“Mortify Your Members”

“Mortify your members which are upon the earth.”
(Colossians 3:5)

The word “mortify” means to deaden, subdue, or be dead. As Paul wrote in Romans 6:11, “Reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” What means can be used to subdue our sinful tendencies?

Labor to suppress the thoughts of sin.

The old nature with its appetites and desires cannot be annihilated, but it can be suppressed by not cultivating and enjoying the thoughts of sin.

Consider what a wrestched thing sin is.

It is called “the filthiness of the flesh and spirit” (2nd Corinthians 7:1). Sin is called “the works of the devil,” and our sins crucified our Lord.

“Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.”

The fear of the LORD is a bridle to sin. Solomon wrote, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). It is said of the wicked, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

AVOID the company of worldy people.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20) If you would suppress your evil nature, cultivate the fellowship of believers whose language, amusements, and conduct honour God.

Be often in the assembly of the saints

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)

Be much in prayer.

“Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not” (Psalm 17:5). Here is a prayer I found in some old clippings which fits well here. “Lord, keep me from dishonoring Thee. Keep me from these defiling sins of my day, that I may not be worse for the times, nor the times worse because of me. Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins. Keep me; for as a little child is only safe in the parent’s arms, so I am only safe in Thee.”

Henry Mahan

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