THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SIN AND THE BODY
Once a believer has the understanding of the truth of co-crucifixion and the experience of being freed from sin, he is in a very dangerous stage. If he can have proper guidance at this time and rely on the Holy Spirit to do the deeper work of the cross in him, then he can enter into the state of being completely in the spirit. However, if he becomes complacent, thinking that living a life of overcoming sin is the highest living and does not allow the cross to terminate his soul-life, he will remain in the realm of the soul and consider the experience of the soul as the experience of the spirit. Although his old man has been dealt with already, his soul-life has not been dealt with by the cross. The will, mind, and emotion of this life are active without any restraint, so that the experience of such a believer is still of the flesh.
We must know to what extent the effect of the freedom from sin in our whole being is. Then we will know what has been dealt with and what has not been dealt with.
We must especially know this one thing, that is, "sin" is particularly related to our body. Unlike many philosophers, we do not think the flesh is intrinsically evil, but we admit that the body is the sphere where "sin" rules. Therefore, we see in Romans 6:6 that the Holy Spirit calls our body "the body of sin," because before we experience the dealing of the cross, before we yield our members as weapons of righteousness to God, our body is simply "the body of sin." Before we reckon ourselves as dead to "sin" and yield our body to God, "sin" possesses our body, "sin" is the master of our body. Our body is the stronghold of "sin," the tool of "sin," and the defense post of "sin." Therefore, there is no other term more appropriate than this, "the body of sin."
If we carefully read the portion in the Bible that speaks about the freedom from sin in Romans 6 through 8, we will see what the relationship between the body and "sin" is. Furthermore, we will know that God’s full salvation is to save our body to the extent that it is fully delivered from the work and service to "sin," and yields its members to God.
The apostle tells us in chapter six "that the body of sin might be annulled" (v. 6). "Do not let sin therefore reign in your mortal body so that you obey the body’s lusts" (v. 12). "Neither present your members as weapons of unrighteousness to sin, but present...your members as weapons of righteousness to God" (v. 13).
God again speaks through the apostle concerning the body in chapter seven. "The passions for sins...operated in our members" (v. 5). "But I see a different law in my members...making me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members" (v. 23). "Who will deliver me from the body of this death?" (v. 24).
The voice of the Holy Spirit is even clearer in chapter eight. "The body is dead because of sin" (v. 10). "Will also give life to your mortal bodies" (v. 11). "If by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live" (v. 13). "The redemption of our body" (v. 23).
(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)