Chapter 13, Paragraph 3.
“In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part does overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in his Word has prescribed to them.”
2 Corinthians 3:18, 7:1
Drawn, justified, and adopted are graces Christians view with joy. As believers, when we are first drawn to the Father, we are filled with wonder and awe: “I am saved due to Christ’s righteousness! I am forgiven! Eternal life is my destiny!” We rejoice over these truths, and rightly so!
Soon after receiving faith we are taught that our remaining corruption of sin will be ever present with us until death. Okay, we think. I can live with that. We learn we will be waging war against it. No problem – the battle belongs to the Lord! Our wills are resolute, and romantic visions of victoriously mortifying our sin energize us.
Then one day there’s a sin that is particularly hard to defeat. Over and over again you strive to be fortified against its onslaught, only to succumb again and again. Shame, frustration, and fatigue creep into your life. Any notion of you as a valiant warrior, stoically withstanding temptation, vanishes. Will I ever defeat this? you wonder.
Sanctification is the medicine that cures us of our corruption. Unpleasant to taste, hard to swallow, but necessary for our spiritual health. We battle against ourselves, and our sin prevails for a time. We are not left to face this foe alone, however. The bottomless spring of strength from the Holy Spirit is always with us, always ours from which to draw. Through His strength, we shall overcome. With Him working in us, we will grow in holiness, obeying His commands found in Scripture.
When we realize that sanctification is a grace, and not a torturous test, we learn to accept such medicine as good for us. In those times when your sin prevails, do not focus on your own weakness, but on the Holy Spirit that dwells in you. Be thankful for the grace of sanctification, and know that because of Him your sin will be defeated.
Questions to Consider
- In your struggle with sin, have you forgotten the strength of the Holy Spirit?