Don The Armour

June 16, 2023

He must not only abstain from acting a sin, but also labour to mortify it. A wound may be hid when it is not healed — covered, and yet not cured. Some men, they are like unskilful physicians, who rather drive in the disease, than drive out the cause of the disease. Corruption thus left in the bosom, like lime unslaked, or a humour unpurged, is sure at one time or other to take fire and break out, though now it lies peaceably, as powder in the barrel, and makes no noise.

Every sin hath its opposite grace, as every poison hath its antidote. He that will walk in the power of holiness, must not only labour to make avoidance of sin, but to get possession of the contrary grace.

God will not ask us what we were not, but what we were. Not to swear and curse will not serve our turn; but thou wilt be asked, ‘Didst thou bless and sanctify God’s name?’

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour


To mortify sin is not just to fight it each day but to kill it at its root. Anything less is fighting the symptoms and not the disease. To fully mortify it, you must strive for the grace opposite of your sin. For example, if you struggle with selfishness, you will know your sin has been truly killed when you’ve become generous and selfless. As the author says, when you finally meet God, he won’t ask you what you didn’t do; he will ask you what you did. Answering, “I didn’t drink or swear” won’t be sufficient. It would be similar to the man that buried his money in the parable of talents (Mat. 25:14-30); God wants his graces and blessings to be multiplied.