Mortification of Sin

Mortify Your Sinful Desires

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The sinful desires of the flesh must be put to death in us through Jesus Christ and His Shed Blood of His Cross.

Galatians 5:19-26 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, [20] idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, [21] envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [24] And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [26] Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We must realize that in putting sin to death we’re saying no to our own desires. Sin most often appeals to us through our desires, or what the older writers called our affections. Not all desires, of course, are sinful; we can desire to know God, to obey him, and to serve him. There are many good, positive desires.

The Scriptures, however, speak of “deceitful desires”,
Ephesians 4:22-23 KJV
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

The evil “passions”,
1 Peter 1:14-16 KJV
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: [15] But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; [16] Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Also the “passions of the flesh”,
1 Peter 2:9-11 KJV
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. [11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Sin is a war against our soul. If you are saved, then Jesus has won that war already for you, and all who will come to Him for salvation through repentance. Jesus always has and gives us the victory.

The apostle James told us,
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death”
(James 1:14-15).

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The rat was tempted and lured by hunger, which in turn leads the rat to desire the cheese. Then in the desire to fulfill the hunger of his flesh, the cheese killed the rat. The rat was lured and enticed by the cheese and was blind to the trap that was set for him. If the rat knew that cheese was going to kill him, He would have ran from that cheese. It is the same way satan sets us up in the snare and trap of sin and lures us into his trap. It’s what The Bible calls the wiles or schemes of the devil.
Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus comes that we may have life and have it more abundantly.

It is evil desire that causes us to sin. All sin is desired, or perhaps the perceived benefits of the sin are desired, before the sin is acted upon. Sin is pleasurable for a season, but in the end are the ways of death. Satan appeals to us first of all through our desires. Sin is what caused the fall of man. The desire to be like God. Man listened to satan instead and disobeyed what God had said.

Eve saw “that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6).

Note how the concept of desire is implied in “good for food” and “pleasing to the eye,” as well as explicitly mentioned in “desirable for gaining wisdom.”

John Owen was very perceptive on this subject: “sin also carries on its war by entangling the affections [desires] and drawing them into an alliance against the mind [our reason]. Grace may be enthroned in the mind, but if sin controls the affections, it has seized a fort from which it will continually assault the soul. Hence, as we shall see, mortification is chiefly directed to take place upon the affections.”

Genesis 4:7 NKJV
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

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