What does it mean to be free from sin? Does the Word of God really mean what it says? The Holy Spirit does not play games with us. The Lord does not give us a salvation which leaves us sinners. If we have a sin nature, we are sinners. To consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God is to be a once for all experience which is ours by faith. The Scripture never tells us to keep dying to sin. If we are dead, we will not sin! Neither does the Scripture tell us to keep considering ourselves alive to God in Christ Jesus. We are to consider ourselves once for all alive to God in Christ Jesus. "...The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Christ has become alive to us; now His word must become life. We must live by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). God is speaking to us in Christ.
I John 3:3-6 tells us, "The one who has his hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure...He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him." John puts our lives in direct relationship with Him, saying, "I know Him." The Christian cannot continue to sin and say, "I know Him."
A Christian is one who is alive in Christ and in fellowship with God. If this is a reality, then the believer is hearing and communicating with God, learning about God through a personal walking out of His will. He begins to be exercised by the Spirit so that he can begin to function as a spiritual person. His life is being lived in Christ, the Word of God.
Natural knowledge will never work when we come to understand what God has done for us through Christ Jesus. We need the mind of Christ if we are going to instruct others in life. Our words need to be life and spirit, and this can only be possible when the Holy Spirit is leading and working in us the life of Christ. The Holy Spirit is able to refine our whole man. Human it may be, but it is still not a sin nature. Our minds must be renewed, to become the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the one who is working this in us. It is through His power that we bring every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).
We could say that we have been "infected," without saying that we have a sin nature still with us. That infection must be taken care of by the working of the Spirit, who gives us the power to put off and put on. Romans 8:13 says, "If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." The Lord is coming for a church "without spot or wrinkle" (Ephesians 5:27). The results and effects of sin are going to be removed. Where we are marred, the Holy Spirit is working to renew, and to remove every blemish. Too often, the effects of sin have been called the "sin nature," when in reality they are simply the result of our past lives in sin.
We are continually being changed, transformed and renewed, but it takes only one act of God to deal with what made us sinners. When a person is saved, he is taken from one kingdom and put into another kingdom. New birth takes the sinner out of us and makes us children of God. In the minds of many, it seems that the grace and power of God working in our lives is not capable of making us new creatures. But the Lord is doing a perfect work in us as we walk in faith, pleasing to Him. The believer needs to know that he has entered into the rest of God, and he is free. Those whom the Son has set free are free indeed!