The Mortification of Sin, John Owen

The Mortification of Sin

In college my pastor taught a Sunday night Bible study on the topic of sanctification. A large part of that class was devoted to the specific issue of putting sin to death. In the course of our study, my pastor recommended The Mortification of Sin by John Owen, a Puritan. God used the study and the book to challenge me and convict me.

In my library I have a number of helpful books on the topic of sanctification. However, Owen’s treatment remains my favorite on the issue of putting sin to death. He begins by explaining the purpose of the book:

“That what I have of direction to contribute to the  carrying on the work of mortification in believers, may receive order and perspicuity, I shall lay the foundation of it in those words of the apostle (Rom 8:13), ‘If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live’; and reduce the whole to an improvement of the great evangelical truth and mystery contained in them.” (19)

Indeed, the short book is a detailed exposition and application of Romans 8:13. If you’ve never studied sanctification, The Mortification of Sin is a challenging, but good place to start.