When I first believed, I innately knew the old self was gone and a new self had replaced the old. It was undeniable and utterly apparent to me that I was a 100% a new person, having been made free from sin and the law. And Scripture backed up my new life experience. However, not every Christian has such a dramatic rebirth experience, and many are still under the impression that they must obey God to please Him and/or must work really hard to kill their flesh that still exists alongside their new self. I’ve heard really solid teachers claim the heart is still wicked, and convince other believers to be equally sin conscious. Nothing will hold you in bondage better than believing the lie that your old self isn’t really dead and gone. So they go on struggling. And it feels real, though it is really a shadowboxing match rooted in incorrect belief.
There is one reason why the Christian still sins, despite having been crucified with Christ, and raised to walk in new life. That reason is the unrenewed mind. Their thinking does not align with the reality of who they are in Christ. The truth is the old self is dead (and removed), and they are no longer bound by ANY law. But we are in a process of learning and growing. First, we have to be told the truth that Christ took care of that old dirty self once and for all on Calvary when he not only died for us, but stepping into humanity, also died as us. Second, we have to be told the truth that we are not under the law in any way, shape or form, because Christ became our perfect response to God for us, in perfect faith and obedience. Finally, we have to grow in the knowledge of the Word, the character of Christ, that we may manifest our new true identity. Therefore, the reason a Christian still sins is NOT due to his wicked heart (it’s been replaced), nor is it due to his “flesh” (the biblical term is actually “old man”, and it is in fact DEAD and CUT OFF). No, the reason he still struggles is that he is still under some form of law (for the power of sin is the law), or has never been told who he really is in Christ (new and holy), or the aspect of that identity he is having trouble with has not been fully cemented into his mindset (mindless habits), and he forgets for the moment what he has begun to learn.
The truth is, as a believer, you never HAVE to sin again, even though you certainly CAN. And this is not denying that you had sin in the first place, for that would negate the need of a Savior. If you want to conquer sin, understand that you can’t, and that He already has. Understand that you are dead and free. Understand that there is nothing that God expects of you, because Christ is your response to any expectation the Father has. It is finished. The next time you’re tempted, remember what you really desire, and who you really are in Christ (perfectly holy already). There is no such thing as a Christian who enjoys sin. The new heart just doesn’t allow for that. What we really desire is God and His ways, because Christ has made us one with God. Learn who He is, and consequently, who you now are in Him, and practice REMEMBRANCE. Renew your mind with the Word. Confess that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, NOT that you are a wicked sinner. What on earth did His blood accomplish then, if not making you white as snow AND a partaker of the divine nature? Do you think you now have to kill the flesh since the cross didn’t do the job? No, it accomplished all. Yes, it’s that simple, this scandalous Gospel! No killing of the flesh, no pious self denial, nothing…because it has been done. Jesus said take up your cross daily in reference to being hated, not in dealing with an ongoing sin nature. When Paul talks about holiness, it’s always, this is who He’s made you…now act like it. Not the other way around. Praise and glory to God and Christ who has set us free! If you are struggling with sin right now as a believer, let me be the first to tell you…that’s not who you really are. You are a saint because of what He has done. He has accomplished all you needed to be free. You don’t have to do that anymore because it’s not what you really want, and the person who used to want it is dead and gone. You ARE the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! So practice the renewal of your mind with the Word, and know that you are totally, completely clean and new at all times. God bless!
(See Scriptures Below)
9For in him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power; 11in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
20If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances,
1If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.
3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:5 (NASB®)
5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
20I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
24Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.
14But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
2May it never be. We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?
4We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin.
8But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him;
11In the same way, consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
6But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
9But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.
2 Corinthians 5:14
14For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Look, new things have come.
2 Timothy 2:11
11This saying is faithful: "For if we died with him, we will also live with him."
26I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
1 Cor 15:48-49
48As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let us also bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Peter 1:4
4by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.
9then he has said, "Look, I have come to do your will." He takes away the first, that he may establish the second, 10by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
6and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
1 John 4:17
17In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.
© Copyright 2014 David and Kelly Macias. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures quoted on this site are taken from the New Heart English Bible, edited by Wayne A. Mitchell, public domain, 2008-2016.
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