So we say we believe in Christ, and that He has given us a new life. Do we really believe it? Do we act like we believe it? But wait, you say, salvation is a free gift. There is no earning it. There’s nothing we can do but accept it, after all, Jesus did the work and as the scriptures declare “it is finished”. Yep, I hear you, in fact I was you, proclaiming the same thing while living in a manner contrary to the word of God.
Our old selves were dead bodies. They were cursed under the law and they paid for that by being killed with Christ. I know I’m gonna hear about this, but please study your bible on this. Jesus was raised by the power of God from the dead, and so too are our lives raised from death to life in the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus), so that Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23 might be fulfilled:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
So what does it mean that our old selves are in fact dead? Who are you? Where do you draw your identity from? Is it from Christ or is it from you? Are you identified by your gifts, or by your appearance, or by your career? Is it your car or house or church or favorite weekend activity? If it is anything but Christ you may wish to reconsider. We derive our identity as believers in the one who gave everything for us. If I no longer live, I am in a position to serve God without anything being used against me from my past. If I have deep seated issues in my life – things that have not been turned over to the will of Christ, unforgiveness, past hurt, non-repentance, anything at all but the new life in the Spirit that Jesus promised… I run the risk of being derailed at every opportunity by both my flesh and the enemy of my soul.
We live by faith by believing in God. In James it says faith without works is dead. Abraham was counted as righteous because he believed God and acted accordingly. We are to act on our beliefs. Who God says we are is very important to what should believe about ourselves. As for ungodly beliefs, they need to be wrapped in the truth of God. For instance: “I can’t do this” becomes “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. I encourage everyone to do what the bible says and know the truth because the truth sets you free.
Finally, in Romans 12 we read “Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him.” But let me ask you, what did Jesus mean when he said the following in Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” If we are to be pleasing on the altar is there any room for having anything against anyone? We must live blameless before our God. God has been showing me the word innocence. That He wants us to be innocent before Him, (like little children), having no tie or connection to the sin in our past. Sin leaves us in possession of the knowledge of what it is to do whatever that sin was, and also the consequences thereof. It is the weight, the heavy burden of our souls. Jesus has removed that yoke, but it doesn’t do much good if we keep putting it back on. If we keep digging up our dead bodies, (the ones that were buried in Christ), we carry a corpse around and the stench of death permeates us. We are no longer a pleasing aroma, and with that body of death in the way, how can we serve? We spend our time trying to hide the obvious fact that there is a corpse in the room, and we are the ones holding/dragging it around, while pretending that “everything’s fine”.