Chapter Five - What Mortification Is Not
To mortify a sin is not to utterly root it out and destroy it, that it should have no more hold at all nor residence in our hearts. It is true that this is what we aim at, but we will not be able to accomplish it in his life. All who seek mortification seek utter destruction, both of its fruit and its root in the heart and life. They seek to kill it, so that it will never move nor stir any more, nor cry, call, seduce, or tempt, to all eternity. We aim at the total destruction of the sin, so that it does not exist.
There may doubtless 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; but the utter killing and destruction of it, we cannot expect in this life. Paul, who was a choice saint and a pattern for believers in faith, love, and all the fruits of the Spirit, who had no equal in the world, himself said: 'Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect' (Phil. 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 (Col. 2:10). (pgs. 26-27)