“If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
When we first come to faith, we are deeply changed. We are born again; we receive a new life. However, that does not mean that we are sinless from that moment on. Our old sinful self, here called “the body”, is still present. We are still inclined to sin. And the devil will keep giving us many opportunities to sin. But we are not helpless in this struggle.
If the Spirit dwells in us, He enables us to “put to death the deeds of the body”. “We know that our old self was crucified with him [=with Jesus] in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6). We should not use our bodies to commit sin, but “as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13).
The process of dying to sin more and more is called ‘sanctification’. It’s an ongoing process, worked out by the Holy Spirit: “you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). If you are tempted to sin, pray for power from the Holy Spirit to resist this temptation!
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