Do you live the Christian life? That God's ways are your ways? IN the words of the Psalmist, "your testimony I will declare." Do you and I live by and in the Spirit? The vigor of our spiritual vitality depends on our mortification of the deeds of the flesh. (Owen) Mortification is this: keeping your sin nature under the tightened noose.
Evangelicals today sacrifice the gospel with new and innovative techniques to mortify the flesh. I am thinking of one such approach as advocated in "Every Man's Battle." The method that the authors propose is that if you would "bounce your eyes" or look away from a woman or man then you defeat sin. Other Christians have proposed asceticism, trusting in yourself, and legalism (trusting in yourself and not Christ.)
When we pick up the sword and shield we must be sure not to use them in a wrong way. It is important to rely on Christ in the way that He said. God has not appointed other means to combat the flesh. (again indulgences and asceticism.)
Mortification is not:
--Conviction without a Solution - the Gospel is sufficient for the Believer's battle vs. sin. Christ freed, Christ defeated, Christ abides within us. It is all about Christ.
--Conviction without Action - Mortification of the sin brings conviction and repentance.
-- Conviction but selective in mortifying. As Augustine prayed, "Make me pure but not yet." True Mortification is total.
-- measured by temperment
-- diverted (think of Simon trying to buy the Holy Spirit)
Principles of Mortification:
-- Continually at way with sin
-- Entirely the work of the Holy Spirit
-- Habitual weakening of sin
do you want to be filled with Grace? Do you want to feast upon the given means? Prayer, Preaching, Singing, the sacraments? Do you realize that the Fruit of the Spirit are killers of Sin? love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control?
As Christ proclaimed, "Come all who are tired and heavy laden, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."