The lost need saved and the saved needs deliverance. He must increase in you, not you must increase in Him, for you must decrease (John 3:30)—that is, your old self or “old man” will continue to have less effect on you as the Spirit continues to increase His influence in you.
As the Spirit works God’s will in all believers (Phil 2:13) they will notice the continuous waning of Adamic influences and the waxing of the Spirit’s. The growth in “the image of Christ” is most notable in our encounters with the original nature (old man) in observing the Spirit’s work against it (Gal 5:17).
This results in the release of the believer, not from sin’s guilt which is already perpetuated, but from sin’s rule which is allowed continuous attempts with its influence, and this allows the Lord Jesus to increase His work in our “new man” thus the believer—through the Spirit—to decrease his work in the “old man”.
“I Thank God through Jesus Christ”
“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom 7:24, 25). Having finally learned to realize his wretchedness as a helpless captive to the power of indwelling sin, the believer turns away from himself to think of and enjoy fellowship with the risen Lord Jesus as his Life. Occupied now with Him, he sees himself as in Him—as belonging to Him, as being of Him. Convicted by the Spirit of needing a deliverer, he finds the need fully met in the One to whom he has turned; and he responds, “I thank God!” Through Jesus Christ he has been delivered from his captive.
“So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Rom 7:25). Now as a delivered one he looks back with spiritual intelligence—the intelligence of the Spirit—upon the terrible struggles through which he has passed. He understands that, as serving the law of God with the mind, and the law of sin with the flesh, he had been entirely mistaken as to his real condition before God. He did not have the mind of the Spirit about it at all. He now understands that there is no condemnation to those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ: that the Father views them as being of the risen One, and thus as sharing in the favor and acceptability in which He stands before the Father.
If it is the truth that sets free, what truth is it which sets free from the struggle we have been considering? It is, as being of Christ, he is under the operation of the law of life, which operates by and in the Lord Jesus. Knowing, as he now does, that this is the law with which the Spirit identifies Himself, he understands that, according to the mind of the Spirit, He is no longer a subject of the law of sin and death (as it has been said, the believer is no longer on trial—NC). Furthermore, he now sees that sin in the flesh has already been fully condemned of God in the death of Christ (Rom 8:3); that God therefore is not requiring fruit from the flesh; that the righteous thing required by the law, instead of being produced by the flesh as he has hitherto supposed, is produced in him by Christ with whom he is now occupied. Walking according to the Spirit is holiness and fruitfulness.
Thus we see that all the victims of sin whose hearts have been laid hold of by the grace that comes in through Jesus Christ, belong to the risen Lord. They are of Him—are sharers in the nature and character of His risen life (2 Pet 1:4). They belong to the position into which He has entered as risen from among the dead. As being thus of Him they are entitled to be experientially free from the power of indwelling sin; but to actually enjoy that practical freedom from sin’s power, they need to learn the impossibility of doing so by trying to walk according to the law; that holiness and fruitfulness are found in the enjoyment of the mind of the Spirit. Walking thus according to the Spirit in fellowship with the risen and glorified Lord Jesus is practical liberty. "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (Gal 5:16; 2 Cor 3:18).