There is a total difference between surviving sin and reigning sin, the regenerate in conflict with sin and the unregenerate complacent with sin. It is one thing for sin to live in us; it is another for us to live in sin.
–John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Eerdmans 1955), 145
I am baptized into Christ’s death, John Chrysostom tells me, by virtue of dying as Christ did.
…baptism is the cross. What the cross is to Christ, baptism is to us. Christ died in the flesh; we have died to sin. Both are deaths, and both are real.
…Do you believe that Christ was raised from the dead? Believe the same of yourself. Just as His death is yours, so also is His resurrection; if you have shared in the one, you shall share in the other. As of now, the sin is done away with.
Paul sets before us a demand: to bring about a newness of life by a changing of habits [Romans 6:4]. For when the fornicator becomes chaste, when the covetous person becomes merciful, when the harsh become subdued, a resurrection has taken place, a prelude to the final resurrection which is to come.
–John Chrysostom, “Sermon on Dying to Sin,” quoted in Devotional Classics, ed. by Richard Foster (pp 309-310)
Lord, let my habits be changed by your Gospel. Let the renewing work of the Spirit cause my desires and affections to be replaced by ones which please you. The desires which please you in the way that the small child who tries so hard but fails in the things he learns–cause those desires to grow up to maturity in me, that I may image you more fully and reverently than I have previously.
My sin survives, but does not reign. Thanks be to God!