“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13
- A duty prescribed: “Mortify the deeds of the body.”
2. The persons are denoted to whom it is prescribed: “You,” –“if you mortify.”
3. There is in them a promise annexed to that duty: “You shall live.”
4. The cause or means of the performance of this duty, — the Spirit: “If you through the Spirit.”
5. The conditionality of the whole proposition, wherein duty, means, and promise are contained: “If you,” etc.
This “if you” is not a contingent condition but rather a certain connection.
The intention, then, of this proposition as conditional is, that there is a certain
infallible connection between true mortification and eternal life: if you use this means, you shall obtain that end; if you do mortify, you shall live. And herein lies the main motive unto and enforcement of the duty prescribed.
So believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin (Rom.8:1), ought to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.
This must be done by the Spirit.
What is the body? It’s deeds? To mortify?
The body is the flesh, the corruption and depravity of our natures, indwelling sin, the old man. And to crucify him (he is already crucified in principle and dethroned) is to take away the principle of all his strength, vigour, and power, so that he cannot act or exert influence to bring forth the deeds of the body.
You shall live meaning, “You shall live, lead a good, vigorous, comfortable, spiritual life
whilst you are here, and obtain eternal life hereafter.” The vigour, and power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh. Great stuff-JK!
Adapted from John Owen’s “Mortification of sin.”