2007-04-04 - Old vs. New Self
Colossians 3:9, 10, "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, who is being renewed to a true knowledge, according to the image of the One who created him."
With the Easter season upon us, we do have a tendency to think a little more about spiritual things. To some extent, this is good. We should set aside special times to seek the things of the Spirit of God more earnestly. In another respect, it is sad that, for many of us, seeking things that concern Christ and His mercy only become our focus on special occasions. These things ought to be prominent with us. We are, by nature, spiritual in our very core.
For followers of Christ, there is a new nature that has taken up residence in our hearts. The things which were displeasing to God, that we used to do, have been or are in the process of being overcome and replaced with new desires, new practices, and new life. There is a new heritage which we are striving to establish. We find that salvation in Christ is not simply something that respects our souls, but our entire being: heart, soul, mind, body, thoughts, affections, and every area of our nature that make us who we are. We are changed, not in part, but in every area of our lives. It is a struggle, because the process is not complete. The greatest part of the transformation is completed in Christ, but still that old self, which we used to engage without thought, shows up in our lives in anger, pride, selfishness, envy, and all the other parts of our being that we could name, and hope one day to have completely sanctified. The Christian is a work in progress. He/she knows this by experience, but the joy of victory over sin, overcoming the world, subduing the devil and his lusts, is a greater joy than those who indulge the passions of vice ever know. The Christian only knows the peace of having a clear conscience before God.
If you are striving today to gain victory over a particular sin in your life, or simply struggling with the force of indwelling sin in general, I want to encourage you today with a simple thought: The work that Christ has done in you is greater than the work that remains to be done. As we remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sin in a special manner this week, let us be ever mindful that when He gave up His life to pay the penalty for our sin, the greatest part of the work of subduing our sin was accomplished. This is not to deny the reality of the remaining struggle we have with indwelling sin, and we will only overcome sin by the help and aid of the Holy Spirit, but the greatest part of this work has already been accomplished in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that you will take encouragement in this. If you are resting in the atonement of Christ for all your hope, you are forgiven. You have been made free. The power of sin has been overcome by the victory in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,