Excerpted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon
What is meant by sin having dominion? Look and see. There are men who live in sin and yet they do not appear to know it. Sin has dominion over them by spreading a veil over their hearts, so that their conscience is deadened. They are so enslaved as to be content in bondage. You shall not be so—you shall be enlightened and instructed so that when you sin you shall be well aware of it. Self-excuse shall be impossible for you. Many men live in gross sin and are not ashamed. They are at ease in it and all is quiet. But it shall not be so with you, in whom the life of God has been implanted. If you do wrong, you shall smart for it and your nest shall be stuffed with thorns.
God has so changed your nature by His Grace that when you sin you shall be like a fish on dry land. You shall be out of your element and long to get into a right state again. You cannot sin, for you love God! The sinner may drink sin down as the ox drinks down water, but to you it shall be as the brine of the sea. You may become so foolish as to try the pleasures of the world, but they shall be no pleasures to you—you shall cry out with Solomon, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” That marvelous man tried the world at its best and was disappointed! And you may be quite sure that where he failed, you will not succeed.
If the Lord loves you, sin will never yield you satisfaction. In worldly company you shall be all the while like a man who sits upon thorns, or walks amid vipers and cobras. And in worldly amusement you shall feel as if the house would fall upon you. An ungodly man under the dominion of sin loves sin, but that you shall never do. He wishes he could sin more, for he has upon him the thirst of intoxication! But as for you, you shall never be made happy by evil, but shall groan under it if you ever yield to its power. You shall hate yourself to think you ever consented to its solicitations! You shall be wretched and unhappy and shall find no rest till you return to your Lord. Your nature has been so changed that you cannot give a moment’s entertainment to sin without feeling like one who carries burning coals in his bosom, or
thrusts thorns into his flesh.
No, Beloved, if you are, indeed, a Believer in Christ, you must fight with sin till you die! And, what is more, you must conquer it in the name of the Lord. You are sometimes afraid that it will vanquish you, but if you are of the true seed it cannot prevail. Like Samson, you shall break all its bands. You shall rise superior to habits which now enthrall you! You shall even forget those strong impulses which now sweep you before them. Your inward Graces shall gather force, while the Holy Spirit shall help your infirmities and you shall be changed from glory to glory as by the Presence of the Lord. This assurance is confirmed by the context—“Sin shall not have dominion over you,” because you are dead to it by virtue of your union to Christ.