Chapter 13, Paragraph 1.
“…the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts of it are more and more weakened and mortified…”
The elect are called, justified, and also sanctified. Through the Holy Spirit and the word of Scripture dwelling in them, they are freed from sin’s rule, and that remaining corruption of sin that believers possess is put to death. This sanctification is a constant battle in this life, but victory is assured.
Look at what the confession says: “the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed”. Sin no longer has any power over you. Is there any part that still reigns? No, for the whole body of sin is destroyed. When you are in Christ, there is not one sin that is still master over you. You are free to live to righteousness!
While sin no longer has any hold over the believer, though, like an evicted tenant who claims squatter’s rights, it refuses to leave. Thomas Boston wrote:
[Believers] are planted together with Christ in the likeness of His death, which was a lingering death (Rom. 6.5). Sin in the saint, though not quite dead, yet is dying. If it were dead, it would be taken down from the cross, and buried out of his sight: but it hangs there as yet, working and struggling under its mortal wounds. – Human Nature In Its Fourfold State
We will still succumb to temptation. Knowing we are no longer slaves to sin should make our grief over the times we do sin more keenly felt. Thankfully, through Christ we are forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Through the grace of sanctification, our corrupt nature is progressively weakened and put to death. It doesn’t always feel that way, does it? As believers, we have heightened senses to the sin in ourselves, so we see it for the hydra it is: one head is slain and two more pop up in its place. Despair can tempt us to give up. Yet the Holy spirit is dwelling within us, with the same omnipotence that raised Christ from the dead. We need not doubt that He will accomplish what He says. Christian, your sin is being stamped out; trust Him to give you strength to continue the fight!
Questions to Consider
- Are you drawing strength to fight sin from the Holy Spirit?