One of the classics of Christianity is the book by John Owens titled "The Mortification of Sin." The book has helped countless numbers of Christians, myself included, to gain a deeper understanding of our remaining sin and the consequesnces of not dealing with them.
More importantly however, it provides godly principles in how to deal with our sin, and indeed kill them. Although we will can live in an absolute sinless condition before God on this side of glory, we can live an overcoming life when we see the true nature of our sin and the wickedness and assualt agaunst our Merciful God that it truly is.
I am writing some of the highlights below and my prayer is that you will seek out this book and prayerfully read it. God bless!!
If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
Indwelling sin always abides while we are in this world; therefore, there is always a need for it to be mortified.
Sin is still acting and laboring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17) It is called sin which clings so closely (Hebrews 12:1)
Who can say that he has ever had anything to do with God or for God which indwelling sin has not tried to corrupt? If sin is always acting, we are in trouble if we are always mortifying. He that stands still and allows his enemies to exert double blows upon him without resistance will undoubtedly be conquered in the end.
Sin, if not continually mortified, will bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, and soul-destroying sins (read Galatians 5:19-20) In this we see the deceitfulness of sin. It gradually prevails to harden man's heart to his ruin. (read Hebrews 3:13)
The Holy Spirit and our new nature are given to us to oppose sin and lust. (Galatians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4). It is our participation in the divine nature that gives us an escape from the pollutions that are in the world through lust.
Our spiritual growth is our daily duty. It is our duty to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1) to be growing in grace every day (1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 3:18) so that our inner nature should be renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
We will not be making any progress in holiness without walking over the bellies of our lusts.
He who is able to swallow and digest daily sins in his life without conviction in the heart is at the very brink of turning the grace of God into lasciviousness and being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Motification is accomplished by the Spirit - He takes away the stony heart - that is, the stubborn, proud, rebellious, and unbelieving heart. (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; Isaiah 57:17-18)
They that are Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust (Galatians 5:24)
we gain victory by our living in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit. As we abound in the graces of the Spirit and walk according to them, the fruits of the Spirit restrict the fruits of the flesh, because the works of the flesh are contrarty to the works of the Spirit.
He (the Spirit) does not so work in us that it is not still an act of our obedience. The Holy Spirit so works in us and upon us, as we are able to be wrought in and upon, and yet He preserves our own liberty and free obedience. he works upon our understandings, wills, consciences, and affections, agreeably to their own natures. He works in us and with us, not against us or without us, so that His assistance is an encouragement as to the accomplishing of the work.
Mortification not only bears a cause-and-effect relationship to our joy, but it works effectually to bring it to pass. The vigour of our spiritual lives is not possible apart from mortification.
Every unmortified sin weakens the soul, and deprive it of its vigour, sin untunes and unframes the heart itself, by entangling its affections. It diverts the heart from the spiritual frame that is required for vigorous communion with God. The soul and its affectios, that should be full of God, cannot be full of Him, since it is entangled in worldly pursuits.
But now let the heart be cleansed by mortification, and the weeds of lust constantly and daily rooted up (as they spring daily, nature being their proper soil), there will be room for grace to thrive and flourish, the graces that God gives will act their part, and be ready for every use and purpose.
Mortification aims at the total destruction of the sin, so that it does not exist. There may be times of wonderful success by the Spirit and grace of Christ, and such a great victory that a man may have almost constant triumph over it; byt the utter killing and destruction of it,we cannot expect in this life. Paul, a choice saint and apattern for believers himself said. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect (Philippians 3:12 He still had a lowly body as we have, which must be changed by the great power of Christ at last. We are complete only in Christ, not in ourselves. (Colossians 2:10)
I will return to this study at a later date. I hope that this will become a mighty blessing to you as you walk with the Spirit to the glory of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.