Christianity has over a billion-dollar industry in books that ‘teach’ us how to deal with sin. Just to make sure you understand, that’s over a billion-dollars!
When you think about what Christ accomplished on the cross, my question is, why?
Many of us, including myself, revert back to dealling with our dead man rather than our righteous, new creation. We spend time in frustration through a critical lens trying to correct, improve, or change the very nature of us that has died with Christ, thinking that through resurrecting what is dead we can improve or correct it, which will enable us to live a righteous life. Why can’t we leave what is dead, dead? Why do we try and resurrect our dead, sinful nature?
Even when we are baptized, we are symbolizing our sinful nature dying with Christ, being resurrected along with Christ a righteous, new creation. We sink into the often bone-chilling water and remerse a transformed being. But why don’t we see ourself as new, as God does? Why can’t we leave what is dead, dead?
I believe the problem lies within an unrenewed mind. Upon salvation, we are given a new spirit and a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). What we do not recieve is a new mind. We have the same mind that is still associated with the dead part of us that has been made new through our new spirit and heart. In other words, through our same mind we still see ourself in our fallen state, rather than our righteous state that has been resurrected with Christ. Religion teaches us, or rather reinforces our already self-critical nature, therefore we try and bring to life what God has already condemned through Christ, our sinful nature.
Unlike our habitual-fault finding predisposition, when God looks at you He does not see anything wrong with you because everything that was wrong with you died on the cross with Christ. Therefore, God does not deal with behavior, but with your identity because who you are and how you see yourself has been changed through your transformation into righteousness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV): You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 2:12-13 (NIV): having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NIV):For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!
When you are critical of yourself, or others for that matter, you are not speaking Truth. To speak Truth into someones life, even your own, you have to speak what God is seeing, doing, working, and establishing. This is one reason why Colossians 3 tells us to set our minds on things above. This is why God has given us His promises because He wants us to be like Him in that we are to reflect all of His glory (2 Corinthains 3:18). But you cannot do this dealing with your dead man. You cannot do this thinking that God is trying to correct your sinful behavior, but by believing you are a new creation of righteousness (Romans 3:22). As you think or believe, is indeed what you will become (Proverbs 23:7).
So, who do you see more in the mirror? Do you see your dead-man in it’s sinful nature? Or do you see your righteous, new creation in Christ? When you renew your mind to who your identity is in Christ, you will free yourself from self-criticism. You will free yourself from judging yourself. It will open you up to recieving more of God’s love than you ever thought possible, for it is a love that is the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19)!
To see yourself in Truth is to see yourself as God does. He sees you whole, complete, perfect, spotless, and righteous. In being a new creation in Christ, we are made whole but we have to learn how to live whole. We are made righteous, but have to learn how to live righteous. We are made complete, but we have to learn how to live being complete. This is the renewing of your mind. This is the role of the Holy Spirit in you, to teach you who you already are and how to live it everyday, exemplifying the glory of God to those around you (2 Timothy 3:16-17).