Dealing With Sin – Discipline & the Mortification of Sin

The Messiah King

John Carter – March 24, 2013
1 Chronicles 4:1-9:44 – 4:1, 24, 5:1-2, 11, 18-23, 25-26, 6:1, 15, 7:1, 6, 13-14, 20, 30, 9:1
1&2 Chronicles The Messiah-King
Dealing With Sin – Discipline & the Mortification of Sin


            In 1 Chronicles 1-4 we watched as the line of the Messiah-King was developed. There was an earnest wait for the end to the rebellion that began in the Garden of Eden with the fall of man. Moving into 1 Chronicles 4-9:44 we will observe everything fall apart. I hope to make clear in this passage the ramifications of faithfulness and continued rebellion, and the difficulties that are to be had when pursuing faithfulness.

God is gracious and God is faithful to his promises.[1] But that includes how God deals with sinful people. For God always disciplines those that he loves.[2]


4:1       The Sons of Judah

Chronicles is centered around the family line of Judah because this is the from which the Messiah-King will come.

4:24     The Sons of Simeon

5:1       The Sons of Reuben – The Trans-Jordan Tribes

5:1-2 Birth Rights Redefined (Psalm 78:67-68) Belonged to Reuben; Forfeited by having             Sex with Bilah (Rachael’s Maid); Went to Joseph (Manasseh & Ephraim); Judah     Prevailed (Size, blessing, Kingship, Land)

Rueben lost his birth right privileges (double portion) because of his adulterous relationship with Bilah.

5:11     The Sons of Gad

5:18-22 Trans Jordanian War and Victory

The tribes that settled east of the Jordan river were called the trans-Jordan tribes. The help their brothers conquer the land but they settled east instead of west of the Jordan river. They had a moment of faithfulness.

5:23     The ½ Tribe of Manasseh

5:25-26 Trans Jordanian Exile (Northern Exile 722)

The exile spoken of in verses 25-26 are telling not just of the exile of these trans-Jordan tribes, but they speak to the fall of the entire Northern kingdom in 722 BC.

6:1       The Sons of Levi

The Levites were the representatives between God and Israel.

6:15 Southern Exile 586/7 BC

So, it is no wonder that the fall of the Southern kingdom is mentioned after the Levites genealogy.

7          The Sons of Issachar (1), Benjamin (6), Naphtali (13), Manasseh (14), Ephraim (20),          Asher (30)

A survey of any list of the 12 tribes of Israel show that each list is slightly different. The purpose of sticking to the number twelve is a literary device to show a representative unity of all the tribes.

8:1 Benjamin to Saul (Parallel to 1 Chr. 2:3-4:23)

Chapter 8 is tracing the people’s choice of a king. The people wanted Saul not God.

9:1 Southern Exile 586/7 BC

The author of Chronicles is connecting the reign of Saul with the Fall of Israel. Not in a direct sense but in the sense that, if people want their own way it will cost them .

9:2-34, 35-44 Jerusalem vs. Gibeon (God’s Chosen Dwelling vs. Man’s chosen Dwelling)

Israel is the LORDs chosen City and Gibeon is man’s chosen city.[3]


            We are all daily faced with opportunities to sin. Sins, which if given the opportunity, that will destroy our lives, our family, and our relationship with God. We are either given to sin or we are fighting against sin. Without Jesus we are defenseless against sin and are suffocating under the weight of the burden’s sin, but through the power of the cross those who belong to Christ are freed from the bondage of sin and the . This is good news to those in bondage to sin. But to those who have been freed are wondering right now why they don’t feel free from the burdens of sins.

The question racing through the wearied believers mind is, “why do I feel burdened and beaten? Why is God allowing me to suffocate in this mess? Why do I feel like a failure?” For many believers, the truth of being free from the bondage of sin and the daily reality of feeling broken are not matching up.  The burden has become heavy because we have lost sight of the work of Christ on the cross and in our lives.

In this passage we see the set-up for the results of seeking the Glory of the Lord and seeking the glory of man. The tribes of Israel sought the blessings of God nut they were not willing to let go of their sinful desires. They were treacherous and faithless. Although on the outside they all carried the marks of a chosen and redeemed people, on the inside they still sought the deeds of the flesh. They were complacent with the sin that was in their lives. They did not continually seek to remove sin from themselves and from their midst. Israel was more interested in setting up their own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God.

The removal of sin is what John Owen, a puritan from the 1600’s, calls the mortification of sin. Mortification referring to the ‘removal of’ something, in this case sin. In regards mortifying sin Owen says,

“…the choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin ought yet to make it their business, all their days, to mortify sin.”[4]


“Indwelling sin always abides whilst we are in this world; therefore it is always to be mortified.”[5]

For the believer the removal of sin is a daily process. Some might even call this the process of sanctification. Every day we must come to terms with the fact that the temptation to sin is pressing in on us. So we must fight against sin. But the fight is to resist sin. The fight is not to get what we selfishly want. We are seeking the glory of God, not our own glory. Often we find ourselves fighting against a sin only to indulge ourselves in that sin later on our own terms. And when we do, we will always find ourselves defeated. Because instead of mortifying that sin we are growing that sin and making it stronger.

We would not keep our cool with our children all day only to celebrate by giving them a good scolding. In regards to sexual purity, which is a very difficult purity to hold on to, once we attain sexual purity we do not go and engage in a sexual immoral act. Men, we do not fight against the temptation to commit adultery in our heart or on the computer and celebrate by indulging ourselves. Christian, we do not fight against materialism all day only to spend our paychecks to make ourselves more comfortable. We would not do these things any more than if we keep our cool with our children all day only to celebrate by giving them a good scolding.


But to this point I have not discussed the means by which we remove sin. We remove sin by the means of submitting to the Holy Spirit for the sake of discipline. Discipline is Gods tool for the mortification (removal) of sin for our sanctification, the cleansing of the Church, and the Glory of God.

Self-Discipline – Sanctification

Through prayer, time in the word, and fasting we spiritually grow more mature to better resist temptation, find satisfaction in God, and bring Him Glory.

Formative Discipline – The cHurch body building each other up (1:1, preaching, bible, structured, random)

As iron sharpens iron so we help each other. We teach each other new things in scripture, we call people out based on the spiritual fruit that they are producing. Formative discipline will only happen as we each submit to each other as a body of believers.

Corrective Discipline – The cHurch body guarding against error either theology or practice (parents, peers, cHurch leadership)

Sometimes people are unwilling to submit to the Spirit through self-discipline or formative discipline, so corrective measures need to be taken. Yes, God will deal with everyone and their sin, but He has also called the local cHurch to deal with people who are belligerent in their sin. This is not a fun part of being part of a cHurch but it is necessary for the health of the believers.


Discipline is not an act of Law, it is an act of Love and Grace. God disciplined his chosen people through the Northern and Southern exiles so that God would glorified. For God so loved the world that he sent his Son.[6]  There is no law that mandated this act. It was love.  We are not submitting ourselves to discipline to achieve salvation, for that is impossible. Rather because of the love and grace of God we are able mortify our sin and feel the release from the bondage that can daily hold us back form finding our satisfaction in God.[7]

[1] John Sail Hamer, First & Second Chronicles, p. 23

[2] Hebrews 12:6; Proverbs 3:12

[3] John Sailhamer, First & Second Chronicles, p. 27

[4] John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.25

[5] John Owen, The Mortification of Sin, p.26

[6]  John 3:16

[7] “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” John Piper, Desiring God