Reading: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”—Romans 6:14
Every Christian longs to be free from sin and every Christian struggles with sin. Paul spoke of sin as a principle that dwells in his body: a “law which is in my members” (Romans 7:23). All of the scriptural imperatives to “be holy,” “make not provision for the flesh” and “mortify [kill] the deeds of the body,” etc., only make sense when we grasp the truth of remaining sin, “that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing” (Roman 7:18). Sin has not been entirely eradicated, it lurks in every part of us—we are still totally depraved!
Does this mean that the Christian is consigned to a life of one spiritual defeat after another? Absolutely not! Genuine conversion is a radical and instantaneous defeat of the power and dominion of sin. While sin might remain in us, it no longer reigns. The strength of sin has been devastated, Christ has been crucified for me and I have been crucified with Christ and I am in Christ. Freedom from sin is in the enjoyment of Christ.
To be holy, then, I must look to God through His Son Jesus Christ—I cannot be anything apart from Him. Only when I have been united to a holy God through Christ can I obey the command “be ye holy.” I cannot be holy if I do not know Him for holiness is from Him. And if I am not holy I cannot be happy for happiness is in holiness.