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The Mortification of Sin

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  3,554 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
John Owen, abridged and made easy to read by Richard Rushing In this abridgement of a classic work, 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 th ...more
Paperback, Abridged, 144 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Banner of Truth (first published 1656)
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Oct 14, 2008 K. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All professed believers
So far so GREAT!! This is an awesome book so far and I'm about half way done. Please don't let my 3 out of 5 stars disuade you from starting this book. I'll explain more later. AWESOME for anyone who professes Christianity. I'm looking forward to reading more of these Puritan Paperbacks!)

I'm back and finished. Forget what I said about 3 stars...this is a 5 star rating all of the way.

This is not a cliche read. You know the type of books. They use Colossians 3:17 and I Corinthians 10:31 as a mantr
Joseph Louthan
Dec 10, 2010 Joseph Louthan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is my first introduction to the God-given brilliance of John Owen. One chapter had me on my knees repenting of sin of not fighting the sin in my life.

John Owen masterfully expounds the wonderful verse:

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

In other words, "be killing sin or it will be killing you".

Owen shows that because of the Spirit, you are armed to the teeth in everything to take down si
Dec 20, 2016 Asher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow.
Quinn Steffen
Jan 18, 2013 Quinn Steffen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
There are few books in life that compel one to commit to re-reading them every year. This book is one of those works. John Owen is a notoriously hard read but your labor will return to ten-fold. Owne is rightly considered the "Great Doctor of the Soul." He pierces your conscience, reveals all your tricks and appeasement of your inward corruptions and sin, and then applies the glorious Gospel and promises of God to your wounds so that you may be healed and restored to spiritual health and vigor. ...more
Oct 13, 2009 Gregory rated it it was amazing
Owen was a Puritan master. Most people only have a stereotypical view of the Puritans, propagated mostly by Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. But, the Puritans were masters of spirituality. Their desire, in it's purest form, was to purify the Church of England of abuses. More importantly, they wanted to purify themselves. They took God's call to be like Christ seriously. Thus, Owen preached a series on Romans 8:13, and they've been published in various forms.

Although the style is antiquated, and
Matthew Richardson
Sep 07, 2015 Matthew Richardson rated it really liked it
John Owen brilliantly exposits that killing sin is both evidence of grace and empowered by grace! While our generation might be quick to label such a wonderful exposition of scripture 'legalism', Owen doesn't feel that way, making the point that one is not saved by killing sin nor is it possible without a genuine faith in Christ. John Owen makes it clear that the "mortification of sin" is simply the Christians duty, while also making it clear that we are saved through faith and faith empowered b ...more
May 14, 2012 Henry rated it really liked it
John Owen's work on mortification covers the seldom today treated topic of putting sin to death in a thorough and convincing manner, but it does require a lot of thought and hence is a bit slow to read.
Dec 26, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Every Christian needs to read this book. I'm definitely going to need to revisit this one again and again.
Douglas Wilson
Apr 02, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Jul 15, 2008 Jkplayschess rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book.
Paul Stuart
Mar 08, 2017 Paul Stuart rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I am currently recommending this book to everyone I know. The Lord really used it to help me visualize the seriousness of sin and Spirit-led sanctification as a whole. I highly recommend reading this with a friend and going through it a chapter or two at a time. Doing so really helped me to mull over the material and retain it for every day practice. Quick note: some parts of the book will seem very harsh, but keep in mind that Owen is preaching against "nominal" Christianity, a ...more
David Washington
Feb 29, 2016 David Washington rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Christians
John Owen is a 17th century Puritan known chiefly for his works on dealing with sin, something you'd be hard pressed to find in a “Christian” bookstore today, let alone calling sin sin. This particular work is a classic along with his companion works of Indwelling Sin and Temptation: The Nature and Power of It.

J.I. Packer says about Owen:

The greatest Christian writers are those who most powerfully project to spiritual readers the knowledge of God, of ourselves, and of the grace of our Lord Jesu
Jacob Aitken
Not only does Owen give a biblical account of sin, but he also anticipates some moments in neuroscience and psychiatry in how sin can hide where the mind can't find it, and how to deal with it. While some warn that Owen will "use the knife," and it's true that he does, it's also merciful and he doesn't hurt too bad.

Our duty: The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin (
May 03, 2012 Sushant rated it it was amazing
This is a timeless book. As long as there are Christians serious about fighting and killing sin, this book will be relevant.

This book is (loosely) an exposition of Romans 8:13,"For if you live by the flesh, you will die. But if by the Spirit, you put to death [mortify] the deeds of the body, you will live." You can fight sin at many levels, but you will only effectively kill sin if you strike at the root. Owen has much counsel to offer in this endeavor. He points out many issues that are at the
Matthew Bandy
Dec 13, 2016 Matthew Bandy rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book however it was a bit tedious reading. I was very encouraged by it however and would highly recommend it to any Christian. Of course there were many profound statements regarding mortification of sin. While of course mainly focusing on faith and sincerity in repentance he also gave many guidelines and warnings of the dangers of how subtle our hearts work in allowing sin to fester. He gives many precautions and encouragements to walk the line of faith.
There are a very small number of books outside of Scripture itself that I consider fundamental to Christianity. When a young Christian asks me, "What should I read?" it's not hard for me to pick a few really great books. The Mortification of Sin is now on that short list.

This book breaks down Mortification (killing sin) in a way modern society desperately needs. While Repentance is a normal part of the Christian conversation, actually killing sin is something we're woefully ill prepared for. And
Chris Miller
Jan 08, 2017 Chris Miller rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting read on the topic of killing sin. It is a book that is not merely meant to be read but to be done. In total there are 9 preparatory directions and 2 major directions given by John Owen for the killing of sin in ones life. In a day that perhaps overuses the term "gospel-centered" it is revealing to find just how much Owen uses the term "gospel" (a ton, so perhaps we are not so far off based). It is a relatively easy read and this version is a little abridged, however th ...more
Carol Arnold
I cheated on this one! I started the Kindle version, the original edition. I just couldn't seem to concentrate enough to read it so found an abridged and updated version. It is much easier to read, but I am sure a lot was lost in the transition. Someday I hope to give the other another try. It is well worth the effort!
Charles Adkinson
Feb 18, 2012 Charles Adkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-study
This book has a great amount of truth in it. Owen's strongest statements are based firmly in Scripture, but the archaic writing does not lend itself to extended readings. I heard about this book while listening to John Piper's June 2002 sermon series entitled "How to Kill Sin" (available for free download at *wink wink*) and I would suggest listening to those first.
Valerie Kyriosity
I am certain, taking things by faith, that this book deserves more stars. But the truth is, I'm just too 21st century to have comprehended it particularly well. Which is a shame, since I'm sure that I am in dire need of such comprehension.

Grateful for Stephen Escalara's reading, which was steady and even and didn't get in the way.
Corby H
Thank you, John Owen, for teaching me to furnish my soul in the faithful promises of God, that is, in Christ, my soul will find relief from my sin.
Aug 27, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mortification of Sin, published in book form in 1656, originated as a series of sermons Owen preached in Oxford. Owen is not the easiest to read, but if you’re comfortable reading the King James Version, you should be able to manage Owen just fine. If the language proves to be a challenge, a slightly modernized (but unabridged) version of this book has been published under the title Overcoming Sin & Temptation, which also includes two companion works, Of Temptation (1658) and Of Indwelli ...more
Italo Santos
Jan 22, 2016 Italo Santos rated it it was amazing
Que livro, todo cristão tem que ler esse livro.
Oct 12, 2016 Markus rated it it was amazing
Life changing. Need to read again.
Carter Johnson
Aug 20, 2015 Carter Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant—a must-read.
Chris Wray
Sep 02, 2011 Chris Wray rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, 2011, to-re-read, 2016
This is an extended exposition of Romans 8:13, and is a fantastically balanced and scripturally faithful account of true sanctification. It's one of my favourite books, and has deepened my desire to fight sin and to pursue godliness. Owen makes us see sin as truly horrible and holiness as both beautiful and truly (though not perfectly) attainable in the Christian life.

In summary, mortification is the putting to death of sin, chiefly the indwelling sin that lies at the root of all sinful actions.
Seth Nelson
Dec 21, 2016 Seth Nelson rated it it was amazing
Justus Platt
Who was the greatest theological thinker and writer Britain ever produced? What was his most distinguished practical work?

The two questions seemed opposed to each other. The greatest Britain theologian and his best book for laymen? How can a thinker write for workers? It is possible and the answer is: John Owen and his book, The Mortification of Sin.

John Owen was a prolific Congregational Puritan theologian, whose 16 volume set of works are very popular among Pastors and scholars. But here is a
Sean Wilson
Jun 08, 2016 Sean Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If you allow it, The Mortification of Sin will chain you to a chair for several days in a dark and gloomy basement with the sound of a dripping tap behind you and a slow-dying light bulb hanging above. You confess nothing on the first day, and even insist that he got the wrong person. Mortification doesn't even blink. "It's you," he says. "I know it's you."
You don't know what to make of the accusations. "Look," you say, hoping to reach an amicable compromise, "I'm a believer, you understand? Jes
Oct 13, 2014 Cris rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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John Owen was an English theologian and "was without doubt not only the greatest theologian of the English Puritan movement but also one of the greatest European Reformed theologians of his day, and quite possibly possessed the finest theological mind that England ever produced" ("Owen, John", in Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, p. 494)
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“He can make the dry parched ground of my soul to become a pool and my thirsty barren heart as springs of water. Yes he can make this habitation of dragons this heart which is so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations to be a place of bounty and fruitfulness unto Himself” 28 likes
“Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.” 17 likes
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