The Mortification of Sin

(9 customer reviews)

Weight 0.34 lbs
Dimensions 7.13 × 4.75 × 0.4 in




Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Oct 4, 2022


Spiritual Growth


ePub, Kindle (.mobi), Paperback, Paperback & ePub, Paperback & Kindle


Puritan Paperbacks




‘More than most of his writings, perhaps partly because of its brevity and powerful practical nature, The Mortification of Sin has continued to be one of Owen’s most widely read and recommended books. Most readers feel it penetrates more deeply into their hearts than anything they have ever read outside of the pages of the Bible.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON

‘The first time I read Owen on Mortification…I sat on the bus weeping. And the recurring thought was, “This man knows my heart”. It was as if layers were being peeled away; it was uncomfortable reading. But it didn’t leave me crushed and despairing – there was grace woven into the detailed exposition, really of Romans 8:13. Powerful, heart searching, and convicting, but at the same time, Owen never leaves you bereft, he always leaves you with the awareness that where sin abounds, there’s grace much more abounding.’ — IAN HAMILTON

Book Description

‘This battle will last more or less all our days.’

In this abridgement of a classic work, The Mortification of Sin, the famous Puritan John Owen shows the need for Christians to engage in a life-long battle against the sinful tendencies that remain in them, despite their having been brought to faith and new life in Christ.

Owen is very insistent that believers cannot hope to succeed in this battle in their own strength. He sees clearly that the fight can be won only through faith in Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Fighting sin with human strength will produce only self-righteousness, superstition and anxiety of conscience. But with faith in Christ, and with the power of the Spirit, victory is certain. The temptations in times like Owen’s and ours are obvious on every side; the remedy to them is clearly pointed out in this practical and helpful book.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

Preface vii
Publisher’s Foreword xi
1 Introduction 1
2 Why the Flesh Must Be Mortified 5
3 The Work of the Spirit in Mortification 14
4 How Life and Comfort Depend on Mortification 21
5 What Mortification Is Not 26
6 What Mortification Is 32
7 Only Believers Can Mortify Sin 40
8 God Requires Universal Obedience 49
9 The Dangerous Symptoms of Sin 54
10 Seeing Sin for What It Is 65
11 A Tender Conscience and a Watchful Heart 76
12 Humility 87
13 Wait for the Verdict of God 101
14 The Work of Christ and the Power of the Spirit 116

9 testimonials for The Mortification of Sin

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  1. David J. Harris

    This work by Owen is the best I have read so far among books that deal with sin in the believer’s life. There are two unique features of this book that make it so:

    1. John Owen gives a biblical balance between human responsibility and divine power. It seems that there are two ditches in approaching a Christian’s sin life, and everything I have read on the subject usually falls into one. Some authors/preachers ONLY emphasize human responsibility. They say “Stop!” but they never say how. Therefore, all the burden of dealing with sin is laid on inadequate shoulders. This is not only a problem in literature, but in the mindset of many conservative evangelicals. Christians are told to deal with sin, to just stop doing it, without any exhortation to trust in God. Grace has not part in the mortification process. Therefore they become weary and the end result is moral failure (even among leadership). The other ditch is an emphasis only on divine grace. Many voices are saying, in regards to sin, to “Let go and let God.” This emphasis on God’s power that ignores human responsibility leads men to a quetistic faith which disengages both the will and the mind, and can lead to many other errors.

    Owen, however, looks to Scripture and draws careful conclusions, and gives the reader the full scope of dealing with sin. “Stop, because God will enable you to stop.”

    2. John Owen goes far deeper than most books and sermons on a Christian’s sin life, and examines the motives. This subject comes up over and over again in the book. He expounds on the many and varied wrong motives, and shows that if any of these are behind our repentance (or false repentance) than we are not really experiencing “godly sorrow.” This issue of motive is something I have never really seen dealt with in books of this nature, but Owen shows the immense significance of it.

    This was the first book I have read by Owen. I’m looking forward to see how this great saint of the Lord will help me in the future.

  2. joshanders11

    A must own for any library

  3. Jaron

    God used this little Puritan paperback in my life immensely!
    This book helped me by
    Owen’s absolutely ability to display from scripture every true child of God’s need to apply the gospel to our lives through daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh by the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
    I cannot encourage you to buy and read this amazing book enough!

  4. Randall H.

    This little book is so insightful and helpful. I’m not sure if any book other than the Bible has ever affected me like this one. It has caused me to daily examine myself and my motives for sin and strive to glorify God by laying the axe at the root of every sin.
    This is my first experience with Owen. I’m eager to read some of his other works, as well. As another reviewer stated, I can’t recommend this book enough.

  5. Robert Norman

    A splendid work on the need to remove sin from our lives. I would recommend this to anybody who is seeking to live a holier life, so I recommend this to all who call themselves Christians, as we should all be seeking holiness under Christ’s banner.

  6. Matthew

    This was my first book written by John Owen. I was not expecting a book with this relatively small page count to have as much depth as I found. I do think that the abridgment made the material more accessible than it otherwise might have been for being my first time reading a John Owen book, so I very much appreciated that. The subject itself is extremely useful, I have found that Owen’s framing of sin within the Christian life, and the reliance upon the Holy Spirit in overcoming temptation to be masterfully put. His advice his as useful as it is interesting for discussion.

  7. wemales

    I wish this was taught faithfully by ministers nowadays; for I fail to see how any can be making disciples for Christ by neglecting to teach this aspect of the Christian’s walk.

  8. Gerry

    This, in the hands of the Spirit of God, is an amazing work. It is my belief, after reading considerably from the best of the Puritans, including Bunyan, Owen and Goodwin and Edwards, and examining myself carefully for the true marks of conversion laid out in God’s Word, and as expounded by these men, that I was truly converted out of a false faith some 10-15 years before I read this work by Owen some 10 years ago, seeking, as I then thought, true mortification of my sins.

    I made many great efforts, after reading and underlining many of the points he makes, thinking I understood them.

    But I did not, for just the primary reasons he points to here which as he points out are false motives, not hating sin as sin, that is, not primarily because it troubles God my Father, and Christ my savior and Friend and the Spirit He sent to teach and comfort me, but because there were a couple of sins that bothered me, so it was with me, but I did not realize it. The rest of them, I could more easily overlook, and did, but this is not acceptable to God.

    Owen rightly points out that unless our efforts at mortification are universal they will fail, and so He sometimes let’s fools such as myself fail in their attempts at mortification of one or two, but not all sin, as a means to teach us our error.

    He also points out that it is only The Spirit, through Christ, that any succeed; and by that he means in part by meditation on Christ’s suffering because of our sins, for the very purpose, not only that we might have His Righteousness imparted to our account, which is most glorious, but ALSO SO WE CAN INDEED HAVE VICTORY OVER OUR SINS HERE, not perfectly of course, but certainly for all practical purposes essentially so. He proves this from scripture so clearly, that I had read, but because of the deceitful nature of my lusts, I never really saw until, by experience, I found out the painful truth, precious, when it awakens and leads to repentance not to be repented of.

    Owen also opens up many of the ways that our sins and lusts lie to us, and evade our efforts at true mortification.

    This is a profoundly helpful, clearly written, (thank You Lord for Richard Rushing) and most encouraging work for any who have lost battle after battle in their war with sin and had no idea why.

    I would just add, that this work deals with the Truth and gets to the root of the matter, without which failure is sure, but with which, because He has promised it, and provided all the means, including His Spirit, victory is even more sure.

    Thank You Lord, for my brothers John, and Richard for showing me My Way, more clearly, and for Your Spirit Who directed me to them and helped me see their meaning, and Who will help me put into practice Your Will, setting aside my blind, corrupt will by nature.

  9. Bob

    A couple of friends of mine, who are Christians, and former coworkers, are reading this book together. We meet on Saturdays, at a local coffee shop. I’ve previously read some works from the Puritans. My two friends have not. They were surprised at how applicable, approachable, and deeply theological this work is. Battling sin is futile without the Holy Spirit, and this small portion of Owen’s larger body of work, has been helping us to see that God gives us the will, and the want to mortify our sins. I highly recommend it.

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