St Paul’s Argument on Sanctification in Romans 6 to 8 by Martyn Lloyd Jones
All the passages below are taken from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book “God the Holy Spirit,” published as Second Edition in 2002 with the first Edition in 1997.
Having dealt with the various theories and teachings and certain of the problems, we now come to a positive exposition of the biblical doctrine of sanctification. Our Lord prayed for His disciples, ‘Sanctify them through [or in] thy truth: thy word is truth’ (John 17:17). Now that is clearly an indication of the method of sanctification as it is taught in the Scripture. The question arises at once: What truth is this? And our Lord answers the question: ‘Thy word is truth.’ What word? The whole of the word, everything in the Bible ministers to our sanctification. You cannot read truly about God Himself, in His being and His Person, without its promoting your sanctification. The doctrine of God, the doctrine of sin, the law of God, the doctrine of punishment, of judgment and of hell—all that is truth and points in the direction of sanctification; it is the whole truth.
But, while that is perfectly true, it is also true to say that there are certain statements in Scripture and certain sections of it in which this great doctrine concerning sanctification is dealt with in a very explicit and specific manner. And in many ways the most striking illustration of that, what we may well call the locus classicus of biblical teaching in respect to sanctification, is undoubtedly chapters 6, 7 and 8 of the epistle to the Romans. Now I want to emphasise that this is not the only place where sanctification is dealt with. It is to be found everywhere, but these chapters deal with it in an explicit manner. And they do so, of course, because Paul, having dealt in the first five chapters, with the great doctrine of justification, takes up what he imagines may be a false deduction drawn from that by certain of the members of the church at Rome. Indeed, he did not require much imagination to do this, because many people were drawing that very false deduction from the Apostle’s teaching. They charged him with being guilty of antinomianism which means that the doctrine of justification says that because you are saved by Christ, it does not matter what you do. And the Apostle writes these chapters in order to refute that terrible suggestion, which he dismisses with a sense of horror and the words, ‘God forbid!’
That is the point at which we have arrived and I want now to give you a general analysis of these three chapters in Romans. It can be nothing more than that because there is no time, obviously, to deal fully with chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Romans in one address; so we must be content with this general outline of the teaching. The first thing, therefore, which we must do is to realise exactly what Paul’s argument is, and we can put it like this: the Apostle is here out to show the utter impossibility—he puts it as strongly as that —of a Christian’s continuing in sin; and he says that it is impossible because of the whole nature and character of Christian salvation. Paul puts it in that question: ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!’ That is it. ‘How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?’ (Romans 6:1—2) That is the theme. Indeed, we could say that the theme of Romans 6, 7 and 8 is to denounce, with horror, the tendency of people to separate justification from sanctification; to say that if you think you can stop at justification, you are doing something which the Apostle believes is so terrible that he can say nothing about it, but ‘God forbid’ that anybody should think such a thing or ever draw such a deduction. So you see the vital importance of these great chapters.
The argument as a whole is stated and summarised in chapter 6. Paul then works it out in greater detail in chapters 7 and 8. I do want to emphasise that chapter 8 does not introduce a new principle; the whole argument is stated in chapter 6. What you get in chapters 7 and 8 is simply greater detail. That is a vital matter because as we have seen, there are people who say that as a Christian you can stay in chapters 6 and 7 without going on to chapter 8, and that is really an extremely dangerous error. Let me give you my evidence for making such a categorical statement. The Apostle says something in 8:5—9 which I think will substantiate it:
They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
You see what that means? In chapter 8 Paul is not describing some special Christian who has had some second blessing, but any Christian, every Christian. ‘If any man,’ he says, ‘have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.’ If you have not got the Spirit of Christ in you, says Paul, you are just not a Christian at all. And he says of Christian people that they are not carnal; they are not in the flesh; they are in the Spirit. Before conversion they were in the flesh, but the moment they were converted, they were no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. Is it conceivable that Paul can say of a man who is a Christian, ‘To be carnally minded is death… because the carnal mind is enmity against God’? That cannot be true of any sort of Christian; from the moment of our rebirth and regeneration we are united with Christ and we are in the Spirit. That is the vital point.
So let me repeat: Romans chapter 8 is a description of all Christians and not merely certain Christians who have gone on to some second blessing or some further experience. Paul is not introducing anything new but recapitulating and explaining more fully what he has already said in chapter 6. Now that, to me, is a most vital foundation. From what we have considered in previous lectures, you will see that it is because people have not realised this that they have gone astray in their understanding of sanctification. But surely Romans 8:5—9 ought to settle this question once and for ever. So you must no longer divide Christians up into those who are spiritual Christians and those who are not. All Christians are spiritual, of necessity, by definition; the moment we are born again we are spiritual. We have received the Holy Spirit; we are united to Christ; the nature of God is in us and we are partakers of the divine nature.
Now having put it like that, in general, to give you a summary of the whole teaching, let us look at it in a little more detail. In those three chapters, what is Paul’s argument—because it is an argument—on the question of sanctification? To answer that, we must start away back with the doctrine of sin. The Apostle himself has done that in the second half of chapter 5 where he teaches that we were all in Adam and because we were all in Adam, we all fell with him and have all reaped the full consequences of his sin. And the consequences of that sin are that men and women are dominated and controlled by sin, and Satan. In an earlier lecture, we went into the consequences of the fall. We now have this sinful nature. At the fall we lost our alignment with God, so that instead of controlling the body, and the bodily parts, by our spirit which is in tune with God, our whole life is dominated by the body and the sinful principle that controls it.
That is what sin has done. Before the fall, man and woman worked in a perfectly harmonious manner, they had all their instincts, the hunger instinct, the sex instinct and all these things. They were all there, yes, but as the man and the woman were perfect and in the right relationship to God, their instincts did not constitute any problem at all but were subservient to their highest and best interests. But with the fall, that balance was completely upset and men and women became the victims of their own bodies. They became governed by what Paul calls ‘the desires of the flesh and of the mind’ (Eph. 2:3). They became creatures of lust, dominated by sin and Satan. That is the biblical teaching. They suffered in the whole of their being and are now in a condition of confusion and of riot.
But in Jesus Christ there is salvation. That is what Paul is saying in the second half of that fifth chapter of Romans in that magnificent statement: ‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound’ (v. 20). So, here is the salvation. But what sort of a salvation? Is it merely forgiveness of sins? And the answer is an eternal ‘No!’ That is exactly what Paul begins to say at the beginning of chapter 6. He imagines some people saying something like this: ‘This is rather good, all our sins are covered by Christ. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” It doesn’t matter, therefore, how much we sin. Indeed, we might even argue that the more we sin the more grace will abound. I know my sins are forgiven, so it doesn’t matter what I do, I’m in Christ, I’m safe, I can live any sort of life.’
‘God forbid,’ says the Apostle in verse 2. That is what he is denouncing. Why? Because our salvation in Christ is not partial, it is an entire, a complete, salvation. And in this great passage in chapters 6, 7 and 8, he sets out to work out that theme and prove it.
So the great text, in my opinion, is Romans 6:14: ‘For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.’ Observe what Paul says. He does not say that sin ought not to have dominion over you. He says, ‘Sin shall not have dominion over you’ (v. 14). It will not be allowed. Because you are not under law but under grace, sin shall not have dominion over you and he shows us how that comes to pass. Fundamentally, the principle is our union with Christ. We dealt with that doctrine of the union earlier, and that is why it must be taken before we come to sanctification. If you read again the second half of chapter 5, you will see that the argument is that as we were in Adam so we are in Christ. We have reaped all the consequences of what Adam did; we have reaped all the consequences of what Christ has done. That is the parallel.
What does this mean? Well, we are joined to Him in every respect. We are not only joined to the Lord Jesus Christ in some respects, we are joined to Him entirely; you cannot divide Christ. As we have seen, we have been crucified with Him—you will find it all in the sixth chapter—we have died with Him, we have been buried with Him, planted in the likeness of His death and we have risen with Him. Turn also to Ephesians 2:6: ‘And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’—at this very moment. Yes, or to put it in terms of 1 Corinthians 1:30, ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us’—what?—‘wisdom, and righteousness’—but you do not stop there—‘wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ Christ is already made all that unto us who are Christians. Can you imagine anything therefore more dangerous or unscriptural than to say that, to some Christians, Christ is only justification? ‘He is not sanctification to them yet,’ people say, ‘they’ll go on to that.’ But the Scripture says the exact opposite! He is made all these things to us. You cannot divide Christ and we are in Christ, joined to Christ, we have a whole Christ, always. So this is what we must grasp.
What does that lead to? Well, the Apostle’s own deductions are these. Because of our union with Christ, and because we have been crucified and have died and been buried and have risen with Him, He says: You are ‘dead to the law’ (Romans 7:4). The law cannot touch you. Christ has died, He is the end of the law once and for ever for sin. So the law has nothing more to say to me by way of condemnation. Yes, but it does not stop there. The Apostle tells us that not only are we dead to the law but we are also, and equally, dead to sin. ‘God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin. . . (Romans 6:2). Or, ‘How shall we that have died to sin…?’ It is as definite as that: the tense is aorist, the death has happened once and for all. We are not dying to sin, we are dead, we have died to sin. Paul repeats that many times: ‘Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin’ (v. 6). Our old self has been crucified, was crucified. It has happened. ‘For he that is dead is freed from sin’ (v. 7). And that is the Christian. ‘Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness’ (v. 18). But now, ‘being made free from sin’—which means, having now therefore been made free from sin—‘and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life’ (v. 22). Then Paul puts it as the form of an appeal: ‘Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (v. 11).
So, then, we are not only dead to the law, we are also dead to sin. As far as we are concerned, Paul says, sin is no more. To prove that, in the next chapter Paul has the great argument of the woman married to her husband who is free the moment her husband dies. Paul argues this in the sixth chapter by saying that a slave is owned by a master, but if another master comes and buys the slave, then he does not belong to the first, but to the second. So not only are we dead to sin, but, more than that, we are risen with Christ. And that means that Christ’s life is our life. ‘Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life’ (v. 4). In verse 5, it is the same thing, ‘For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.’ And then in verse 8: ‘Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.’ That is really the present tense: we are living with Him. This is true of us already. You find this also in verses 11 and 13: ‘Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ And in verse 13 Paul says, ‘Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.’ We have risen with Christ and therefore we are in this new life.
And, as I have already indicated, in chapter 7 Paul says, in effect, ‘In a sense you were married to the law, but not any longer because the law, as far as you are concerned, is dead.’
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
We are married to Christ and we ought to bring forth the fruit of a good and a sanctified life.
That, then, is Paul’s fundamental statement. As the result of our union with Christ, we are dead to sin and alive unto God. The life of Christ is in us and that is the position of every Christian.
‘Well,’ says someone, ‘does that mean, then, that we are completely sinless and perfect? Has Christ done this to the whole self? Am I entirely finished with sin in every shape and form?’
The answer Paul gives is: ‘No. All that I have just been saying is true and true of our spirits. Our spirits are already entirely delivered from sin. I, as a spirit, and as a spiritual being, am dead to sin. I have finished with it once and for ever, but that is not true of my body.’ So you see the argument? The result of the fall of Adam was that the entire person has been involved, my spirit and my body. In our Christian salvation at this moment Christ has redeemed my spirit perfectly; that is the ‘new self’; but my body still remains under the thraldom of sin. I am dead to sin, I am finished with it, but my body is still under its dominion.
Let me give you the evidence. First of all in chapter 6. Paul says in verse 6: ‘Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that [in order that] the body of sin might be destroyed. . .’ The old self has been crucified, it is finished with. Yes, in order that this body of sin might be destroyed—but that has not yet happened. But look at verse 12. In verse 11 Paul says in effect, ‘You yourself have reckoned yourself dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God.’ Then, verse 12: ‘Let not sin therefore reign [as it has been doing] in your mortal body that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.’ But go on to verse 13: ‘Neither yield ye your members’—that is to say, my instincts and my limbs, my faculties and all I am —‘as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.’ No, rather, Paul tells us ‘Yield. . . your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.’
And then there is the final statement in the nineteenth verse, where Paul says, ‘I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.’ That is the evidence in chapter 6 to the effect that though my spirit is emancipated and redeemed my body still is not.
So let us turn now to chapter 7. Paul says in verse 16, ‘if then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.’ Then verse 17; ‘Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.’ You see, it is not I, I am redeemed, it is sin that dwells in me. Verse 18 says, ‘For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing’—he does not say that in me there is no good thing, not, it is, ‘in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.’ Then again in verse 20 Paul says: ‘Now if I do that I would not, it is not more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me’—the same thing, you see. But go on to verse 23: ‘But I see another law in my members’—not in me, in my members—‘warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.’ That is what happens. Unless I understand this doctrine, I will allow myself to be governed by that sin again. But I need not, because the sin is in my members, not in me.
Then in verse 24: ‘Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ ‘Who shall deliver me from this body of death?’ It is a logical conclusion, is it not? Paul has been saying in effect, ‘This is my position; I am saved and redeemed, yes, but I am still in this body and this body is still under the dominion of sin and is trying to drag me down. Who shall deliver me out of this body? How can I be perfectly emancipated?’ That is his question. And indeed he puts it again in the last part of verse 25: ‘So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ That is the evidence in chapter 7.
Now let me give you the evidence in chapter 8. First of all it is in verse 10, one of the most important verses of all: ‘And if Christ be in you, the body’—and he means the body; he does not mean the flesh but the physical frame, the soma—‘the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ He has just said, ‘But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you’—that is your position as a Christian, what is true of you? It is this—‘the body is dead [dead spiritually] because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ You see the distinction? Then in verse 13, Paul says it again: ‘For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.’ He does not say you are to mortify yourself; he says you are to mortify the deeds of your body, the place in which sin is dwelling; you shall live if you do that.
And then there is the great verse towards the end of the chapter summing it all up: verse 23. Paul is talking about the whole creation, groaning and travailing in pain together until now. Then: ‘And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption—what is that? Here is the answer—‘to wit, the redemption of our body.’ You see what he is saying? Here I am as a Christian, my spirit is already redeemed, but my body is not. What I am waiting for is the day which is coming when my body shall be redeemed as well as my spirit. Because of sin and the fall of Adam I have gone down—spirit and body. But Christ has come in. He has already saved my spirit; the body is not yet redeemed and I am waiting for the adoption, the redemption of my body.
‘What, then, is our position?’ you ask. Does that therefore mean that as Christians we are condemned to a life of hopeless misery and failure in this world? Are we just to go on struggling vainly and being down and out, as it were, in wretchedness and misery? To which the answer is that yes, you are condemned to that if you are relying only upon yourself and your own ability and energy to conform to God’s law. Yes, you are condemned to that if you draw a separation between justification and sanctification. Yes, you are condemned if you say that a Christian can have his sins forgiven but nothing more. But the answer of the Scripture a thousand times over is that that is not our position!
Now turn to the meaning of the great statement in Romans 7:7—25 about which people have argued so often. Does it describe a person unredeemed altogether, or one who is redeemed but not yet fully sanctified? The whole point of that passage is just this. Paul has been saying in the first part of the chapter that we are no longer under the law. We are like the woman whose first husband has died, leaving her free to be married to another. We are no longer tied up with the law because Christ has put an end to it through His body. We are now married to Christ and have finished with the law in that sense. ‘But,’ says someone, ‘are you saying then that there is no value in the law of God? Are you saying that the law of God is absolutely useless and that there is no worth in it at all?’ ‘God forbid!’ says Paul. The law itself is all right, but if you think that it can either justify you or sanctify you, you are making a big mistake. If you are relying for ultimate deliverance from sin on your own attempts to carry out that law, then you are indeed doomed. And then Paul puts it in his typical dramatic way. He says in effect, ‘You’re leaving me in this sort of position: as a Christian I have now seen the value of the law and I want to keep it; but this body of mine is dragging me down; this sin that remains in my body is making that impossible. And if that is the whole truth, then I am a failure, I am a wretched man. But that is not the position,’ says Paul. You notice how he puts it. He makes this statement ‘Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?’ And immediately he answers his own question: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ His summary in chapter 6 has already answered the question. I am not condemned to that wretchedness because of my union with Christ; because of my union with Christ, sin shall not have dominion over me. It will not be allowed to and indeed it does not.
So, then, Paul has answered the question, first and foremost, in chapter 6:14, but you notice how he likes to repeat it. Having said it there, he says it again in chapter 7:25: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord.’ He then goes on to say it in a most extraordinary way in chapter 8:10—11: ‘If Christ be in you, the body is dead [still] because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ Then, ‘But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.’ Now chat not only refers to the resurrection of saints at His coming, it also refers to something that is already happening in these mortal bodies; the process is going on already. What a wonderful statement!
Paul then repeats this again in much the same way in verses 15— 17. He says, ‘For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear’ You must not be cast down; you must not say that this is a weary pilgrimage and all is against you and you are constantly defeated, not at all! ‘Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.’ The ultimate result is certain.
And then, I repeat, Paul finally says it again in verse 23: ‘We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption’—it is coming!—‘the redemption of our body.’ So we are not doomed to a sense of failure and frustration. We are not struggling vainly and hopelessly and helplessly. This great process is proceeding because we are in Christ. How does this happen? The Lord Jesus Christ is in us. If we are Christians, He is in us and He is working in us by His Holy Spirit, and, as the result of this working, He has already delivered our spirits and He is in the process of delivering even our bodies, and finally they will be perfectly delivered.
How does the process go on? Philippians 2:12—13 gives the answer: ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do…’ The Spirit is in us and we are led by Him. He works upon our wills; He creates desires after holiness; He reveals sin to us in all its foulness and ugliness and creates aspirations after purity and the life of God. Not only that. He gives us strength and power, enabling us to do what we now want to do. What else? Well, as Paul tells us in Romans 8:14: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ And that is true, again, of every single Christian.
How does that happen? How does His leading take place within us? And what does He lead us to? Well, He leads us in many ways, but He leads us particularly through the truth. It is He who is the author of the truth and He leads us to it and gives us an understanding of it. And as He does so, we are being sanctified. And the truth, as I have already outlined, is that our spirits are already redeemed, but the problem remains in this body. We are to see that even that eventually will be delivered. And in the meantime, Paul shows us what to do: ‘Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God . . .‘ (6:11). He gives us this assurance and certainty of ultimate victory. I no longer feel defeated, I know that I am on the victorious side and that I must just go on. Then he appeals to me. He says, ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body’ (6:12). And I feel that is a perfectly fair appeal and I am going to put it into practice. He says: In view of all this, do not yield your members ‘as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin’, but yield them as ‘instruments of righteousness unto God’. ‘Quite right,’ I say.
And so Paul goes on to make this great appeal to me, to refuse to allow my unredeemed body to dominate me as it used to. I must realise that I am a child of God, destined for glory, and I must not allow my body to influence me. There is a process which goes on and on and on and is not complete while I am still in this life. Sin remains in the body. But, thank God, the day is coming when the process will be complete. I must quote Romans 8:23 once again because it is one of the most glorious verses in Scripture: ‘And not only they, but ourselves also . . . groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption…’ A day is coming when my very body shall be entirely delivered from sin in every shape and form. He shall change my vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (Philippians 3:21). There is a day coming when this process of redemption started in me by Christ, which has already delivered me as a spiritual being and has made me dead to sin, there is a day when my body shall be equally dead to sin and I shall be perfect and entire, faultless and blameless without spot and blemish, standing face to face with God.
‘Beloved,’ says John, who agrees entirely with Paul, ‘now are we the sons of God’—now—‘and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2). And we shall be like Him in that not only will our spirits then be like Him and partaking of His nature and reflecting His image, but our bodies also shall be as glorified as His body; we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. That is what is coming and it is coming for certain. What of it, therefore? Well, I am still in this life and in this world, I shall still have to wage this battle against the sin that is in my body. So John puts it like this: ‘Every man that hath this hope in himself purifieth himself’—he does it—‘even as he is pure’ (1 John 3:3). ‘I keep under my body’ (1 Corinthians 9:27), says Paul: again he does it. He does not just passively look to Christ. I mortify my ‘members which are upon the earth’ (Colossians 3:5). That is the argument. Given all this truth, this power of the Spirit working in me, I am exhorted to do that, I want to do that, and that is sanctification.
So we must, of necessity, reject all talk about eradication of sin, all talk of being delivered entirely from sin in this life. We reject it in the name of the Scripture. We reject equally talk of the principle of counteraction, because that does not say enough about me. It does not tell me that I, spiritually, am already delivered and that the problem is only in the flesh and that that is a problem which I have to face. It draws a false distinction between a Christian who may only be in the seventh chapter of Romans with one who is in the eighth chapter. It does not realise that every Christian is in the eighth chapter of Romans because if the Spirit of Christ is not in you, you are none of His.
We see sanctification as a part of a great and glorious plan:
Christ the redemption; the believer joined to Christ; and from the moment of rebirth, regeneration and union, this mighty process begins which eventually will lead to a perfected redemption and salvation, including even the body, which, hitherto and until we die and are raised again, still remains under the dominion of sin. But as I realise this glorious truth I should master it and increasingly conquer it so that there may be development and growth in my sanctification. (225-237)