Notes from Owen on Mortification

owenHere’s some notes I took from vol 6 of John Owen’s magisterial works – might powerful stuff:

Owen, Mortification of Sin, Works 6

Rom 8:13 – if you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live, if you live after the flesh you will die

  • “The vigour, and power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh” (p9)
  • “Without sincerity and diligence in a universality of obedience, there is no mortification of any one perplexing lust to be obtained” (p40)
  • Necessity of renewing grace, not just restraining grace (distinction between common grace and saving grace, or diff between being morally restrained and supernaturally changed) (p47)
  • “What gospel principles do not, legal motives cannot” (p48)
  • “What can i say to dear Lord Jesus? How shall i hold my head with any boldness before him? Do i account communion with him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake i have scarce left him any room in my heart? (p58)
  • “Rise mightily against the first actings of thy distemper…suffer it not to get the least ground…If it have allowance for one step, it will take another…It is like water in a channel, – if it once break out it will have its course…Consider what an unclean thought would have; it would have thee roll thyself in folly and filth.” (p62)

Owen, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of it, Works 6

Matt 26:41 – Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation
  •  “That very temptation, which at one time hath little or no power on a man, – he can despise it, scorn the motions of it, easily resist it, – at another, bears him away quite before it.” (p98)
  • “Adam was the “son of God,” Luke iii.38, created in the image of God, full of that integrity, righteousness, and holiness, which might be and was an eminent resemblance of the holiness of God. He had a far greater inherent stock of ability than we, and had nothing in him to entice or seduce him; yet this Adam no sooner enters into temptation but he is gone, lost, and ruined, he and all his posterity with him. What can we expect in the like condition, that have not only in our temptations, as he had, a cunning devil to deal withal, but a cursed world and a corrupt heart also?” (p103)
  • “A temptation will so possess and fill the mind with thoughtfulness of itself and matter of it, that it will take off from that clear consideration of things which otherwise it might and would have[Hos 4:11] (p109)
  • “It [temptation] will lay the reins on the neck of a lust, and put spurs to the sides of it, that it may rush forward like a horse into the battle” (p110)
  • “Now, by this means temptation gets so deep in the heart that no contrary reasonings can reach unto it; nothing by what can kill the lust can conquer the temptation. Like leprosy that hath mingled itself with the wall, the wall itself must be pulled down, or the leprosy will not be cured”(p113)
  • Sin is Satan-glorifying – “Consider the end of any temptation; this is Satan’s end and sin’s end, – that is the dishonour of God and the ruin of our souls.” (p114)
  • “Seeing we have so little power over our hearts when once they meet with suitable provocations, we are to keep them asunder, as a man would do fire and the combustible parts of the house wherein he dwells” (p133)
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