Firstly, I must apologise that I haven’t really been sharing much of my own thinking recently on my blog. I think my last post of my own personal work was my exposition on Matthew 7, back in July.
As you know, I ‘do what I see Father doing’, and while I have been having lots of ideas and beginning essays on these ideas, I have also found that others have been posting stuff that is definitely worth sharing, and is also ‘what I see Father doing’, and so I have shared that. I know I don’t have to apologise for what I write here, but I thought I’d just give a bit of an explanation for my regular readers.
Anyway, I saw an excellent piece yesterday by Ralph Harris, which I found was echoing exactly the sort of things I have been preaching over the last couple of years about believers being personally a New Creation. Wow. In his header for the piece, Ralph also encouraged people to share it, so I have done so without asking specific permission*. The Easter theme he mentions is because he published the piece at around Easter time, but of course the ideas behind it are timeless!
Here we go:
Not long ago I was involved in a Facebook thread in which people were discussing sin. One person became increasingly indignant with me—she was pretty much yelling via text—and insisted that, as a Christian, she would always be an “incurable sinner,” whose best hope was “sin in remission. Don’t you know that?!” she demanded.
Well, I answered, only if you think of yourself as the unchanged, old creation, the former creation, and as what you do rather than who you truly are in Christ, a new creation. Then you can you say that you are “a sinner.” You will be wrong, but you can say it. Essentially, you will be in error concerning what Jesus did for you and to you through the cross and resurrection. This error hurts you because, not knowing the cure of Christ, you will misdiagnose yourself and treat yourself as though you are sick. This will become a twisted and sickly caricature of Christianity; while perfectly cured, you will deny your health. You will frustrate yourself by looking for health—freedom from sin—based upon what you do, rather than upon what Jesus did. That won’t work. It never has. What He did is your cure and health, not what you do.
To the error-prone Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote: “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
So the big question is: “Did God’s cure work for you?” Through Jesus’ crucifixion, was your old self crucified with Him? Was your body of sin “done away with” so that you would no longer be a slave to sin? Since, in God’s thinking, you died with Christ, are you freed from sin? Is what He did your cure, or do you have another diagnosis and prescription? Who is the better Physician—you or God?
If you continue to believe that you are an unchanged, old creation and an old sinner-self, and that salvation “only” rescued you from sins and guaranteed you for heaven, your diagnosis will be wrong, because you will not believe the gospel and enjoy the perfect health benefits of the cross and the resurrection for you. One was for your sins, and the other was for your new life. Those in Christ are no longer “sinners” by nature, since through the crucifixion and being included in that, they’ve had a change of nature in Christ and now share in the Father’s. They are saints by nature, holy sons in fact, and already citizens of heaven—free from sin, as is everyone in heaven.
You cannot have dual citizenship. You are either born of this world and are of it, or you are born of heaven and are of it—alien to this world and representative of heaven. Which one are you?
I love my citizenship and how I got there through the cross and resurrection with Jesus. I’ve never felt more clear about sin than after I knew the truth about those two events and my being included with Christ. In Christ, I have died already, and sin has no power over me. In Christ, I have been healed and raised, and my nature is righteous—through and through. How about yours?
*Here is the link to Ralph’s post on Facebook
And here is the video – it’s only five minutes, and it can change your life if you haven’t heard this news before: