but to actually give it serious thought is another thing. It is getting to know God Himself. Question 4 of the Shorter Catechism is excellent for an examination of who God is.

1 Kings 8:27
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much the less this house that I have builded."

Jeremiah 23:24
"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? said the lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the lord."

Revelation 19:6
"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying: Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

Go down to the fifth point on this link:
Bible Presbyterian Church WSC Project: Whitecross' "The Shorter Catechism Illustrated"

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor

First, you need to fix your signature so we know how to address you. :)

Owen's insight on how knowing the greatness of God is critical for fighting sin is one of the best things any Christian could learn. In Owen's writing, he seems constantly to be trying to give his readers a bigger view of Christ's goodness and glory. This is by design. He knows that only such a vision of Jesus can capture our affections. We need to see the greatness and beauty of God, and his love for us, in order for us to love God in return. And we need to LOVE God, not just grudgingly give up a few things for him, if we are to fight sin with any real effectiveness. "Love the Lord your God..." is, after all, the first and greatest commandment, and the one on which all the others hang.


Puritan Board Freshman
thanks for the replies...
I dont know what Jack K. meant of my signature. I posted in my signature a quote that is very meaningful for me, its a quote of a moravian missionary before he parts to sail to a departed group of unreached people to minister the gospel.
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