More Resources on Soteriology: The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation

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The Doctrine of Sanctification: An Exegetical Examination, with Application, in Historic Baptist Perspective,

to which is Appended a Historical, Exegetical, and Elenctic Evaluation of Influential Errors, Particularly the Keswick Theology

NOTE: This is a WORK IN PROGRESS. It is NOT yet completed, but the author felt it was important enough that he wanted to make it available now.

I. Summary of the Significance of Romans 6:6

II. Exegetical Justification for the Significance Assigned

A. Crucifixion with Christ Does Not Mean That Sin Is Already Utterly Destroyed In The Christian Life

B. The Ethically Sinful Portion Of The Regenerate Is Already Legally And Judicially Dead, But In Practical Sanctification What Is Legally Dead Must Still Be Put To Death, A Work That Continues Until And Is Consummated In Glorification

C. The Significance Of And Relationships Between The Old Man, The Body Of Sin, And The Flesh, How These Are To Be Mortified, And The Nature Of Mortification

D. The Nature And Means Of Vivification, The Positive Converse of Mortification

I. The Nature of Vivification

1.) Vivification as Quickening

2.) Vivification as Growth

3.) Vivification as Building Up

4.) Vivification as Strengthening

5.) Vivification as Transformation

6.) Vivification as Perfecting

7.) Vivification as Renewal Sourced in Regeneration

II. The Prerequisites for Vivification

1.) Be Right With God

2.)

III. The Means of Vivification

1.) Vivification Comes By “Exercise”

E. The Body of Sin Is Indeed Destroyed, Not Merely Counteracted

F. Gradual Deliverance From The Power Of Sin Is Consistent With the Aorist Subjunctive Of “To Destroy” (katargeo) In Romans 6:6

G. How Does God Make Believers More Holy in Progressive Sanctification?

I. The Distinction Between Those Right With God And The Backslidden Believer

III. The Certainty of Practical Sanctification For All The Regenerate

A. Scripture Clearly Teaches That All Saved People Will Be Changed

B. 1 John Teaches That All Saved People Are And Will Be Different

IV. Exegetical and Historical Excurses Relevant to Sanctification

C. Excursus I: Does Colossians 2:6-7 Teach Sanctification by Faith Alone?

D. Excursus II: Romans 7:14-25: A Depiction of Part of the Normal Christian Life

E. Excursus III: Does Galatians 2:20, Or Any Other Text of Scripture, Teach that

Christ Lives the Christian Life Instead of the Believer?

F. Excursus IV: Hebrews 3-4 As An Alleged Evidence For Perpetually Sinning Christians

G. Excursus V: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)

H. Excursus VI: Is Fallen Man’s Obligation To Obey God Limited To His Ability To Do So?

I. Excursus VII: Are All Believers Disciples?

J. Excursus VIII: What Does It Mean To Abide in Christ?

K. Excursus IX: Regeneration and Sanctification Are Connected with the Renewal of the Whole Person, Body, Soul, and Spirit—Not with the Spirit Alone

L. Excursus X: Hannah Whitall Smith: Higher Life Writer, Speaker on Sanctification, Developer of the Keswick Theology, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

M. Excursus XI: An Analysis and Critique of Keswick Theology as Set Forth Particularly In So Great Salvation: The History and Message of the Keswick Convention, by Steven Barabas

N. Excursus XII: Do Keswick Critics Routinely Misrepresent Keswick Theology?

V. A Concluding Exhortation

VI. Classic Documents That Relate To Crucifixion With Christ And Sanctification In General

A. 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677) / Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith (1689/1720), Article 13, Of Sanctification

B. An Orthodox Creed (1678), Article 26, Of Sanctification and Good Works

C. “The Means Of Sanctification,” James Petigru Boyce.

D. An Excerpt from A Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit, John Owen.

E. An Excerpt from The Method of Grace: How the Spirit Works, John Flavel.

F. The Nature of True Holiness Explained, John Brine

G. The Old Man Crucified, Charles H. Spurgeon.

H. The Old And The New Man In Believers, Thomas Boston.

VII. Bibliography

I. Summary of the Significance of the Verse

Romans 6:6 promises that the believer’s “old man,” the pre-conversion person dominated by sin, the person “in Adam,” “is crucified with” Christ. It is judicially dead, having been judicially destroyed at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. The “body of sin,” the body dominated by sin when the Christian was still unconverted, has been judicially destroyed. This destruction is associated with positional sanctification.[1] In terms of progressive sanctification, the flesh, the ethically sinful “body of sin,” has received its death blow, and its ultimate destruction at glorification is certain, as a man who is on a cross is certain of ultimate death, although he still can struggle and fight within certain limits.[2] The flesh within the believer is certain of utter destruction at death or the return of Christ, but during this life, although crucified and growing weaker, it can still influence the Christian to sin. These remnants of sin in the believer are to be mortified, put to death, to bring the legal and judicial truth and the ultimate certainty of glorification closer to practical reality in this life. This crucifixion with Christ in the believer has the result “that the body of sin might be destroyed.” This destruction, judicially completed at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, and positionally and legally declared for the believer at the moment of his regeneration, will take place ultimately at glorification, when the remnants of sin in the Christian are entirely removed, finally and completely destroyed. However, the beginnings of this utter destruction are already set in motion, even as the crucifixion of the old man with Christ, which took place legally at the time of the Savior’s own crucifixion and begins experientially in the life of the elect at the point of their regeneration, progressively removes the life and strength from the old man, the body of sin. The negative aspects of the progressive mortification of sin in this life, is the converse to the vivification, the progressive cleansing, sanctification of the believer, and growth of the new man, produced by the Triune God and especially the Holy Spirit[3] through the Scriptures. This vivification culminates in glorification,[4] when the Christian will be entirely without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:26-27). Since the old man is already judicially crucified and dead, and experientially and progressively crucified and dying, on its way to certain destruction, the believer “henceforth . . . should not serve sin.” Freedom from service to sin in this life and the elimination of its reigning power (Romans 6:14) is immediately received at the moment of regeneration. Progressive deliverance from sin, the progressive destruction and progressive weakening of the strength of the old man, are the saint’s current portion, and final and ultimate deliverance from all service to sin, and the final and complete destruction of the old man in heaven are his certain inheritance. Regeneration shatters the dominance of sin in the believer and imparts a new nature, progressive sanctification brings the growth of the new nature and the progressive dying of indwelling sin, and glorification completes the work of sanctification as indwelling sin is forever extirpated and the believer enjoys perfect holiness in the presence of God. These are the purposes of God in and results of the saint’s crucifixion with Christ.

II. Exegetical Justification for the Significance Assigned

A. Crucifixion with Christ Does Not Mean That Sin is Already Utterly Destroyed in The Christian Life

Crucifixion with Christ does not mean that the motions of the sinful remnants within the saint are entirely unable to do anything anymore in practice and are already entirely destroyed.[5] The uses of “crucified with,” sustaurao (sustauro/w) in the gospels, where the word is employed of the thieves crucified with the Lord, certainly do not indicate that those crucified with Christ were already dead in practice (Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32; John 19:32). A man who is literally condemned to death on a cross is legally dead, his future actual bodily death is certain, and he grows progressively weaker over time. In addition to his future death being certain, he had certain definite limitations imposed upon him from his crucifixion. His arms and legs were immobilized, and their actings were thus subscribed to a certain limited sphere, although not entirely eliminated—a man who has not been crucified can walk and act in a much wider sphere than one who is nailed to a cross. His fleshly struggles against his coming death were more violent at one time than at another, but overall through time grew progressively weaker until he finally died, although his body, his flesh, was still able to perform various actions and exert vigor until the time of its final passing.[6] So the sin within a believer is legally judged dead already, its reign is shattered, it is certain of a coming utter destruction, it is confined within certain limits beyond which it cannot pass (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:18-24),[7] and it is growing weaker as through time the believer mortifies it, but it is not yet entirely motionless or its vigor entirely eliminated.

The verb crucify[8] is employed quite a number of times in the gospels for those who have had the sentence of death passed upon them legally, yet are not yet literally dead (Matthew 27:35, 38; 28:5; Mark 15:24, 25, 27; Luke 23:33; John 19:18, 23), just as cocrucify/crucify with is clearly employed in this sense (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:34; John 19:32). Indeed, no text in Scripture clearly makes crucify and die absolute synonyms, although crucifixion unquestionably leads to literal death, so that one who has been crucified eventually dies as a result (Matthew 20:19; 23:34; John 19:10, etc.). This, however, does not mean that the two words are identical any more than the fact that someone dies from terminal cancer means that to have cancer is a synonym with to die, or the fact that starvation leads to death means that to starve is a synonym with to die. Nor does the fact that the Christian is both crucified with Christ and dead with Christ prove the two terms are synonyms—believers are also buried with and risen with Christ, but nobody would argue that since believers are crucified with Christ and risen with Him crucified and risen are synonyms. Crucifixion brings one to the point of literal death, but only after a drawn-out and painful process of gradual dying. The metaphor of crucifixion with Christ (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20) should be interpreted in the same sense,[9] where the ultimate and final death to sin takes place with the utter destruction of the ethically sinful flesh at glorification and the gradual process of dying to sin occurs in progressive sanctification throughout life as a product of the crucifixion with Christ and legal sentence of death that took place at the moment of regeneration. That is, the believer becomes legally dead to sin at the moment of his regeneration, progressively is dying to sin throughout his life of progressive sanctification, and is ultimately and finally dead to sin at the time of his glorification. While Christians do grow more dead to sin as they grow more holy, they do not, in progressive sanctification, become more crucified—at regeneration Christians are, once and for all, crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, as the unregenerate grow more inwardly and outwardly wicked (2 Timothy 3:13),[10] the regenerate grow inwardly more holy and less sinful, and consequently act more like their sanctifying God, as their new nature is strengthened and their indwelling sin eradicated by the power of the Spirit. The gradual weakening of the body of sin and the remnants of sin in the Christian are a result of his already completed cocrucifixion.

B. The Ethically Sinful Portion Of The Regenerate Is Already Legally and Judicially Dead, But In Practical Sanctification What Is Legally Dead Must Still Be Put To Death, A Work That Continues Until And Is Consummated In Glorification

The connection between cocrucifixion (Romans 6:6) and death in Romans 6:6-11 is significant. One who is crucified is already legally dead, although he may not, in practice, yet have in every sense of the word actually physically died. So the believer is legally both crucified and dead—the saint, as identified with Christ, was crucified when Christ was crucified, died when He died, and rose when He rose from the grave. Furthermore, at the moment of regeneration, the believer died in that he was freed from the legal dominion and reigning power of sin (Romans 6:14). As a consequence, in progressive sanctification, he is to put do death or mortify more and more of the deeds of the flesh, and more and more weaken the sin principle in him by the Spirit, and more and more become holy in his nature, habits, and actions, as he is more and more renewed into the image of Christ. This progressive process is entirely completed in actuality at glorification.

The legal sentence of death, with its resultant freedom from the reign of sin, is emphasized in the use of cocrucified, sustaurao, in Galatians 2:19-21. The perfect tense of cocrucified in Galatians 2:20 emphasizes the results of the point action of crucifixion with Christ experientially received at regeneration. Judicially, the believer’s ethically sinful flesh is already destroyed and dead, having died on the cross. In the purpose of God, glorification is already a certainty for the saint as well, as is perfect conformity to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30). Practically in this life, progressive renewal into the image of God[11] and progressive destruction of the principle of sin in saints takes place. At the point of conversion, the believer crucifies the sinful flesh and its ways: “[T]hey that are Christ’s have crucified [estaurosan, e˙stau/rwsan, aorist active indicative] the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24), so that the believer can say that in his Christian life, “by . . . our Lord Jesus Christ . . . the world is crucified [estauromai, e˙stau/rwtai, perfect passive indicative] unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). However, while the legal sentence of death has been passed on the sinful flesh, its future actual destruction is certain, the flesh is progressively weakening on account of its crucifixion, and its actings are subscribed within certain definite limits, the flesh is still able to act in the Christian. No Christian experiences sinless perfection in this life (1 John 1:8-10).[12] The crucified flesh is, in practice, dying, but not yet absolutely destroyed. The experience of freedom from the service to sin and the destruction of the sinful flesh begins at regeneration and progresses throughout life through mortification, but does not culminate until glorification.

The fact that Christians are “dead to sin” does not deny the gradual nature of mortification. Rather, it is the basis of it. The fundamental idea of death is separation. Spiritual death is separation from God (Ephesians 2:1-3); physical death is the separation of the body and the soul (Genesis 35:18); and the second death is the everlasting separation of the sinner from God in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). The believer, then, is dead to sin in the sense that he is separated from it; he is freed from its dominion and control on his body, will, mind, affections, soul, and spirit, free from its predominant influence, and is certain of ultimate absolute freedom from its presence. He no longer lives in the realm of sin’s power, and consequently no longer walks in sin (Colossians 3:7). The believer is already legally dead (Romans 7:4; Galatians 2:19) with Christ, and the reign of sin is replaced at regeneration by the reign of grace (Romans 6:2, 10-14). His death to sin in regeneration, however, does not mean that there is yet nothing in him that still desires sin—he must still mortify what is ethically sinful in him.[13] Even though believers “are dead” (Colossians 3:3), they still have sinful “members which are upon the earth” (3:5, 2) to which they must not yield (Romans 6:10-14). Similarly, believers are already quickened with Christ (Ephesians 2:5),[14] but they can properly pray, “quicken me” (Psalm 119:40, 88, 107), and since they are risen with Christ, they are to seek after heavenly things (Colossians 3:1). Thus, the believer, by the power of the Spirit, must continue to put to death the practices of the body of sin (Romans 8:13, thanatoute, qanatouvte, a present indicative). As Colossians 3:1-17 explains, believers are already “risen with Christ” (v. 1) (sunegerthete to Christo, sunhge÷rqhte twˆ◊ Cristwˆ◊), and “are dead” (apethanete, aÓpeqa¿nete), v. 3. They formerly “walked” (periepatesate, periepath/sate), v. 7 in sins, when, before their conversion, they “lived in them” (edzete en autois, e˙zhvte e˙n aujtoi√ß), v. 7, but now it is not so. Because they are already dead to sin, they are to “set [their] affection on things above, not on things of the earth” (ta ano phroneite, me ta epi tes ges, ta» a‡nw fronei√te, mh\ ta» e˙pi« thvß ghvß), v. 2, and “mortify [their] members which are upon the earth” (nekrosate oun ta mele humon ta epi tes ges, nekrw¿sate ou™n ta» me÷lh uJmw◊n ta» e˙pi« thvß ghvß), v. 5, that is, put to death those parts within them that still incline to the sorts of sins which they no longer live in as regenerated people (v. 5-7). Since believers are legally and judicially dead to sin, they are, by the Spirit, to put to death or mortify the remnants of the sin principle in them (Colossians 3:5) and its outward manifestations (Romans 8:13).   At the moment of repentance, faith, and regeneration, they “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9) and “put on the new man” (v. 10). They are therefore daily to “put off” sins like anger, wrath, and malice (Colossians 3:8), as their “new man” is gradually “renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (v. 10; note the present participle, the progressive action of the new man being renewed, in ton neon, ton anakainoumenon eis epignosin kat eikona tou ktisantos auton, to\n ne÷on,to\n aÓnakainou/menon ei˙ß e˙pi÷gnwsin kat∆ ei˙ko/na touv kti÷santoß aujto/n). Ephesians 4 expresses similar truth to Colossians 3—since believers have already “learned Christ . . . have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus,” they are to in practice “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of [their] mind; and . . . put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24). The only noteworthy difference is that Colossians 3:9-10 indicates that the old man was put off and the new man put on at regeneration, while Ephesians 4:20-24 speaks of practically putting off the old man and putting on the new man in the Christian life. This practical putting off/putting on, a consequence of the end of the dominance of the old man in Adam, union with Christ, and putting on of the new man in regeneration, appears as saints put away lying and put on truth (Ephesians 4:25), put away stealing and put on useful labor (4:28), put away corrupt communication and put on edifying speech (4:29), put away bitterness, wrath, anger, and such like sins, and put on kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness (4:31-32). This progressive putting off and putting on is how sin is mortified and the believer is renewed more and more into the moral image of Christ.

As the Spirit works to lead believers to will[15] and do of God’s good pleasure (Philippians 2:13),[16] they become more conformed to Christ in their practical death to sin (Philippians 3:10), more conformed to Christ in positive inward holiness (Galatians 4:19), and more conformed to Christ in their progressive restoration into the moral image of God, the “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), into which they are transformed as they grow in experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:3), knowledge which leads them to abound in all holy practices, godliness, virtue, and love (2 Peter 1:5-8). Christians are new men, new in body, soul, and spirit, all of which are progressively sanctified[17] and are certain of complete transformation at glorification. Their entire persons are being sanctified now (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; cf. the practical outworkings of this inward transformation in vv. 16-22) as the Lord makes them increase and abound in love and holiness, a process that will culminate in perfect sinlessness when they are glorified at the coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).[18]

As stated in Colossians three, Ephesians four, and other texts, Romans six similarly explains the significance of being dead to sin. One who is so dead can no longer live in it (6:2). As pictured[19] in baptism, the Christian is now dead to sin and both free to live and certain of a new life (6:3-5). The statement 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”[20] no more implies uncertainty about the saint’s new walk than the similar houto kai (ou¢tw kai/) + aorist subjunctive construction in Romans 5:21, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”[21] The Divine purposes fulfill their result. As surely as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so sure is the saint’s walking in newness of life. The new walk is as sure as is the existence of the reign of grace by Jesus Christ.[22] The new resurrected walk is as sure as the saint’s death and burial with Christ in regeneration (6:4-6). Death with Christ means that the old man has been crucified with Him (6:6). The Christian has received deliverance from sin’s bondage (6:6), legal freedom from sin’s service (6:7), freedom from death’s dominion (6:9) the ability to live for God (6:10-11), and freedom from the dominion of sin and the beginning of the reign of grace (6:14). The culmination of these blessings in this life is future absolute destruction of the body of sin (6:6) and glorification with Christ (6:8). All these are the believer’s inheritance. Romans 5:21 sets the stage for the discourse of Romans 6—the believer is free from the reign of sin, and now grace reigns in him through righteousness, by means of Jesus Christ, with the result of eternal life. Nevertheless, until glorification, sin still remains within the believer (Romans 6:6, 10-23).

Romans six does not thus define the death to sin that the believer possesses as absolute freedom from all influence from sin, but as freedom from its reigning power. Paul argues that since the believer is free, he is not to let sin reign in his members. The believer is already legally dead, buried, and risen with Christ, and this legal deliverance guarantees his sanctification now and future bodily glorification. He is consequently to reckon, consider, and believe that this is so (6:11), not allow sin to reign in his mortal body (6:12) and consequently obey its lusts, or present his members to sin and put them at its disposal (6:13), but rather he is to yield himself to God and yield his members as instruments of righteousness (6:13), knowing that, since he is not under the legal control of the law, but under grace, he has the promise that sin will not have dominion over him (6:14), but God will certainly effectually work in him to sanctify him and bring him to ultimate glorification. He can rejoice that 6:14 is a promise, not a possibility, and consequently yield himself to God, present his members to Him, and put sin to death, knowing that victory over sin is certain.

C. The Significance Of And Relationships Between The Old Man, The Body Of Sin, And The Flesh, How These Are To Be Mortified, And The Nature Of Mortification

The “old man,” the person dominated by the ethically sinful flesh,[23] expresses an idea closely related to “the body of sin,” the body as dominated by sin. The body of sin is the portion of the old man (who is body, soul, and spirit)[24] that controls the unregenerate individual, that is, his ethically sinful flesh, which is related to his physical body,[25] although the “body of sin,” like the old man and the ethically sinful flesh, are psycho-somatic, referring to man in his entire being.[26]

Both the “old man” and “the body of sin” are dead and are crucified, yet are still extant and still in need of mortification, in a different sense. The “old man” and his ungodly deeds are “put off” and the new man and holy actions “put on”[27] at the moment of faith and regeneration in purpose and profession (Colossians 3:9-10) and the dominion of sin is shattered, yet, as already indicated, the old man still is to be constantly and progressively put off in practice as the saint is constantly “renewed in the spirit of [his] mind” and the “new man” constantly “put on” (Ephesians 4:21-24),[28] a process which will continue until the Christian, in future glory, has become a “perfect man,” having reached the complete moral “measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). The product (“wherefore,” 4:25) of this continuing and progressive mortification of the old man and vivification or strengthening of the new man is that specific sins are put off and holy actions are put on (Ephesians 4:25-29).[29]

The “body of sin” (Romans 6:6) is the “body of this death” (Romans 7:24), the “body of the sins of the flesh” (Colossians 2:11), and “the body” the “deeds” of which one is to “mortify” (Romans 8:13; cf. also Romans 8:10, 11, 23; Philippians 3:21). This body is put off, just like the old man, at the moment of regeneration, for “the circumcision made without hands” involves the “putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ”[30] (Colossians 2:11). Nevertheless, the body of sin is still present in another sense, for the apostle Paul, although obviously already regenerate, nonetheless complains, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).[31] Thus, Scripture teaches that the body of sin in believers has been permanently put off in regeneration, but, in another sense, it is still present.

Likewise, believers are no longer in the flesh (Romans 7:5), and everyone who is still in the flesh is unconverted and unregenerate (Romans 8:8-9), yet in another sense Christians still possess the ethically sinful flesh (Romans 6:19; 7:18, 25), although they no longer characteristically walk according to the flesh (Romans 8:1-14). Thus, the old man is “put off” (Colossians 3:9) and the body of sin is “put off” (Colossians 2:11) in regeneration, and all the regenerate are no longer in the flesh (Romans 7:5), yet the old man, the body of sin, and the flesh are still present.

The “body of sin” expresses itself in its parts, its “members.” That is, “when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death” (Romans 7:5). These “members” constitute, together, the entirety of the person (1 Corinthians 12:14-27), from the “head to the feet” (12:21). In the sense in which the old man and the body of sin are still present and active, the believer must “mortify . . . [his] members which are upon the earth” (Colossians 3:5). He is commanded: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13). That is, “as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield[32] your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Romans 6:19). The Christian must mortify his sinful members because he can say, with Paul, “I see another law 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” (Romans 7:23), since he still has “lusts that war in [his] members” (James 4:1; cf. 3:5-6) that seek to “defil[e] the whole body, and . . . [are] set on fire of hell” (James 3:6). Nonetheless, as new men, believers’ “bodies are the members of Christ” (1 Corinthians 6:15). As an unconverted person continues to sin, yielding his members to uncleanness and to iniquity, his lesser sins lead on to even greater ones, “iniquity unto iniquity.” (Romans 6:19; cf. 1:21-32). Likewise, as the believer yields his members to righteousness, his “righteousness [is] unto holiness” (te dikaiosune eis hagiasmon, thØv dikaiosu/nhØ ei˙ß aJgiasmo/n), that is, progressive yielding of his members to righteousness leads to progressive growth in holiness within him as a person. The mortification of the remnants of sin within the believer takes place as the believer opposes, by the Spirit, the various members of the body of sin that still remain within him.

Romans 8:13 states, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit[33] do mortify (thanatoute, qanatouvte, present active indicative) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Colossians 3:5 states, “Mortify (nekrosate, nekrw¿sate, aorist active imperative) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” These two texts, the ones that speak specifically of the Christian duty of mortification, employ two different Greek verbs, thanatoo (qanato/w) in Romans 8:13, and nekroo (nekro/w) in Colossians 3:5. The “deeds of the body” are put to death or mortified with thanatao, and the “members which are upon the earth” are mortified with nekroo. While there is doubtless a significant amount of overlap[34] in the semantic domain of the two verbs, it appears that the use of thanatoo indicates that the deeds of the body are to be entirely eliminated, caused to cease, and put to death.[35] The earthly members are to become as good as dead (nekroo), that is, progressively weakened, although the earthly members are never totally extirpated in this life. Thanatoo appears[36] with relatively greater frequency than nekroo in the New Testament; the only texts containing nekroo besides Colossians 3:5 are Romans 4:19 and Hebrews 11:12.[37] Both Romans 4:19 and Hebrews 11:12 refer to a person who is still alive, but weak and “good as dead” because of his age. In light of the parallel texts, the command to the Christian to mortify his earthly members in Colossians 3:5 indicates that he is to progressively weaken them so that they are “as good as dead.”[38] The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament[39] states concerning nekroo: “Among physicians it denotes the atrophy of a part of the body through sickness.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon[40] gives as definition #3 for nekroo, “to deprive of power, destroy the strength of.” Thus, Romans 8:13 and Colossians 3:5 indicate that the deeds of the sinful body are to be put to death, caused to cease, and eliminated, while the earthly members themselves are to be made as good as dead,[41] although they will always remain present in this life. The believer is to progressively put to death the sin principle within him by the power of the Holy Spirit.[42] By the Spirit, he is to assault and weaken the strength of the body of sin within him by putting to death both the sinful deeds and the earthly members that are the manifestations of his indwelling sin.[43]

While the believer is commanded to mortify, it is essential to remember that he does so only “through the Spirit” (Romans 8:13). The entirety of sanctification, including both mortification and vivification, is a product of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit within the Christian. As mortification is only “through the Spirit,” likewise vivification comes from the Holy Ghost. Ephesians 3:16 (cf. Colossians 1:11)[44] indicates that God “grants . . . by his Spirit” that the believer’s inner man is strengthened. All aspects of “sanctification” are “of the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). The believer’s holy affections and resultant holy actions are the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9), spiritual fruit produced by the Holy Spirit because of the union the Christian has with Christ (Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:3), the Author of spiritual strength (Philippians 4:13) along with the Father (Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:23) and the Holy Ghost. Apart from Christ, the believer can do nothing good (John 15:4). In sanctification, the believer is unquestionably active, but his holiness is nonetheless a Divine product.[45] Christians can testify, therefore, in spiritual growth, as in the providential ordering of circumstances in their life, that “we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

Arthur Pink comments well on the use of the word “body” in Romans 6:6, rather than what might be expected, “flesh”:[46]

But why “mortify the deeds of the body”? In view of the studied balancing of the several clauses in this antithetical sentence, we had expected it to read “mortify the flesh.” In the seventh chapter and the opening verses of the eighth the apostle had treated of indwelling sin as the fount of all evil actions; and here he insists on the mortifying of both the root and the branches of corruption, referring to the duty under the name of the fruits it bears. The “deeds of the body” must not be restricted to mere outward works, but be understood as including also the springs from which they issue. As Owen rightly said, “The axe must be laid to the root of the tree.” In our judgment “the body” here has a twofold reference.

First, to the evil nature or indwelling sin, which in Romans 6:6, and 7:24, is likened unto a body, namely “the body of the sins of the flesh” (Colossians 2:11). It is a body of corruption which compasses the soul: hence we read of “your members which are upon the earth” (Colossians 3:5). The “deeds of the body” are the works which corrupt nature produces, namely our sins. Thus the “body” is here used objectively of “the flesh.”

Second, the “body” here includes the house in which the soul now dwells. It is specified to denote the degrading malignity which there is in sin, reducing its slaves to live as though they had no souls. It is mentioned to import the tendency of indwelling sin, namely to please and pamper the baser part of our being, the soul being made the drudge of the outward man. The body is here referred to for the purpose of informing us that though the soul be the original abode of “the flesh” the physical frame is the main instrument of its actions. Our corruptions are principally manifested in our external members: it is there that indwelling sin is chiefly found and felt. Sins are denominated “the deeds of the body” not only because they are what the lusts of the flesh tend to produce, but also because they are executed by the body (Romans 6:12). Our task then is not to transform and transmute “the flesh,” but to slay it: to refuse its impulses, to deny its aspirations, to put to death its appetites.

But who is sufficient for such a task—a task which is not a work of nature but wholly a spiritual one? It is far beyond the unaided powers of the believer. Means and ordinances cannot of themselves effect it. It is beyond the province and ability of the preacher: omnipotence must have the main share in the work. “If ye through the Spirit do mortify,” that is “the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ” of Romans 8:9—the Holy Spirit; for He is not only the Spirit of holiness in His nature, but in His operations too. He is the principal efficient cause of mortification. Let us marvel at and adore the Divine grace which has provided such a Helper for us! Let us recognize and realize that we are as truly indebted to and dependent upon the Spirit’s operations as we are upon the Father’s electing and the Son’s redeeming us. Though grace be wrought in the hearts of the regenerate, yet it lies not in their power to act it. He who imparted the grace must renew, excite, and direct it.

Believers may employ the aids of inward discipline and rigor, and practice outward moderation and abstinence, and while they may for a time check and suppress their evil habits, unless the Spirit puts forth His power in them there will be no true mortification. And how does He operate in this particular work? In many different ways. First, at the new birth He gives us a new nature. Then by nourishing and preserving that nature. In strengthening us with His might in the inner man. In granting fresh supplies of grace from day to day. By working in us a loathing of sin, a mourning over it, a turning from it. By pressing upon us the claims of Christ, making us willing to take up our cross and follow Him. By bringing some precept or warning to our mind. By sealing a promise upon the heart. By moving us to pray.

Yet let it be carefully noted that our text does not say, “If the Spirit do mortify,” or even “If the Spirit through you do mortify,” but, instead, “If ye through the Spirit”: the believer is not passive in this work, but active. It must not be supposed that the Spirit will help us without our concurrence, as well while we are asleep as waking, whether or not we maintain a close watch over our thoughts and works, and exercise nothing but a slight wish or sluggish prayer for the mortification of our sins. Believers are required to set themselves seriously to the task. If on the one hand we cannot discharge this duty without the Spirit’s enablement, on the other hand He will not assist if we be too indolent to put forth earnest endeavors. Then let not the lazy Christian imagine he will ever get the victory over his lusts.

The old man, the body of sin, and the flesh all relate to remnants of sin within the believer that are legally dead at regeneration, progressively weakened in the Christian life through mortification, and utterly abolished at glorification. However, they emphasize different aspects of indwelling sin. The term old man refers to the entirety of the unconverted person, body, soul, and spirit. The body of sin is the body as dominated or controlled by sin, and the flesh in the ethically sinful sense is the seat of indwelling sin in the believer that controlled him in his unregenerate state.

[1]           “Sanctification [is one] of the privileges bestowed upon the people of God, as the result of their union with Christ. . . .[J]ustify . . . means simply to declare just, or to treat as just; sanctify means to make holy. The usage of Scripture is as clear in this case as in that. The word ‘holy’ in Scripture has, however, various meanings. It is sometimes applied to things, and not to persons only.

1.) It is used in the sense of that which is set apart or dedicated to an especial use. Thus, God threatens that instruments of vengeance will be ‘prepared’ (sanctified) against ‘the king’s house of Judah,’ Jeremiah 22:7. But the dedication is most frequently for some holy use. Thus, ‘holy’ is applied to the Sabbath day (Exodus 31:14); and to the house of God (Leviticus 16:33); and to the water (Numbers 5:17); and to the vessels of the young men (1 Samuel 21:5).

2.) Things are also called holy from their connection with holy persons. Thus, the ‘place’ on which Moses stood was proclaimed ‘holy’ on account of its connection with Jehovah (Exodus 3:5); likewise the Mount of Transfiguration (2 Peter 1:18).

3.) As descriptive of an act free from sin, and performed with holy motives. Thus, the kiss of Christian salutation, called in 1 Peter 5:14 a kiss of charity, is in several other places called a ‘holy kiss.’ 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

4.)‘Holy,’ as tending to produce holiness; as ‘most holy faith’ (Jude 20).

5.) It is most generally used as descriptive of personal character, whether the holiness be perfect, as in God, or angels, or glorified saints; or partial, as seen in his people on earth. A few of the many instances of its application to this last class are 1 Samuel 2:9; Acts 9:13; Romans 15:25, 26; Philippians 4:21; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; Revelation 18:24.

The doctrine of sanctification has reference to the first and last of these usages of ‘holy;’ to the last more especially, as including the character of holiness produced by the continuous working of the Holy Ghost through the word of truth; but also to the first, as involving that dedication of person and life to God, which constitutes that ‘living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,’ which is the believer’s ‘reasonable service.’ Romans 12:1. Christian holiness includes both character and life. ‘Sanctification’ is the process by which these are accomplished. The ‘sanctified’ are those who are thus made holy. To ‘sanctify’ is to make them thus holy” (pgs. 1-2, Chapter 37, “Sanctification,” Abstract of Systematic Theology, James Petigru Boyce. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006).

“[Progressive] [s]anctification is not synonymous with holiness—it is not the state of one who is made holy—but it is the act by which such a state is produced. It is . . . the work of God . . . the work of each Person in the Godhead in particular. . . . But, while we regard it as the work of God, it is important in another view that we should regard it as the work of man. The subject of it is a rational and responsible agent. . . . He has a duty to perform and a work to do . . . [i]n prosecuting this work, his reliance for success must be . . . on the Spirit of God working by appointed means. He must be active, and yet he must not depend on himself. . . . [His] encouragement to be active in the use of means . . . rest[s] upon [his] knowledge of the interposition and the agency of God” (pgs. 13-15, The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification, W. D. Snodgrass).

“[Progressive] [s]anctification may be defined as that operation of the Holy Spirit, involving man’s responsible participation, by which he renews man’s nature and enables him to live to the praise of God. Sanctification, therefore, is both the work of God and the task of man” (pg. 8, Created In God’s Image, Anthony A. Hoekema).

“Sanctification is that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit, by which the holy disposition imparted in regeneration is maintained and strengthened. . . . [It] consists negatively in the removal of the penal consequences of sin from the moral nature and positively in the progressive implanting and growth of a new principle of life. . . . Although in regeneration the governing disposition of the soul is made holy, there still remain tendencies to evil which are not subdued. . . . The existence in the believer of these two opposing principles gives rise to a conflict which lasts through life. . . . In this conflict the Holy Spirit enables the Christian, through increasing faith, to more fully and consciously appropriate Christ, and thus progressively to make conquest of the remaining sinfulness of his nature. . . . The Christian is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), but the crucified man does not die at once. Yet he is as good as dead. Even after the old man is crucified we are still to mortify him or put him to death (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). . . . [I]n the genuine believer, the old does little by little die and the new takes its place. . . . Sanctification does not always proceed in regular and unbroken course, and it is never complete in this life . . . [but] in the life to come . . . sanctification . . . of the soul . . . is completed . . . at death . . . and of the body of the believer . . . at the resurrection” (pgs. 169-179, Section 3: “The Application of Christ’s Redemption in its Continuation: Sanctification,” in Systematic Theology, Augustus Strong. Elec. acc. Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006).

[2]           “Christ, by his expiatory sufferings and death, redeemed his people from the curse, brought them under grace, and procured for them the blessing of the Spirit, who creates in them the new man, and dwelling in them, supports the new man against the old man, and gives complete victory over him at last. . . . Christ . . . left . . . sin nailed fast to the cross, crucified, and hard bound, in order to final destruction. The virtue of his cross reaching in due time his people in their own persons, they are justified, delivered from the curse, brought under grace; and they are to consider the old man in them as crucified; in order to his death, and total extinction. . . . [W]e may [also] consider crucifixion as representing . . . the condition in which the old man, sin and the lusts thereof, do remain in the believer; not, as some time, at full liberty, and in full force and prevalence, but, though alive, living in pain, checked, resisted, repressed, and mortified. His efforts, as of one in desperate condition, may be with considerable force, and too often with ill effect to the slothful, unwatchful Christian. Yet at last, like what happened outwardly to the crucified thieves, this malefactor, the old man, will, in the end of the day, be slain by one blow of almighty grace. . . . The expression, however, in this first clause, is not, that the old man is put to death. Persons might live a considerable while, yea some days, on the cross. Crucifixion is not a state of death, but a state of pain, and torment, tending to death. . . . [T]his old man, by a power superior to that of the new man in us, even by the power and virtue of the cross of Christ, is adjudged to death, crucified, and bound fast, as to Christ’s cross; so that as surely as the cross of Christ exists in virtue and efficacy, so surely shall he die; and the present effect of this his crucifixion is that this old man . . . is deprived of its force and reigning power, is enervated and enfeebled; so that from henceforth we are not in servitude to it or under its dominion, though it remaineth in us” (pgs. 60-61, 65-66, The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification, James Fraser).

[3]          The Author of sanctification . . . is God. . . . The work is attributed to God without reference to any distinction of persons. 1Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23. It is also ascribed to the Father, John 17:17; Hebrews 13:21; and to Christ, Ephesians 5:26; Titus 2:14.

But it is the especial work of the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the process of Sanctification, as he is also the act of Regeneration. 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2.

1.) He enlightens the mind. John 14:26; 1Corinthians 2:9-16; Ephesians 1:18; 3:18, 19; 1 John 2:20, 27. On this account he is called “the Spirit of truth,” John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; and the “Spirit of wisdom.” Ephesians 1:17.

2.) He gives spiritual strength (Ephesians 3:16), lusting against the flesh (Galatians 5:17), enabling the believer to mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13), leading the sons of God (Romans 8:14), and enabling them to purify their souls in obeying the truth. 1 Peter 1:22.

3.) Inasmuch as he dwells within them (Rom. 8: 9), so that they are his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), with whom they are sealed as the earnest of their inheritance (Ephesians 1:13, 14), so, also, does he bear witness with their spirits that they are the children of God, and, removing the spirit of bondage to fear, bestows on them the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry Abba, Father. Romans 8:15, 16.

4.) The fruit of this indwelling Spirit is declared to be “in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:9. It is specifically stated to be “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Galatians 5:22. . . .

[W]hile there is such need of a divine author of sanctification, it is a work in which the believer is passively a recipient, but one in which he actively cooperates. (pgs. 6-7, Chapter 37, “Sanctification,” Abstract of Systematic Theology, James Petigru Boyce. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006)

[4]           “Glory, therefore, is Grace in its full Maturity, or our spiritual Knowledge of spiritual Things grown up to its intended Perfection. A most pleasing Thought this, and it is what may very justly be considered as a most persuasive Motive, diligently to study . . . sacred Truths” (pg. 19, “The Nature of True Holiness Explained In a Discourse [on Hebrews 12:14], Delivered at a Monthy Exercise of Prayer, with a Sermon, on the Twentieth of April, 1749,” John Brine).

[5]          “The depravity or corruption of nature is total. . . . Genesis 6:5, ‘God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of man was only evil continually.’ There can be but a single dominant inclination in the will at one and the same time; though with it there may be remnants of a previously dominant inclination. Adam began a new sinful inclination. This expelled the prior holy inclination. He was therefore totally depraved, because there were no remainders of original righteousness left after apostasy, as there are remainders of original sin left after regeneration. This is proved by the fact that there is no struggle between sin and holiness, in the natural man, like that in the spiritual man. In the regenerate, ‘the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh,’ Galatians 5:17. Holiness and sin are in a conflict that causes the regenerate to ‘groan within themselves,’ Romans 8:23. But there is no such conflict and groaning in the natural man. Apostasy was the fall of the human will, with no remnants of original righteousness. Regeneration is the recovery of the human will, with some remnants of original sin.” (pg. 64, Chapter 5, “Original Sin,” Dogmatic Theology: Anthropology, William G. T. Shedd. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006).

[6]           Note that the two thieves crucified with Christ had their drawn out process of dying ended suddenly (John 19:32), as the gradual process of progressive sanctification and mortification is suddenly and entirely completed at the return of Christ or the death of the beleiver.

[7]          Note section III, “The Certainty of Practical Sanctification For All The Regenerate,” below.

[8]          The forty-two instances of the verb in the NT are: Matthew 20:19; 23:34; 26:2; 27:22-23, 26, 31, 35, 38; 28:5; Mark 15:13-15, 20, 24-25, 27; 16:6; Luke 23:21, 23, 33; 24:7, 20; John 19:6, 10, 15-16, 18, 20, 23, 41; Acts 2:36; 4:10; 1 Corinthians 1:13, 23; 2:2, 8; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 3:1; 5:24; 6:14; Revelation 11:8.

[9]           John Murray argues against this view, stating: “[T]he idea that crucifixion is a slow death and therefore to be conceived of as a process by which the old man is progressively mortified until he is finally put to death is to go flatly counter to Paul’s terms. . . . Exegetically speaking it is no easier to think of the old man as in process of crucifixion or mortification than it is to think of the resurrected Lord as being still in process of crucifixion” (pg. 213, Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics). Murray admits that one “could plead the analogy of Paul’s usage in connection with other terms. In Paul’s thought believers died to sin once for all (Romans 6:2) and yet sin lives in the believer (Romans 7:14-25) . . . Paul in the one case dealing with the definitive breach with sin and the flesh, in the other case with the fact that the believer is not yet perfect. Hence pari passu we might think of him as applying the same kind of distinction to the old man, in the one case his definitive crucifixion, in the other his continuing life and activity.” Nonetheless, Murray concludes that a conclusive “objection to this reasoning is that it finds no support in the usage of the apostle [Paul]” (pg. 218, ibid). However, Murray’s conclusions are incorrect.

First, the fact that crucifixion is a slow death, and hence, while judicially and legally the old man is dead in the Christian, the old men still progressively dies as the Christian grows in grace, is not an affirmation that the “old man [is] in process of crucifixion.” The believer’s cocrucifixion took place at the moment of his regeneration and is not a process, but the full results of that crucifixion appear progressively. Murray does not accurately state the position he opposes.

Second, the Bible indicates that both the old man and its corollary, the outward man, progressively decay, while the new or inward man is progressively renewed (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16a, oJ e¶xw hJmw◊n a‡nqrwpoß diafqei÷retai; Ephesians 4:22, to\n palaio/n a‡nqrwpon, to\n fqeiro/menon; 2 Corinthians 4:16b, oJ e¶swqen aÓnakainouvtai hJme÷raˆ kai« hJme÷raˆ; Colossians 3:10, to\n ne÷on, to\n aÓnakainou/menon).

Third, not only does Scripture in general regularly and indisputably speaks of crucifixion for those who are legally or judicially dead but still progressively dying (cf. Matthew 27:35, 38, 44; Mark 15:27, 32)—and even speaks of actions which accelerate the arrival of literal death for those crucified but still alive (John 19:32)—but Paul specifically employs crucifixion metaphorically in connection with indwelling sin that is legally dead but practically still present. The Apostle stated: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. . . . God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 5:24; 6:14, oi˚ de« touv Cristouv, th\n sa¿rka e˙stau/rwsan su\n toi√ß paqh/masi kai« tai√ß e˙piqumi÷aiß. . . . e˙moi« de« mh\ ge÷noito kauca◊sqai ei˙ mh\ e˙n twˆ◊ staurwˆ◊ touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n ∆Ihsouv Cristouv: di∆ ou∞ e˙moi« ko/smoß e˙stau/rwtai, kaÓgw» twˆ◊ ko/smwˆ.). Believers have had their flesh crucified (Galatians 5:24), but they still have the ethically sinful flesh (Romans 6:19; 7:18, 25; 13:14). Believers have had their sinful lusts crucified (Galatians 5:24, e˙piqumi÷a), but they still possess such lusts after regeneration (Romans 6:12; 13:14; Galatians 5:16-17; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Believers have been crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14), but the way of the world is something they must still battle (Colossians 2:20). The idea of progressive, practical death in sanctification based upon an already completed crucifixion with Christ appears abundantly in Scripture.

Thus, Scripture contains abundant evidence that the metaphor of crucifixion with Christ is properly interpreted in association with literal crucifixion, where elements of judicial death, progressive dying, and ultimate and final death parallel regeneration, progressive sanctification, and glorification.

[10]         The wicked, Paul predicts in 2 Timothy 3:13, “wax worse and worse,” proko/yousin e˙pi« to\ cei√ron; they “advance in their worseness,” and proceed or advance in folly (2 Timothy 3:9) as they are deceived and deceive others and themselves all the more (planw◊nteß kai« planw¿menoi), even as certain sins “increase unto more ungodliness” (e˙pi« plei√on ga»r proko/yousin aÓsebei÷aß, 2 Timothy 2:16), or a child increases in his bodily, psychical, and spiritual capacity (Luke 2:52). Thus, the old man is in a state of progressively worsening corruption (Ephesians 4:22, fqeiro/menon; cf. Jude 10), being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13), as creatures progressively weaken and die and the fallen creation itself decays under “the bondage of corruption” (thvß doulei÷aß thvß fqora◊ß, Romans 8:21; cf. 2 Peter 2:12), while in the believer the new man is progressively renewed (Ephesians 4:23, aÓnaneouvsqai). In the unregenrerate, imputed sin leads to progressively worsening sinning and growing depravity: “Actual sin not only springs forth from the pollution involved in original sin, it also intensifies the pollution . . . the pollution involved in original sin is both the mother and the daughter of sin” (pg. 173, Created in God’s Image, Hoekema). While all the lost are totally depraved, they grow progressively more depraved as sin hardens them, for “[t]otal depravity means the entire absence of holiness, not the highest intensity of sin. A totally depraved man is not as bad as he can be, but he has no holiness, that is, no supreme love of God. He worships and loves the creature rather than the creator, Romans 1:25” (pg. 64, Chapter 5, “Original Sin,” Systematic Theology: Anthropology, William G. T. Shedd. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies). In contrast, the regenerate grow progressively more holy.

[11]         The image of God has a broader and narrower sense. The distinction between the two is one between “substance and quality, nature and grace, creation and redemption. . . . the image of God in the broader or structural sense [is] . . . the entire endowment of gifts and capacities that enable man to function as he should in his various relationships and callings . . . in all of these capacities man is like God, and therefore images him. [The broader sense of image includes] . . . man’s intellectual and rational powers . . . moral sensitivity . . . conscience . . . responsibility . . . volitional powers . . . [and] aesthetic sense . . . this list [could be] much longer. . . . [T]he image of God in the narrower, material, or functional sense . . . consist[s] in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness . . . Colossians 3:10 . . . Ephesians 4:24. . . . Thus, the image of God in the narrower sense means man’s proper functioning in harmony with God’s will for him. These two aspects of the image of God (broader and narrower, structural and functional, or formal and material) can never be separated. Whenever [one] look[s] at the human person, both aspects must always be taken into account. . . . After man had fallen into sin, however, he retained the image of God in the structural or broader sense [cf. James 3:9] but lost it in the functional or narrower sense. . . . In the process of redemption God by his Spirit renews the image in fallen human beings . . . [and] [a]fter the resurrection of the body, on the new earth, redeemed humanity will once again be able to image God perfectly” (pgs. 70-73, Created in God’s Image, Anthony A. Hoekema). The narrower aspect of the image of God may be termed the moral image.

[12]        Commenting on Psalm 37:37, Nathaniel Hardy wrote:

The perfect man, etc. — Divines well distinguish of a double perfection, it is absoluta or comparata. That is absolutely perfect, to which nothing (that it may be accounted truly good) is wanting; and thus He only is perfectus who is infactus; God, who made all things, and himself is not made, only enjoying an all sufficient perfection, in and of himself. That is comparatively perfect, in which, notwithstanding some wants there is a fulness compared with others. Thus every saint is perfect in comparison of the wicked among whom he liveth. In this respect it is said of Noah, That he was a perfect man in his generations; his grace compared with the wickedness of the old world well deserving the name of perfection; indeed every upright man is perfect in comparison of them who are openly bad, or but openly good; stained with wickedness, or but painted with holiness. Thus one saint may be perfect if compared with another, the strong Christian in respect of the weak, whom he outstrips in grace and piety: such saints Paul means when he saith, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect;” that is, such as have attained to greater measures of grace than others. It was said of Benaiah, “He was more honourable than thirty, but he attained not to the first three;” and though no saint can ever attain to the perfections of the first three, the blessed Trinity, yet many saints may be honourable amongst thirty perfect in comparison of those among whom they live.

We must further distinguish of a double perfection, it is extrinseca and intrinseca. Extrinsic perfection so called, because by imputation, is that which every believer is partaker of through the perfect righteousness of Christ, whereby all his imperfections are covered; in this respect the author to the Hebrews tells us, “That by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified;” and S. Paul tells the Colossians that they were “complete in him,” meaning Christ. Indeed omnia Dei mandata tune facta deptutantua, quando id quod non fit ignoscitur: divine commands are then in God’s account fulfilled when our defects for Christ’s sake are pardoned; and the evangelical perfection of a Christian consists not in perfectione virtutum, sed remissions vitiorum, in the completion of our graces, but remission of our sins.

Intrinsical perfection, so called because by inhesion, is no less rationally than usually thus distinguished, there is perfectio partium et graduum. He is said to be perfect, cui nihil deest eorum quae ad statum salutis necessaria, who wants no graces that accompany salvation; or he is perfect, cui nihil deest in gradibus gratiarum et virtutum; who is not defective in the measures of those graces; both these are frequently and fitly illustrated by the resemblance of a child, and a grown man; the one whereof hath all the essential and integral parts of a man, the other a complete use and measure of those parts” (Nathaniel Hardy, cited in the Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon. Elec. acc. in Hamel, Ken, The Online Bible for Mac, version 3.0).

[13]         In the words of John Owen, at the moment of conversion and regeneration “by this change of the will do we become ‘dead to sin,’ Romans 6:2; that is, whatever remains of lust and corruption there may be in us, yet the will of sinning is taken away” (pg. 26, comment on Hebrews 6:1-2, from Owen’s commentary on Hebrews) so that believers are “dead to sin by profession; dead to sin by obligation to be so; dead to sin by participation of virtue and power for the killing of it; dead to sin by union and interest in Christ, in and by whom it is killed: all taken from the death of Christ [as explained in Romans 6].” (pg. 104, The Mortification of Sin in Believers). Nevertheless, Owen writes: “Indwelling sin always abides whilst we are in this world; therefore it is always to be mortified. The vain, foolish, and ignorant disputes of men about perfect keeping the commands of God, of perfection in this life, of being wholly and perfectly dead to sin, I meddle not now with. It is more than probable that the men of those abominations never knew what belonged to the keeping of any one of God’s commands, and are so much below perfection of degrees, that they never attained to a perfection of parts in obedience or universal obedience in sincerity” (pg. 16, Mortification of Sin).

[14]         Note that the doctrine of union with the Messiah in His death and resurrection is taught in the Old Testament in Hosea 6:2. “[A]ntitypically the language [of the verse] is so framed as to refer in its full accuracy only to Messiah, the ideal Israel (Isaiah 49:3; compare Matthew 2:15 with Hosea 11:1), raised on the third day (John 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15:4; compare Isaiah 53:10). ‘He shall prolong His days.’ Compare the similar use of Israel’s political resurrection as the type of the . . . resurrection of which ‘Christ is the first-fruits’ (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1–14; Daniel 12:2).” (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, & David Brown (1871), on Hosea 6:2, elec. acc. Logos Bible Software).

“[Hosea 6:2] . . . foreshadows Christ’s resurrection on the third day. . . . The New Testament does not explicitly cite this verse, but 1 Cor 15:4 asserts that Christ arose on the third day ‘in accordance with the Scriptures,’ and no other text speaks of the third day in the fashion that Hosea 6:2 does. It is clear that in its original context this passage describes the restoration of Israel, the people of God; and for many interpreters this is proof enough that the resurrection of Christ is not in view here. Such interpretation, however, understands messianic prophecy too narrowly . . . the prophets . . . couched prophecy in typological patterns in which the works of God proceed along identifiable themes. Furthermore, Christ in his life and ministry embodied Israel or recapitulated the sojourn of Israel. Thus, for example, Christ’s forty days in the wilderness paralleled Israel’s forty years of wandering, and his giving of his Torah on a mountain (Matthew 5–7) paralleled the Sinai experience. Another great event in Israel’s history was its restoration after captivity, an event that was almost a bringing of the nation back from the dead. Ezekiel develops this concept in his dry bones vision (Ezekiel 37:1–14). . . . [T]he use of the verbs hyj and M…wq here has a strong parallel in Ezekiel 37 . . . From this we can conclude that Christ’s resurrection, in addition to its profound soteriological aspects, was a typological embodiment of the ‘resurrection’ of Israel in its restoration . . . follow[ing] the established pattern of the parallel between the history of Israel and the life of Christ. Furthermore, as so often happens in texts of this kind, the details of the passage work themselves out in different ways. The ‘two days’ are for Israel metaphorical for a relatively short captivity but have a literal fulfillment in the resurrection of Christ. Similarly, the raising to life is literal in the case of Christ, but in the case of Israel it is a metaphor for restoration. On the other hand, there is also a literal fulfillment for the Israel of God, when [they] shall be raised at his coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17)” (The New American Commentary, vol 19A: Hosea, Joel, Duane A. Garrett (1997), note on Hosea 6:2, elec. acc. Logos Bible Software).

[15]         “While the power which regenerates and sanctifies must ever be partly incomprehensible to us, the comprehension of the effect is so far easy, that the new birth reverses the moral habitus of the believer’s will, prevalently, but not at first absolutely, and that the work of progressive sanctification carries on this change, thus omnipotently begun, towards that absolute completeness which we must possess on entering heaven. In the carnal state, the habitus of the sinner’s will is absolutely and exclusively godless. In the regenerate state it is prevalently but not completely godly. In the glorified state it is absolutely and exclusively godly. This statement implies that the believer’s motives, in the militant state, are complex; and that while the subjective motives usually dominant are godly, yet there is a mixture of carnal motives, no longer dominant, but not annihilated, which carnal motives enter as part cause even into the renewed soul’s holy volitions. And this complex of subjective motives, of which one part may be morally diverse from another, may result in a single act of volition — the volition strictly one, while the motives prompting it are mingled. Thus it is that an act may be . . . formally right in shape and prevalently right in intention, and yet not perfectly holy before God. And here is the explanation of that strife between the “law of the mind and the law in our members,” of which every Christian is conscious, and to which the apostle points in the 7th of Romans. Now in this prevalently sanctified, but imperfect character, there is a sense in which we may say the carnality and the godliness are complementary the one to the other. As sanctification eliminates the former, the latter extends. Or to speak more accurately, the extension of the principles of godliness is the corresponding exclusion of the principles of carnality, just as spreading light is the gradualremoval of darkness, its opposite — a safe Bible similitude (Acts 26:18)” (pg. 24, “Theology of the Plymouth Brethren,” Robert L. Dabney. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006. Orig. pub. The Southern Presbyterian Review, January, 1872, as part of a review of God’s Way of Peace, H. Bonar, Müller’s Life of Trust, ed. Wayland, Notes on Genesis, by C. H. M., Scripture Testimony, ed. Charles Campbell, A Word to Young Believers, W. B., The Return of the Lord Jesus, J. G. Bellet, Waymarks in the Wilderness. New York: Inglis & Colles. 8 vol, The Witness, and Who are the Plymouth Brethren? H. Grattan Guinness). “[S]in dwells in a believer, but it reigns in an unbeliever. . . . Subordinate volition in the Christian is not always determined in character by the fundamental choice; eddies in the stream sometimes run counter to the general course of the current” (pgs. 170-171, Section 3: “The Application of Christ’s Redemption in its Continuation: Sanctification,” in Systematic Theology, Augustus Strong.).

The change in the predominant inclination of the will in regeneration from unholiness to holiness makes it certain that the believer will act differently. “The real will of the man is in the central inclination or self determination to [righteousness in the regenerate and evil in the unregenerate], and not in the superficial choice of the means of attaining [the one or the other, that is, the volition]. [T]his inclination is . . . the self-motion of the entire will to this one end, in which it is absorbed with an intense energy and interest that opposes and precludes a contrary self-motion. The person in inclining cannot incline or disincline to the end with the same facility that he can choose or refuse the means. . . . The distinction between the will’s inclination [its predominant bent], and its volition [particular single actions], is of the highest importance in both psychology and theology” (Dogmatic Theology: Anthropology, William G. T. Shedd, Chapter 3, “The Human Will,” & Supp. Help #31. Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006). In relation to the will, “progressive sanctification is the continuation of that holy self-determination of the human will which begins in its regeneration by the Holy Spirit, [while] the progressive depravation of the natural man is the continuation of that sinful self-determination of the human will which began in Adam’s transgression” (pg. 27, Chapter 5, “Original Sin,” Dogmatic Theology: Anthropology, William G. T. Shedd, ibid.).

[16]        Since in sanctification “it is God which worketh in [the believer] both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” sanctification is not sourced in a believer’s actions or works. The works of a believer are a result of God’s progressive sanctifying work in him, changing him inwardly and outwardly. The believer is to mortify, put off, put on, etc. but he does so only “through the Spirit” (Romans 8:13). This does not, however, prevent Scripture from employing expressions such as “sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy” (Leviticus 11:44) or “sanctify yourselves . . . and be ye holy” (Leviticus 20:7; cf. 1 Peter 1:15-16) or “let us cleanse ourselves . . . perfecting holiness” (2 Corinthians 7:1). God gets all the glory, and all the ability comes from Him, yet the believer can still be said to sanctify or make himself holy.

It is noteworthy that the doctrine taught in Philippians 2:13 is not exclusively found in the New Testament—believers in the Old Testament also knew that it was God who worked in them both to will and to do. “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us” (Isaiah 26:12).

[17]        “[Concerning] the extent of sanctification, or the parts of the human person affected by it . . . we are renewed in the whole man. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the Apostle expresses the same idea of completeness[.] . . . Now . . . in strictness of speech, the true seat of sanctification is the will: the human soul in that class of its actings expressed in Scripture by the word heart. But the . . . emotional and voluntary capacity of the soul is not a different member, or department of it, from the intellectual. It is the one indivisible unit, acting in different modes. It is the soul which is sanctified, and not a faculty thereof. . . . [S]anctification . . . in its results . . . modifies every acting of the soul, whether through intellect, appetite, or corporeal volition. Every one would consider that he was speaking with sufficient accuracy in using the words ‘a wicked thought.’ Now, in the same sense in which a thought can be wicked, in that sense the power of thinking can be sanctified. What is that sense? A thought is wicked, not because the faculty of thinking, or pure intellection, is the seat of moral quality, abstractly considered; but because the soul that thinks, gives to that thought, by the concurrence of its active or emotional, or voluntary power, a complex character, in which complex there is a wrong moral element. To sanctify the intellect, then, is to sanctify the soul in such a way that in its complex acts, the moral element shall be right instead of wrong. So we speak, with entire propriety, of a ‘wicked blow.’ The bones, skin, and muscles, which corporeally inflicted it, are the unreasoning and passive implement of the soul that emitted the volition to strike. But our members are sanctified, when the volitions which move them are holy; and when the impressions of sense and appetite, of which they are the inlets, become the occasions of no wrong feelings or volitions.

The sanctification of our bodies consists, therefore, not in the ascetic mortification of our nerves, muscles, glands, &c., but in the employment of the members as the implements of none but holy volitions, and in such management and regulations of the senses, that they shall be the inlets of no objective, or occasional causes of wrong feeling. This will imply, of course; strict temperance, continence, and avoidance of temptation to the sinful awakening of appetite, as well as the preservation of muscular vigour, and healthy activity, by self denial and bodily hardihood. See 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Peter 2:14; James 3:2. . . . [T]he body is . . . indirectly holy or unholy, as it is the tool of the soul. The whole delusion [of asceticism], so far as it has sought a Scriptural support, rests on the mistake of the meaning of the word “flesh,” “caro,” “sa¿rx,” which the sacred writers use to mean depraved human nature; not the body [as inherently sinful]. What those fleshly members are, which sanctification mortifies, may be seen in Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:19-21.” (Robert Louis Dabney, Systematic and Polemical Theology, Lecture 56, “Sanctification and Good Works.” Elec. acc. in Christian Library Series, vol. 17: Systematic Theologies, AGES Library, Rio, WI: 2006.)

[18]         “In . . . 1 Thessalonians 5:23 . . . 3:12-13 . . . the sanctification of the whole man . . . is to be found accomplished at the coming of Christ[.] . . . Paul says, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you throughout.” You, not some of you; the whole of the Church, not a part of it. And he adds, ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ His prayer was that God would sanctify them wholly; and that prayer he was certain the Lord would answer—doubtless because he knew it was God’s plan and purpose to keep his own, and render them perfect before the day of Christ” (pg. 76-78, Doctrine of the Higher Christian Life Compared With the Teaching of the Holy Scriptures, by Alvah Hovey).

[19]        Baptism does not create or effect the believer’s death to sin. It is merely a picture of the regenerating work of God, previously received by repentant faith alone. See Heaven Only For the Baptized? The Gospel of Christ vs. Baptismal Regeneration, Thomas Ross. Elec. acc. http://sites.google.com/site/thross7. In the words of Andrew Broaddus:

Wemaintain that there is a spiritual regeneration — a Divine birth — a real change of principles — effected by Divine influence, through the instrumentality of the word of truth; the subject “being born again, of incorruptible seed by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” That by Christ “allwho believe are justified from all things;” and that “being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That holiness of heart is generated “through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.” That internally we“put on Christ” by faith as well as by the cultivation of every gracious temper of heart; and are “in Christ” by a living union, as the branches are in the vine; while externally we put him on by baptism, and a conformity of life to his holy example and injunctions; and thus, that a person is really Christ’s when his heart is yielded up to him; though not formally recognized as his, till he has been “baptized into Christ.” (pg. 226, Virginia Baptist Ministers, 2nd series, James B. Taylor. New York, NY: Sheldon & Co., 1860. Elec. acc. Baptist History Collection, ver. 1. Paris, AK: Baptist Standard Bearer, 2005.)

Broaddus (1770-1848) was a prominent American Baptist pastor and author in his day.

[20]         iºna w‚sper hjge÷rqh Cristo\ß e˙k nekrw◊n dia» thvß do/xhß touv patro/ß, ou¢tw kai« hJmei√ß e˙n kaino/thti zwhvß peripath/swmen.

[21]         iºna w‚sper e˙basi÷leusen hJ aJmarti÷a e˙n twˆ◊ qana¿twˆ, ou¢tw kai« hJ ca¿riß basileu/shØ dia» dikaiosu/nhß ei˙ß zwh\n ai˙w¿nion, dia» ∆Ihsouv Cristouv touv Kuri÷ou hJmw◊n.

[22]         Note section III. “The Certainty of Practical Sanctification For All The Regenerate,” below.

[23]         “The old man is human nature in so far as it is controlled by sin” (pg. 533, Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof). “[W]hat . . . in . . . the Christian . . . is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts [Ephesians 4:22] . . . is the old man . . . as that in him, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness [Ephesians 4:24], is the new man. . . . [T]he old man . . . signifies the corruption of nature . . . the principle of sin, with all its various lusts, which possess and influence a man’s faculties, and powers; and that so far as it remains in the true Christian who is renewed by grace, and in whom is the new man: by virtue of, and in comparison with which in him, and in him only, the former is the old man. In persons unregenerate this evil principle is not the old man ; but continues young, in full strength and vigour. It is the old man only in persons regenerate; in true Christians” (pgs. 57-59, The Scripture Doctrine of Sanctification, James Fraser). “‘Old man’ is a designation of the person in his unity as dominated by the flesh and sin . . . [it represents] what we are by nature: slaves to sin. . . . After the analogy of . . . the old man . . . the new man . . . must mean the person in his unity ruled by the Holy Spirit” (pg. 25, Created in God’s Image, Anthony A. Hoekema. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994).

[24]        The fact that the believer must still put off the old man and put on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24), while both the old and new man refer to the entirety of the person, body, soul, and spirit, does not mean that the believer has two bodies, two souls, and two spirits, and is two separate and different men, one old and one new. Rather, it means that his one entire person, body, soul, and spirit, is no longer totally in darkness, as before his regeneration, but now is a mixture of the holy and the unholy, of light and darkness. “In order that no one may suppose that, whereas he speaks of old and new, he is introducing a different person, observe his expression, ‘That ye be renewed.’ [Ephesians 4:23] To be renewed is, when the selfsame thing which has grown old is renewed, changed from one thing into the other” (Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, Homily XIII, John Chrysostom, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, elec. acc.); the same single person is commanded to put off, be renewed, and put on. Similarly, Paul in his regenerate state can identify himself with both sin (Romans 7:14, 20a, 25c) and with righteousness (Romans 7:17a, 20b, 25b), but the Apostle is still a unified person. As the “God of peace sanctif[ies] [the Christian] wholly . . . spirit and soul and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) over the course of his earthly pilgrimage, the believer becomes more and more holy and less sinful in his entire person. The old man progressively perishes, and the inward new man is progressively renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). If regeneration is the end of night and the dawning of a new day in the believer, progressive sanctification is the increase of light as the sun rises, and glorification the absolute abolition of darkness (cf. Acts 26:18). The believer progressively leaves the likeness of fallen Adam and the fallen creation to grow morally into the image of the second Adam, the Head of the new creation (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45-49). Thus, Ephesians 4 teaches:

[B]elievers have “put off” Adam in order to “put on” Christ. That is, they have severed their connection with the first federal head, in order to enter into a connection with the second federal head. . . . the moral, rather than the forensic, effects of the two covenants are here in view of the apostle’s mind. We forsake Adam’s “conversation, corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,” and adopt Christ’s conversation, who was “created after God in righteousness and true holiness,” thus sharing the same new creation. . . . How very far is all this from teaching it that depravity remains after the new birth a “real man,” unchanged, coexistent with a new, holy nature superadded thereto, which is also a “real man”! (pgs. 26-27, “Theology of the Plymouth Brethren,” Robert L. Dabney)

The new man is fully complete when the Christian is fully like Christ, seeing Him as He is (1 John 3:2), at which time the old man is finally and absolutely extirpated; in progressive sanctification the Christian is only incompletely like Christ, seeing Him with less clarity than he will in glory, but, as he comes to see Him more clearly, he becomes more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thus, the saint on earth is not yet fully renewed, but he remains a mixture of the old and the new. How necessary, then, it is for the believer to see the Lord Jesus, and commune with Him because of his union with Him!

[25]         While the ethically sinful flesh expresses itself in the human body (and in the spiritual part of man), nonetheless it is important to remember that “sin has no independent existence. . . . [it is not] something essential and substantial . . . [but] should be thought of as a defect in something that is good. . . . a depravation of the good and . . . also active rebellion against God. . . . The fact that sin is not part of the essence of [human] nature made it possible for Christ to assume a human nature that was not totally other than that of fallen man and still to be without sin. . . . [S]in has not changed [man’s] essence but has changed the direction in which [he] is moving. . . . Sin, therefore, is not something physical but something ethical. It was not given with creation but came after creation; it is a deformation of what is” (pgs. 168-169, Created in God’s Image, Hoekema).

[26]         When the flesh, the sarx, in the “New Testament . . . [refers to] flesh as the tendency within fallen man to disobey God in every area of life . . . we must not restrict the meaning of sarx so as to refer only to what we commonly call ‘fleshly sins’ (sins of the body); rather, we should understand it as referring to sins committed by the whole person. In the list of ‘works of the flesh’ . . . in Galatians 5:19-21, only five out of the fifteen concern bodily sins; the rest are what we would call ‘sins of the spirit’—such as hatred, discord, jealousy, and the like” (pg. 216, Created in God’s Image, Hoekema).

[27]         Sanctification as the putting off of evil and the putting on of good is already found in the Old Testament (Job 29:14; Psalm 132:9, etc.

[28]        The aorist infinitive for the old man being “put off” in Ephesians 4:22 (aÓpoqe÷sqai) and the new man being “put on” (e˙ndu/sasqai) in 4:24 convey an imperatival idea similar to the way that the aorist participle aÓpoqe÷menoi, connected with the present imperative lalei√te, does so for the putting away of lying in v. 25, followed by the imperative forms in v. 26ff., including the aorist imperative to put away (aÓrqh/tw) all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking and be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving instead (v. 30-31). Ephesians 4:22-24 does indeed speak of putting off the old man and putting on the new man in progressive sanctification. Against this view, various writers argue that in Ephesians 4 only the putting off and putting on of regeneration is spoken of. For example:

“[The] Ephesians [were taught] ‘that ye [did, when saved,] put off … the old man.’ The form of the verb places this putting off as a complete past action. You were taught, the Apostle says, the truth about being in Christ and that by so much your ‘old man’ was laid aside. The former Adamic standing is in view, and with it its corrupt practices which are no longer in order. At that time, also, ye did put on the new man” (Systematic Theology, Lewis Sperry Chafer, vol. 4, pg. 95; cf. vol. 6, pg. 270. Elec. acc. Logos Bible Software).

“Paul, [in] Ephesians 4:22-24 . . . seem[s] [to be] exhorting believers ‘to put off according to the former manner of life the old man’ and ‘to put on the new man.’. . . [C]onsiderations of grammar would not . . . be violated if this interpretation were adopted. . . . [both] the infinitive . . . with imperative force . . . [and the] infinitive of result . . . [would] be appropriate . . . if believers are conceived of as progressively putting off the old man and putting on the new. . . . But exegetical considerations and the analogy of Paul’s teaching elsewhere point to the entirely different conclusion, namely, that when Paul speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new man he is thinking in terms of result rather than in terms of exhortation. The passage should therefore be rendered as . . . [‘so that ye have put off . . . the old man . . . and have put on the new man’” (pgs. 214-215, Principles of Conduct, John Murray).

While the truth that, in one sense, the believer puts off the old man and puts on the new man in regeneration is not in dispute (Colossians 3:9-10), the Greek text of Ephesians 4:22-24 is properly interpreted to refer to a continuing putting on and putting off connected with progressive sanctification, as it does in the English of the Authorized Version (and ancient versions such as the Latin Vulgate).

First, one cannot conclude that aÓpoqe÷sqai and e˙ndu/sasqai refer to a point action simply because they are aorists rather than in the present tense. Every time aÓpoti÷qhmi appears in the NT the verb is in the aorist (Acts 7:58; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22, 25; Colossians 3:8; Hebrews 12:1; James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:1), and in the LXX the verb only appears in the aorist (Exodus 16:34; Leviticus 24:12; Numbers 15:34; 17:22, 25; Joshua 4:8; 2 Chronicles 18:26; Joel 1:18; 1 Esdras 6:18; 1 Maccabees 1:35; 4:46; 2 Maccabees 8:35; MSS of Tobit 6:4) and the future (Exodus 16:33; Leviticus 16:23; Numbers 19:9; Joel 1:18). While the present tense of the verb did exist in the Koiné (e. g., Shepherd 93:3), it was much rarer than the present tense. The aorist of aÓpoti÷qhmi is what Paul would naturally use in Ephesians 4:22 to describe the decisive rejection of the old man God requires of the regenerate in progressive sanctification. Similarly, the large majority of instances of e˙ndu/w in the NT are in the aorist (Matthew 6:25; 27:31; Mark 6:9; 15:17, 20; Luke 12:22; 15:22; 24:49; Acts 12:21; Romans 13:12, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:53–54; 2 Corinthians 5:3; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:24; 6:11, 14; Colossians 3:10, 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; there are a few perfects: Matthew 22:11; Mark 1:6; Revelation 1:13; 15:6; 19:14; and one present: Mark 15:17—probably a historical present, thus with its aspectual value suppressed), and in the LXX there are 55 instances of the verb in the aorist (Genesis 3:21; 27:15; 38:19; 41:42; Leviticus 8:7, 13; 21:10; Numbers 20:26, 28; Deuteronomy 22:5; Judges 6:34; 1 Samuel 17:38; 2 Samuel 14:2; 1 Kings 22:30; 1 Chronicles 12:19; 2 Chronicles 6:41; 18:29; 24:20; 28:15; Esther 4:1; Psalm 34:26; 64:14; 92:1; 103:1; 108:18, 29; Proverbs 31:26; Song 5:3; Job 10:11; 39:19; Jonah 3:5; Zechariah 3:4; Isaiah 51:9; 52:1; 59:17; 61:10; Jerermiah 26:4; Baruch 4:20; 5:1; Ezekiel 16:10; Daniel 5:29; Esther 14:1; Judith 10:3; 1 Maccabees 1:28; 3:3; 10:21, 62; 14:9; Sirach 17:3; 45:8, 13; Solomon 11:7), a variety of instances of other tenses (future: Exodus 28:41, 29:5, 8, 30; 40:13, 14; Leviticus 6:3, 4; 16:4, 24, 32; Deuteronomy 22:11; Psalm 131:9, 16, 18; Proverbs 23:21; Job 8:22; Isaiah 22:21; 49:18; 50:3; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 7:27; 42:14; 44:17, 19; Wisdom 5:18; Sirach 6:31; 27:8; 43:20; perfect: 1 Samuel 17:5; 2 Samuel 6:14; 2 Chronicles 5:12; 18:9; Zephaniah 1:8; Zechariah 3:3; 13:4; Ezekiel 9:2, 3, 11; 10:2, 6, 7; 23:6, 12; 38:4; Daniel 6:4; 10:5; 1 Esdras 5:40; pluperfect: Leviticus 16:23; Job 29:14; Esther 15:6; Judith 9:1; 10:3; imperfect: Psalm 34:13), but only one instance of the present (Baruch 6:32). Furthermore, the aorist is at times employed for actions that are actually durative (e. g., Proverbs 31:26). It is, therefore, reasonable that Paul employs an aorist of e˙ndu/w in Ephesians 4:24, rather than a present tense, to express what is in actuality a lifelong putting off and putting on. The aorists in Romans 13:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Ephesians 6:11 are also instructive.

Second, an imperatival resultant sense for the infinitives aÓpoqe÷sqai and e˙ndu/sasqai in Ephesians 4:22, 24 is evident because of their dependence upon the e˙dida¿cqhte of v. 21, as an imperatival sense attaches itself to the infinitive peripatei√n in 4:17 because of its connection to a didactic le÷gw (cf. also Ephesians 3:8). As in v. 17 Paul instructs, “I say . . . that ye walk not,” so in 4:21-24 the Apostle tells the church: “ye have been taught . . . that ye put off . . . that ye put on.” Because of this teaching, the Ephesians were to be speaking truth, putting away lying (aÓpoqe÷menoi to\ yeuvdoß lalei√te aÓlh/qeian, 4:25), and obeying the series of commands in 4:29-32, including the command to “put away” (aÓrqh/tw) various sins in 4:31. The following context therefore supports the imperatival sense of v. 22-24. Furthermore, aÓpoqe÷sqai and e˙ndu/sasqai are aorist infinitives in indirect discourse, and in the over 150 other instances of aorist infinitives in indirect discourse in the NT (cf. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, pg. 605), none of them represent an aorist indicative in the underlying direct discourse (“have put off/have put on”) rather than an aorist imperative (“put off/put on”). “There is apparently no instance in the New Testament of the Aorist Infinitive in indirect discourse representing the Aorist Indicative of the direct form” (pgs. 52-53 (§ 114), Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, E. Burton). Context and syntax syntax support an imperatival idea for the infinitives in Ephesians 4:22, 24.

While Colossians 3:9-10 refers to the a decisive putting off of the old man and putting on of the new man in regeneration, Ephesians 4:22-24 speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new man as a part of progressive sanctification.

[29]        “The ‘old man’ cannot continue unmodified in the presence of the ‘new man,’ because the one principle is the opposite and is exclusive of the other. To die unto sin is to live unto righteousness. The increment of light is the diminution of darkness. The waxing of the “new man” is the waning of the “old man” Hence (and this is the Bible view) if any professed believer has the “old man” as strong and lively as ever, it is proof positive that the “new man” has never entered at all; his faith is vain; he is yet in his sins. (Jam. 2:22, etc.) And if any professed believer finds the old carnal principle reviving, it is proof positive that his spiritual life is proportionally going backward at that time[.] . . . [T]here is another reason why, for those who do not die immediately after conversion, progressive sanctification is still imperative. The principle of holiness, if genuine, is incapable of tolerating indwelling sin in peace. The struggle is inevitable in a true Christian, and as ‘he that is with us is more than he that is against us,’ gradual conquests, at least over indwelling sin, are the general rule of every genuine Christian life” (pgs. 25-26, “Theology of the Plymouth Brethren,” Robert L. Dabney).

[30]         e˙n thØv aÓpekdu/sei touv sw¿matoß tw◊n aJmartiw◊n thvß sarko/ß, e˙n thØv peritomhØv touv Cristouv.

[31]        The fact that Romans 7:14-25 describes the Christian life is defended in “Excursus II: Romans 7:14-25: A Depiction of Part of the Normal Christian Life.”

[32]        If someone wished to conclude from the fact that the verb “yield” in Romans 6:19 is an aorist imperative (parasth/sate) that the verse speaks solely of a decision that one makes only once in his entire life, he would, it seems, also have to conclude that in their unregenerate life the Roman Christians only yielded themselves to sin once in their life, because Romans 6:19 describes their past life of yieldedness to sin with an aorist (paresth/sate). Somehow the unsaved would, it seems, have to yield themselves to sin only once, and permanently, for their whole lives. All of the members of the church at Rome would have engaged in this once-for-all yielding to sin. They then would have to have made this permanent yielding to sin temporary when they were converted and turned from their sins. The clear fact of the matter is that the proponents of the argument that the aorist imperative “yield” in Romans 6:19 must refer solely to a once-for-a-lifetime yielding are reading very greatly into the verse and ignoring the plain requirements of the immediate context. Concluding that the aorist requires a once-for-life action also is clearly more than is required by the Greek syntax (cf. pgs. 719-721, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Daniel Wallace. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996). This is not to deny, of course, that a believer holding on to sin is required to make a clean and immediate break with it.

[33]         “The agency of the Spirit of God, is that operation of Divine power which either renews the sinner in the image of God, or afterwards produces in him divine conformity to that image. It is the effectual operations of God’s spirit, of which we intend to treat, in distinction from that operation which attended Saul among the prophets, or Judas among the apostles. We speak of that powerful operation which renews the heart of the dead sinner, translates him out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and carries on the work begun by this change until it be consummated in glory. The person who is the subject of these effectual operations . . . [has his] stony heart . . . taken away, and a heart of flesh . . . given[.] [T]he captive soul is released, and a new song is put into his mouth, a new language flows from his lips, a new conduct appears in his life; — in a word all things are become new. . . . The agency of God’s spirit carries on the salvation of the sinner from regeneration to glory; it is all of God. But the renewing and sanctifying influences are capable of a distinction; the former implant a principle of life; the latter invigorate the principle implanted. In the first, the spirit makes no use of the faculties of the soul; in the last, the rational faculties are used, and become subservient to the work. The subject of the sanctifying operations of the spirit, has every faculty of soul rendered attentive to the things of God. He “with open face beholds as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and is changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord.” By these transforming discoveries, progressive conformity to God is carried on in his soul. While he sees in the glass of God’s word, the REDEEMER’S beauty and his own frightful deformity, he abhors the one, and loves the other. He longs to be delivered from sin; he pants after God, the living God. Thus the whole work of sanctification is carried on by clear, and soul-effecting views of the beauty of holiness and the deformity of sin; whilst the Holy Ghost, hovering over the soul, creates in it that desire after the one, and aversion from the other, which leads a man to cleanse himself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord” (Circular Letter of the Shaftsbury Baptist Association, 1794, on the “Agency of the Holy Spirit,” by Isaac Webb, cited from pgs. 38-39, History of the Shaftsbury Baptist Association from 1781 to 1853, Stephen Wright. Elec. acc. Baptist History Collection, ver. 1. Paris, AK: Baptist Standard Bearer, 2005).

[34]        For example, one notes that, despite the apparently valid distinction between the putting to death of “deeds” in Romans 8:13 and “members” in Colossians 3:5, a list of specific sinful acts follows the command to mortify members in Colossians 3:5.

[35]        Thus, BDAG lists as the second definition of thanatoo, “to cause total cessation of an activity, put to death, extirpate.” This does not mean, of course, that the believer ever eliminates every single manifestation of sin from his life, but he does gain absolute victory over a course of continued sin and has the ability, by the Spirit, to entirely defeat the outward appearance of specific sins.

[36]        The complete list of references is Matthew 10:21; 26:59; 27:1; Mark 13:12; 14:55; Luke 21:16; Romans 7:4; 8:13, 36; 2 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Peter 3:18.

[37]     And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: kai« mh\ aÓsqenh/saß thØv pi÷stei, ouj kateno/hse to\ e˚autouv sw◊ma h¡dh nenekrwme÷non (e˚katontae÷thß pou uJpa¿rcwn), kai« th\n ne÷krwsin thvß mh/traß Sa¿rraß: (Romans 4:19); Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. dio\ kai« aÓf∆ e˚no\ß e˙gennh/qhsan, kai« tauvta nenekrwme÷nou, kaqw»ß ta» a‡stra touv oujranouv twˆ◊ plh/qei, kai« wJsei« a‡mmoß hJ para» to\ cei√loß thvß qala¿sshß hJ aÓnari÷qmhtoß (Hebrews 11:12).

[38]        Note also the use of the related noun ne÷krwsiß in Romans 4:19 for the “deadness” of Sarah’s womb. Her womb was still extant, and that part of her body was still literally, but it was as good as dead, for (apart from the miraculous intervention of God) she was not going to bear any children. The only other use of the noun ne÷krwsiß in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 4:10) refers to the physical persecutions suffered by Paul on account of his identification with Christ, his being “troubled on every side . . . perplexed . . . persecuted . . . cast down [and being] alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11). This passage also illustrates the “death as process” (BDAG on ne÷krwsiß) idea for mortification with nekroo—Paul was not absolutely and in every way literally dead, but death was working in him (2 Corinthians 4:12). As Paul was experiencing nekrosis in his physical body on account of persecution, but he was not “distressed . . . perplexed . . . forsaken . . . [or] destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12), so while the Christian mortifies (nekroo) his earthly members (Colossians 3:5) they are not entirely destroyed and absolutely eliminated before progressive sanctification is consummated in glorification.

[39]        Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel. trans. & ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, vol. 4. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1967.

[40]         Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Henry Thayer. Elec. acc. Online Bible for Mac, Ken Hamel.

[41]        The idea of becoming as good as dead is illustrated in Josephus, Antiquties of the Jews 6:306 (6.13.8.306): When David had said this, he dismissed the woman. But when she came home and found her husband feasting with a great company, and oppressed with wine, she said nothing to him then about what had happened; but on the next day, when he was sober, she told him all the particulars, and made his whole body to appear like that of a dead man by her words, and by that grief which arose from them; so Nabal survived ten days, and no more, and then died.

Tauvt∆ ei˙pw»n aÓpolu/ei th\n gunai√ka hJ d∆ ei˙ß to\n oi•kon e˙lqouvsa kai« katalabouvsa to\n a‡ndra meta» pollw◊n eujwcou/menon kai« kekarwme÷non h¡dh to/te me«n oujde«n tw◊n gegenhme÷nwn diesa¿fei thØv de« e˙piou/shØ nh/fonti a‚panta dhlw¿sasa pareqhvnai kai« pa◊n aujtwˆ◊ nekrwqhvnai to\ sw◊ma uJpo\ tw◊n lo/gwn kai« thvß e˙p∆ aujtoi√ß lu/phß e˙poi÷hse kai« de÷ka ouj plei÷ouß e˙pizh/saß hJme÷raß to\n bi÷on kate÷streyen oJ Na¿baloß.

Another relevant illustration is in Philo, On The Eternity of the World 125:

But we must now proceed to consider the question which we postponed till the present time. What sort of a part of the earth is that, that we may begin from this, whether it is greater or less, that is not dissolved by time? Do not the very hardest and strongest stones become hard and decayed through the weakness of their conformation (and this conformation is a sort of course of a highly strained spirit, a bond not indissoluble, but only very difficult to unloose), in consequence of which they are broken up and made fluid, so that they are dissolved first of all into a thin dust, and afterwards are wholly wasted away and destroyed? Again, if the water were never agitated by the winds, but were left immoveable for ever, would it not from inaction and tranquillity become dead? at all events it is changed by such stagnation, and becomes very foetid and foul-smelling, like an animal deprived of life.

o§ d∆ uJpereqe÷meqa, nuvn e˙piskepte÷on. poi√on me÷roß thvß ghvß, iºna aÓpo\ tau/thß aÓrxw¿meqa, mei√zon h£ e¶latton, ouj cro/nwˆ dialu/etai; li÷qwn oi˚ krataio/tatoi a‡r∆ ouj mudw◊si kai« sh/pontai kai« kata» th\n eºxewß aÓsqe÷neian hJ d∆ e˙sti« pneumatiko\ß to/noß, desmo\ß oujk a‡rrhktoß aÓlla» mo/non dusdia¿lutoß qrupto/menoi kai« rJe÷onteß ei˙ß lepth\n to\ prw◊ton aÓnalu/ontai ko/nin, ei¶q∆ u¢steron dapanhqe÷nteß e˙xanalouvntai; ti÷ d∆, ei˙ mh\ pro\ß aÓne÷mwn rJipi÷zoito to\ u¢dwr, aÓki÷nhton e˙aqe«n oujc uJf∆ hJsuci÷aß nekrouvtai; metaba¿llei gouvn kai« duswde÷staton gi÷netai, oi–a yuch\n aÓfhØrhme÷non zwˆ◊on.

[42]         The truth that believers are to progressively mortify indwelling sin is clearly Scriptural, but 1 Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily,” does not increase the exegetical support for this conclusion, as the death spoken of in the verse is physical; when the Apostle Paul stated that he died daily, he meant that that he was in constant danger of physical death because of his preaching the gospel. Any use of the text to support daily mortification must be, consequently, only a conclusion drawn from the fact that Paul’s ability to serve in the light of the physical danger he was in would require special spiritual strength from Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:30-31 reads: “And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily,” ti÷ kai« hJmei√ß kinduneu/omen pa◊san w‚ran; kaq∆ hJme÷ran aÓpoqnhØ/skw, nh\ th\n uJmete÷ran kau/chsin, h§n e¶cw e˙n Cristwˆ◊ ∆Ihsouv twˆ◊ Kuri÷wˆ hJmw◊n. Paul’s daily death is clearly connected with his physical “jeopardy every hour,” as even the conjunction of the phrases in the Greek text demonstrates (kinduneu/omen pa◊san w‚ran; kaq∆ hJme÷ran aÓpoqnhØ/skw). The death of 1 Corinthians 15:31 is physical death, just like the reference to death in 1 Corinthians 15:32.

BDAG notes that the verb “to die,” aÓpoqnhØ/skw, can mean:

the prospect of death or realization of mortality be about to die, face death, be mortal (Phalaris, Ep. 52 aÓpoqnh/Øskonteß=be in danger of death; Philosoph. Max 495, 125 oJ tw◊n aÓsw¿twn bi÷oß w‚sper kaq∆ hJme÷ran aÓpoqnh/Øskwn e˙kfe÷retai; Athen. 12, 552b kaq∆ e˚ka¿sthn hJme÷ran aÓpoqnh/Øskein; Seneca, Ep. 24, 20 (cotidie morimur); Philo, In Flacc. 175; PGiss 17, 9 aÓpoqnh/Øskomen o¢ti ouj ble÷pome÷n se kaq∆ hJme÷ran) kaq∆ hJme÷ran aÓ. I face death every day 1 Cor 15:31 (cp. Ps 43:23). wJß aÓpoqnh/Øskonteß kai« i˙dou\ zw◊men 2 Cor 6:9. aÓpoqnh/Øskonteß a‡nqrwpoi mortal people Hb 7:8.

Indeed, aÓpoqnhØ/skw is employed for physical death, not spiritual mortification, in all of its uses in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 8:11; 9:15; 15:3, 22, 31–32, 36; 2 Corinthians 5:14–15; 6:9). Paul would “die daily” because he he was “in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft” (2 Corinthians 11:23); he and his companions could testify that they were “as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, [yet], behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed” (2 Corinthians 6:9). They could declare: “For [Christ’s] sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:36). They endured tremendous “tribulation . . . sufferings . . . [and] afflict[ion],” so that on occasion the Apostle and his missionary team were “pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life . . .[and] we had the sentence of death in ourselves” (2 Corinthians 1:3-11).

Nonetheless, while Paul’s “I die daily” is certainly a reference to physical death, not spiritual mortification, because “we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake,” such physical persecution and danger resulted in the spiritual “life also of Jesus [being] made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). The Apostle and his companions could testify that “as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).

[43]         “Original sin is to be distinguished from indwelling sin. The latter is the remainder of original sin in the regenerate. Its workings are described in Romans 7:14-8:27. . . . It is not, like original sin, a dominant and increasing principle in the believer, but a subjugated and diminishing one. Indwelling sin is the minuendo movement of sin. “It hath a dying fall.” Original sin is the crescendo movement. ‘Original sin does not remain in the same manner after regeneration as it remained before; for there are two remarkable differences. In the unregenerate, it occupies all the faculties of the soul peaceably, and rules in their mind,

will, and affections; but in the regenerate, it neither dwells peaceably, because grace from above is infused into them, which daily opposes this disease, and more and more expels it from every faculty of the soul; nor does it rule over them, because grace prevailing and predominating restrains it and sends it as it were under the yoke. The other difference is, that in the unregenerate it has the guilt of eternal death annexed to it; but in the regenerate it is absolved from this fruit, for the sake of Christ the mediator.’ (Davenant: Justification, XV). . . . Indwelling sin is denominated ‘the law in (not of) the members,’ Romans 7:23; original sin is denominated ‘the law of sin and death,’ Romans 8:2” (pg. 33, Chapter 5, “Original Sin,” Dogmatic Theology: Anthropology, William G. T. Shedd).

[44]         God is the subject of the passive participle “strengthened” (dunamou/menoi, 1:11a). He strengthens believers spiritually “according to his glorious power” (1:11b), with the result that they act differently (1:11c-12).

[45]         “Some have the mistaken notion that sanctification consists merely in the drawing out of the new life, implanted in the soul by regeneration, in a persuasive way by presenting motives to the will. But this is not true. It consists fundamentally and primarily in a divine operation in the soul, whereby the holy disposition born in regeneration is strengthened and its holy exercises are increased. It is essentially a work of God, though in so far as He employs means, man can and is expected to cooperate by the proper use of these means. . . . It should never be represented as a merely natural process in the spiritual development of man, nor brought down to the level of a mere human achievement, as is done in a great deal of modern liberal theology. . . . When it is said that man takes part in the work of sanctification, this does not mean that man is an independent agent in the work, so as to make it partly the work of God and partly the work of man; but merely, that God effects the work in part through the instrumentality of man as a rational being, by requiring of him prayerful and intelligent cooperation with the Spirit. . . . [T]he believer must be diligent in the employment of the means at his command for the moral and spiritual improvement of his life, Micah 6:8; John 15:2, 8, 16; Romans 8:12, 13; 12:1-2,17; Galatians 6:7-8, 15. . . . [I]t is necessary to stress the fact over and over again that sanctification is the fruit of justification, that the former is simply impossible without the latter, and that both are the fruits of the grace of God in the redemption of sinners. Though man is privileged to cooperate with the Spirit of God, he can do this only in virtue of the strength which the Spirit imparts to him from day to day. The spiritual development of man is not a human achievement, but a work of divine grace. Man deserves no credit whatsoever for that which he contributes to it instrumentally. . . . [S]anctification takes place in the subconcious life . . . effected by the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit . . . [and] as a work in the concious life of believers it is wrought by several means, which the Holy Spirit employs.” (pg. 532-535, Systematic Theology, Berkhof).

[46]        Practical Christianity, chap. 7, pgs. 214-216. Elec. acc. AGES Digital Library, Christian Library Series vol. 8, Arthur Pink Collection. Rio, WI: 2006. Note that although Pink is specifically explaining Romans 8:13, (“if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”), the ethically sinful flesh is the matter of discussion in both 8:13 and 6:6.

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