Sat Mar 14 Q 72: The End of Evil Within
72. Do we not have any other benefit from it?
Yes, we do. If we are true members of Christ, our old man is crucified, our flesh is mortified, so that evil desires no longer reign in us.
The Biblical imagery of the end of sin in us is of a man who has been crucified. Our Adamic ways have been nailed to a cross, left to asphyxiate and die in shame. Yet the Biblical command requires of us (by grace) to crucify the “flesh:”
Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Col 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Wisely, the catechism recognizes “true members of Christ,” who, as Paul says, “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). Evil may be with us, following as one crucified hoping to be revived by a failure on our part to appropriate the Cross/the Gospel to all of life – that is, to live by grace in the power of the Spirit. But believers no longer allow evil or sin to stand in the ruling position (Rom 6:12). Only Christ rules in the lives of believers for only Christ is their King. When temptation to evil comes, we must go back to the Cross and leave the “old man” there with Christ.
Recommended Reading: The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard, and The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges.