Mortification of Sin

John MacArthur | August 25, 2009

It is puzzling how a Christian who has experienced liberation from sin’s dominion can at times give in to temptation in his daily life. The OT account of Agag and the Amalekites is a good illustration of how Christians should deal with sin. They should not try to co-exist with it, but should remove it completely. Saul partially obeyed God’s directive, but Samuel obeyed it to the letter by killing King Agag. Christians obey God’s command to mortify sin by living a life in the Spirit and not acknowledging any obligation to the flesh. Consistent effort to mortify sin in the body comes through a life lived in the Spirit. Mortification is the believer’s responsibility and includes such responsibilities as abstaining from fleshly lusts, making no provision for the flesh, fixing one’s heart on Christ, meditating on God’s Word, praying incessantly, exercising self-control, and being filled with the Spirit. Covering up sin, internalizing it, exchanging it for another sin, or merely repressing it do not equate to sin’s mortification. Continuously and uncompromisingly removing sin-resulting in a conscience free from guilt-is what the process entails.

Vol. 5, no. 1 (Spring 1994)

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MacArthur, John. "Mortification of Sin." The Master's Seminary Journal 5, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 3-22.