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Paul Tautges Christian Blog and Commentary

Paul Tautges

Paul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.

This morning, I pulled one of my Puritan Paperbacks off the shelf, The Mortification of Sin by John Owen, and reviewed a few chapters, focusing on sentences I had previously underlined. Here are a few that the Spirit used in my heart.

Mortification Is Every Christian’s Duty

“The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, should also make it their business all of their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin.”

“To ‘mortify’ means to put any living thing to death. To kill a man, or any other living thing, is to take away the principle of all its strength, vigour, and power, so that it cannot act, or exert, or put forth any proper actings of its own….it is the constant duty of believers to render a death blow to the deeds of the flesh, that they may not have life and strength to bring forth their destructive influence.”

The Flesh Is Always An Enemy

“He that is appointed to kill an enemy, has only done half his work if he quits before the enemy is dead (Gal. 6:9; Heb. 12:1; 2 Cor. 7:1).”

“When sin lets us alone, we may let sin alone; but sin is always active when it seems to be the most quiet, and its waters are often deep when they are calm. We should therefore fight against it and be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even when there is the least suspicion….Sin is always acting, always conceiving, and always seducing and tempting. Who can say that he has ever had anything to do with God or for God which indwelling sin has not tried to corrupt? This battle will last more or less all our days. If sin is always acting, we are in trouble if we are not always mortifying.”

Neglect of Mortifying the Flesh Leads to Spiritual Decay

“Those who neglect mortification allow the inner man to perish. Grace in the heart must have exercise.”

“We will not be making progress in holiness without walking over the bellies of our lusts. He who does not kill sin along the way is making no progress in his journey.”

“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.”

Psalm 23 is comfort food for the weary soul. Read it, meditate on it, and rest in these simple truths.

  • My Shepherd adequately supplies all of my needs.
  • My Shepherd is the only sure cause of contentment.
  • My Shepherd leads me and satisfies my deepest thirst for wholeness.
  • My Shepherd is the only one who can fully restore the inner person, my soul.
  • My Shepherd desires my practical holiness and will do whatever it takes to lead me there for the sake of His Name.
  • My Shepherd never leaves my side and will never forsake me.
  • My Shepherd provides for my safety; therefore, I have no legitimate cause for fear.
  • My Shepherd's rod of discipline and staff of protection both bring me comfort.
  • My Shepherd abundantly lavishes His grace upon me when the wolves attack.
  • My Shepherd binds up my broken bones and heals my wounds; His supply and care are abundant.
  • My Shepherd's goodness and grace will be by my side from now, until death, and throughout eternity.

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep" (John 10:14-15).

Lord of the Church,

As we anticipate gathering together as Your people for the purpose of worship, tomorrow morning, we pray Your name will be glorified and Your will accomplished in our hearts and the hearts of all those who worship You through Jesus Christ.

  • Lead us to the Rock, Redeemer, and Refuge. Lift our thoughts to the Rock so that we may trust in Your strength (Psalm 19:14). Touch the affections of our hearts so that we, the household of God, will grow in our love for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Hide us in the shelter of Your wings as we listen to Your promises (Psalm 61:1-4).
  • Make us responsive to the Holy Spirit as You seek worshipers to draw near in spirit and truth. May the Holy Spirit who indwells us stir us up in our inner person to praise You with every part of our being (Psalm 138:1). Lord, reveal our hidden sins or hypocrisy so that we may repent and worship in truth, purity, and faith (Psalm 24:3-6).
  • Fill the pastor-preacher with the Holy Spirit’s power. Lord, it is You who enables a mere man to preach with clarity, conviction, and boldness as the forces of Hell wage war against him (Ephesians 6:10-20). Fill his heart with love and compassion for those to whom he preaches so that his preaching will edify and equip believers with grace and truth, and plead with unbelievers to embrace Christ (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:20).
  • Open the hearts of the unconverted, make the gospel’s power to save real in our public worship experience. As You did for Lydia, when the apostle preached, open hearts to respond to the Word that is spoken (Acts 16:14). May the Spirit prick their consciences over sin, pierce their hearts with conviction, and grant them the gifts of repentance and faith so that they may turn from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ (John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; Ephesians 2:8-10; Acts 11:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9).

Glorify Your name, we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.