What Does It Mean To Mortify Sin?

To mortify a sin means to subdue it, to deprive it of its power, to break the habit pattern we have developed of continually giving in to the temptation to that particular sin.  The goal of mortification is to weaken the habits of sin so that we do make the right choices.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 191

This Is Clearly Our Responsibility

As we look at Romans 8:13, one thing we clearly see is that mortification, or putting sin to death, is our responsibility.  Paul said, “You put to death.”  This is something we must do.  It is not something we turn over to God.  Rather it is our responsibility as Paul also emphasized in Colossians 3:5.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 189

What Happens When We Make Wrong Choices

What happens when we make wrong choices, when we choose to sin instead of obey God’s word?  We train ourselves in the wrong direction.  We reinforce the sinful habits we have already developed and allow them to gain greater strength in our souls.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 186

This Involves a Series of Choices

In other words, the practice of putting off sinful attitudes and actions and putting on Christlike character involves a constant series of choices.  We choose in every situation which direction we will go.  It is through these choices that we develop Christlike habits of living.  Habits are developed by repetition, and it is in the arena of moral choices that we develop spiritual habit patterns.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 183

If We Truly Desire to Live by Grace…

We also need to keep in mind that the imperative in Romans 12:2 to be transformed immediately follows the imperative of verse 1, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him.  The second exhortation, like the first, is based on the mercy of God.  The discipline of developing Bible based convictions, then, should be a response to the mercy and grace of God to us through Christ.  If we truly desire to live by grace, then we will want to respond to that grace by seeking to live lives that are pleasing to God.  And we simply cannot do that if we do not practice the disciplines necessary to develop Bible-based convictions.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 180

What Happens When We Practice Spiritual Disciplines?

What does happen if we stumble or fall in the practice of these disciplines?  First of all, God does not love us any less.  His love for us is based solely on the fact that we are in union with His Son Jesus Christ.  That is what the gospel is all about.  Christ’s righteousness has become our righteousness.  Our sins were laid upon Him, and the penalty for them was fully paid by Him on the cross.  Daily His blood cleanses us from all sin.  God’s grace, His unmerited favor, is never conditioned on our performance, but always on the unchanging merit of our Lord Jesus Christ.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 178

The 1, 2, 3 of Developing Bible Based Convictions

So it is through knowledge, plus meditation, plus application of the Scruptures to concrete situations in our daily lives that we develop Bible-based convictions.  And, as we develop those convictions, we will be transformed by the Holy Spirit more and more into the likeness of Christ.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 178

Rather Ask the Holy Spirit to Teach You

However knowledgeable about Scripture we may be, we need to approach it each day as little children, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us.  Regardless of how much we already know and understand, there is still an infinite storehouse of understanding of the mind of God waiting for us in Scripture.  My own experience, based on more than forty years of studying the Bible, is that the more I learn and understand Scripture, the more I see how little I do understand of all that God has revealed to us in His Word.  So as you approach the reading or study of the Bible, don’t do so just to buttress your own previously held opinions or to affirm your favorite doctrines.  Rather ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 170

The Mind is Renewed When…

The mind is renewed when, under the influence of the Spirit, the truth is understood and believed, so as to displace the ignorance and error that previously prevailed.  It is the truth, understood and believed, that purifies the heart from the love of the world; and, just in proportion as that truth is understood and believed, are men transformed.  It is by men’s being formed to a right way of thinking, that they are formed to a right way of feeling and acting with regard to this world and the next – to God, and our brethren of mankind.

– John Brown

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 169

The One Thing We Can Be Sure of…

One thing we can be sure of: If we do not actively seek to come under the influence of God’s Word, we will come under the influence of sinful society around us.  The impact of our culture with its heavy emphasis on materialism, living for one’s self, and instant gratification is simply too strong and pervasive for us to not be influenced by it.  Once again, there is no such thing as a neutral stance on the continuum of influence.  We are being drawn more and more under the transforming influence of Scripture, or we are being progressively drawn into the web of an ungodly society around us.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 166-167