As discussed in my last blog Jesus has paid the perfect sacrifice for you to have perfect righteousness.
Your sinful nature was crucified on the cross.
It is dead.
It wasn’t raised up with Christ but rather a completely new you arose.
Paul refers to this new you as a completely new creation in 2 Cor 5.
The word used in 2 Cor 5:17 for “new” is quite interesting.
There are two words in the Greek for “new” – “neos” and “kainos”.
“Neos” means something of the same kind but new in relation to time.
For example, I have a 1995 Toyota Corolla.
Imagine I said, I’m going to get a “neos car”.
I would come back with a 2015 Toyota Corolla.
It’s the same car, it’s just brand new.
“Kainos”, in contrast, means something new in every sense of the word. A completely different unique thing.
To follow the same example, it would be like me saying I’m off to get a “kainos car”. I’d take my 1995 Toyota Corrolla to the dealership and come back with a 2015 Aston Martin prototype!
This is NEW!
So all that to say we must understand that we have been made a kainos creation.
We are not sinners with a second chance. The sinful self is completely done away with and we have been made righteous!
If this is still hard for you to swallow I recommend you signup for my mailing list and get a free copy of my eBook – “You Do Not Have A Sinful Nature”
The Big Question
Many Christians, myself included initially have a gnawing question when faced with this reality.
“If I’m righteous by nature and my sin nature is dead then why am I not perfect?
Why do I still sin?”
The answer surprisingly is incredibly simple.
As simple as it is offensive.
We still struggle with our old sinful nature because we believe we should.
In fact, the reason there is any sin whatsoever in our lives in any area is because we have a framework of belief that empowers it.
I’d encourage you to read through the New Testament again.
Every time you come across the topic of seeing grace appropriated in your life, read the verse in its immediate context.
You will see that while we HAVE everything through grace, we RECEIVE it by our faith.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith…
Romans 4:16 – Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace…
Romans 5:2 – Through [Christ] we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
There are countless verses about faith and grace.
Even Solomon understood this principle in the old covenant when he said “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7)
As a side note, look at what Ephesians 2:8 actually goes on to say.
‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God‘.
Your faith isn’t even yours, it’s a gift from God! Lest you could boast in your own faith! haha
(For more on this I encourage you to listen to my audio message “Grow Your Faith Or Lose It?”)
So if the grace has already been paid for and given to us on the cross by the power of what Christ did, then how do we see it activated in our lives?
This is what Paul means in Romans 12:2 when he stated that we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
You see, transformation cannot be brought by you trying to do better.
This is what Jesus was talking about with the vine producing fruit, he called you branches for a reason.
We don’t try to produce fruit. We can’t.
In our old nature we constantly had to fight against the current of a stream flowing towards unrighteousness.
If we did nothing we would just float down the river towards sin. If we fought hard enough we might do some good acts but with effort and strain that ultimately is not good enough (Isa 64:6, Phil 3:9).
However, now we have a righteous nature, we flow down the stream towards righteousness!
We do good by nature!
In fact – and this will be a hurdle for some – you striving to do good actually produces sin in your life! If you try to follow the law it will always lead to sin. (1 Cor 15:56, Rom 4:15)
(For more on this see “What’s the role of the law in the New Covenant?”)
So why do I sin?
Because somewhere along the line we were taught that we are still sinners. Or worse, that we are righteous but we have to “work out our salvation”.
The key then is to stop resurrecting the old man and operating out of that nature!
Given the world around us and our old thought patterns, this can be harder than it sounds.
However it really does boil down taking our thoughts captive.
Warring Against The Flesh
Consider 2 Cor 10:3-4 – “…we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”
It is not in the flesh that we war. We aren’t fighting against our nature. We fight against the strongholds of the mind and arguments/high things that war against the knowledge (i.e. the way you think) of God.
Eph 6:12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Again you are not fighting your flesh and blood but rather you’re combatting the attacks of the enemy.
And we all know the ONLY way he can attack – through our beliefs. It was the only way he could attack Adam and Eve in the garden, it’s the only way he could attack Jesus and it was the only way he could attack the NT believers.
In The Beginning
Look at Adam and Eve, they had absolute authority over everything. They were put entirely over every thing on the earth and yet they had one area that Satan could attack them – their beliefs.
Notice that this is all Satan did. He challenged their beliefs.
“Did God really say that about you? The fruit? Are you really like Him?”
The funniest part is they were both perfect in nature and in their environment (bar one bothersome snake).
Yet we believe there is no way we could be perfect in nature because we sin!
Here are the facts.
- Your old sinful nature is dead.
- Your belief in this fact determines how much you will experience it
- If you believe you are the righteousness of Christ you will start bearing His fruit
- If you believe you are a filthy rotten sinner, don’t be surprised if you bear sinful fruit
- God has done everything in Christ to set you free from sin
So my question to you is…
Will you choose to believe what God says about you, or will you believe what your experiences say about you?