We have been united with him in a death like his . . . .
Our old self was crucified with him . . . .
One who has died has been set free from sin.
We miss the radical nature of Paul’s teaching here to our great loss. So startling is it that we need to find a startling manner of expressing it. For what Paul is saying is that sanctification means this: in relationship both to sin and to God, the determining factor of my existence is no longer my past. It is Christ’s past.
-Sinclair B. Ferguson,
“The Reformed View,” in Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification,
edited by Donald L. Alexander (Downers Grove, 1988), page 57.