Killing Sin: Crucify and Mortify
“So bent is the great Apostle on our full salvation from all our sins that their mere crucifixion does not satisfy him. Nothing will satisfy him short of their full mortification. For crucifixion after all is only crucifixion. But mortification is more. Mortification is death. Mortification is absolute death. It is a complete and final and everlasting death. A crucified man may continue to live for hours and even for days after he has been nailed to his cross. But after he is dead, he is forever dead. And so it is with a sin. A sin may continue to live, and as a matter of fact is does continue to live for days and weeks and months and years after it has been crucified. But, when once it is dead, it is forever dead. Nailing a sin to its cross; denying it all its former freedom of action and all its former food and keeping it nailed on its cross, so that it cannot rob or murder anymore – that is its crucifixion. But all the time so to crucify a sin is not yet to mortify it, as Paul himself knew to his cost. For, if ever any man’s sins were crucified, it was the Apostle’s sins. But at the same time if ever any man’s sins were still alive and unmortified, to his unspeakable wretchedness, it was Paul’s sins. … while every saint’s self-crucifixion is his own immediate and ever-urgent duty, at the same time the full and final mortification of all crucified sin is the proper work of Almighty God alone.”
– Alexander Whyte, Thomas Shepherd: Pilgrim Father and Founder of Harvard (Reformation Heritage; Grand Rapids, MI) 1909/2007. Pp. 140-141.