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The Mortification of Sin

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  5,105 ratings  ·  317 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, 132 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Banner of Truth (first published 1656)
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Joseph Louthan
Dec 10, 2010 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
This was probably my 7th or 8th time through this book in one of its forms; and each time I gain something new. Chapter 13 (the last chapter) is the key to the whole and readers who do not read all the way to end will misunderstand Owen. The nine directions preceding chapter 13 are all preparatory for the work of mortification itself and are aimed at bringing the soul into a humble, self-despairing frame, so that it can truly exercise faith in Christ. You might think of the nine directions as Ow ...more
Dec 26, 2011 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.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A convicting read

Not an easy book to read by any means but I’d venture to say a necessary book for serious Christians.
Quinn Steffen
Jan 18, 2013 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
Rafael Salazar
Very helpful. Many insights here for the constant battle against sin in the Christian life. I pray I'll apply them duly. The latter half of the book is priceless. I was fascinated even by the rabbit trails. No wonder it's a classic.

Read it for the first time in March/April 2019. Second time March/April 2020.
Rachel Schultz
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not bold enough to leave a review for a classic!
Aaron Ventura
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great content but takes some work to read and understand. Will read again.
Emily Stem
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not an easy read. But an essential read for the Believer.
Matthew Richardson
Sep 07, 2015 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 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.
Brian Eshleman
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Direct, yet grounded. His word choices are both incisive and illustrative. He can challenge, and encourage. He can scare where we should be fearful, and speak peace in its place. A pastor's heart definitely comes through the pages and the centuries.
Benjamin Phillips
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
A profound and lovely little book. At times it seems as if Owen could see into my soul. Recommend in the strongest possible terms.
Trying out a new tradition this year and adding it to a stack to be re-read every January.
Bambi Moore
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will be revisiting this often.
Ty Lukasiewicz
A must read!
The mortification of sin is a brilliant book. John Owen does an excellent job of explaining the mortification of sin.

This was my first book that I have read from John Owen. It was a little difficult to read due to his 17th century English However, his words are powerful. Mr. Owen is biblical and is not afraid to tell the hard truth. In his book he calls the reader to mortify sins and explains how to do this.

“It is our duty to be perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord to be grow
Kelle Craft
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent work. Beautifully written. A resource every Christian should read. Lord willing, it is one I will be coming back to again and again for the rest of my life. I have no doubt each time that I do, the treasure of insight and practicality will be as fresh as the first time reading. Praise God for leaders like John Owen
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Always be killing sin or it will be killing you”.

This quote from Owen is one that’ll stick with me forever. I received this book as a gift and it really couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my life. God’s providence. I have read many books over the years, but this one stood out in a way like no other.

The message really hits home in regard to why mortifying sin is so essential in our daily lives and will continue to be up until the day we leave this earth. This book has substance, is a
Jordan Brown
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Be killing sin or it will be killing you." Among the best works one will find on how to kill the sin in his own life. This puritan classic has me looking forward to reading many more works from the era. It is every believer's responsibility to repent of indwelling sin. This short book is packed with rich theology and most importantly reminds the believer that it is only by the Spirit that sin is mortified (Rom 8:13). This is one I plan on rereading several times throughout the rest of my life. ...more
Oct 13, 2009 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
Knowlton Murphy
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Difficult to get used to Owen's dense writing style at first, but worth it. Owen seems to have been able to clearly see the nature and danger of sin, and the ways in which we make light of it and excuse ourselves. On several occasions, Owen seemed to be described my own behavior with terrifying accuracy. At the moment, two key points stand out: fighting sin by loading your conscience with the guilt of it (as compared to the demands of God's holy law and when viewed as a spurning of th ...more
David Jamison
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To be honest I began this book with the expectation that I would be discouraged by the holiness (and vernacular) of this old Puritan. Thankfully the opposite is true. I’ve never heard anyone articulate sin the way Owen does. His systematic approach to sin and its mortification has encouraged me in many ways. Not just to the end of ridding myself of lusts but to glorify Christ as He ought to be glorified. After all that Owen says in this book the most precious direction he gives is to look upon C ...more
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book.
Douglas Wilson
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
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.
Jeremy Counts
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Puritans at their finest here. Owen really helped me understand that my battle against indwelling sin cannot be overcome by sheer human will, but by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. We must not just be sorry for our sins, but we must fight daily in our battle against it; seeking to put them to death. Owen masterfully goes into the tools contained in Scripture for the believer to utilize everyday in their battle against indwelling sin. A few of those tools being the ordinary means of g ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who knew...John Owen is accessible and practical!
I just finished reading a book ABOUT Owen, and I have to say that to me Owen, at least in this abridged version, was easier to read and helped me appreciate the other book more.

I think at times we get so intimidated by words like "17th century" and "Puritan" that we forget that they were people like us!
The topic of mortification of sin sounds so outdated...until you read the first page of this book, and you realize it's only outdated because we do
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so helpful. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone and anyone who would listen. Owen speaks so clearly, theologically, and practically all at the same time. This classic will be a book to continually come back to over and over again. If you haven’t read his book, read it. If you have read it, read it again, I know I will.
Jacob London
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I started this book many months ago, life got busy so I quickly forgot about it. A few weeks ago I decided to give it another try. I am glad that I did. John Owen powerfully applies relevant scriptures to the sins found in each of our hearts. Often convicting me throughout the read. A good tool for all who profess Christ.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challies-2017
I knew I would want to follow up by reading a print version, but I assumed the audiobook would give me a decent introduction. Unfortunately, I don't think I got much at all out of this Librivox version. The reader read with very little expression, which made it very hard to follow. I'm giving 4 stars because I know this is a good book.
Samuel Garcia
One of the most wonderful books ever written that I have ever read
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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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When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
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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” 34 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.” 31 likes
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