2 Corinthians 5 : 14 - 17, For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. NKJV
I’m grateful that God gave Paul these revelations about the difference between our old nature and our new nature. Paul is a wonderful example of how powerful the grace of God is toward sinners who humble themselves before the Lord. Paul was once called Saul of Tarsus. As Saul, he killed and imprisoned many followers of Christ because of their faith. Therefore, if anyone could write about the spiritual transformation that occurs in the hearts of believers when they come to Christ, Paul could. He was able to write from his own experience of Christ’s power to change the coldest, hardest heart and make it new again; Paul was changed so much that he was no longer known by his old ways.
You may not remember when you were born, but one thing is certain. From the moment you were born and took your first breath, you had a sin nature. Even though you were innocent in your conscience concerning sin, no one had to teach you how to sin. “It comes natural to all of us.”
Just as you must be conceived/born in order to exist in this physical world, you must be born again, if you desire to see and enter into the kingdom of God. Whenever you received Christ by faith, God sent His Holy Spirit to make His abode in your spirit. From the very moment that the Holy Spirit made your dead spirit alive, you became a brand-new person before God. Therefore, God tells us through Paul that we are a new creature in Christ, and the old things are passed away.
The old things are passed away because our old nature is dead. Now that we’re alive unto God, we must live the kind of life that is pleasing to Him. The old man and our old identity are also done away with through the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit who lives in our spirit (inner man). Once we become born again, we don’t have to live in guilt and fear about our past; neither do we have to live any longer in bondage to sin because the old nature is dead. If the Son has made you free, then you are free, indeed.
The more we know and understand that our past, as well as the old nature, is dead and buried through the work of Christ, the more liberty we will walk in as new converts. Nevertheless, if we continue to see ourselves as just “an old sinner,” who is saved by grace, then we won’t experience the liberty of Christ to its fullest. If the Word of God says that the old man is dead, how can we continue to live in bondage to sin, unless we refuse to believe the Word, or unless we’ve been taught something other than the truth?
If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God and have confessed that He is your personal Savior and Lord, then you are free from sin and your sin-stained past. You have been made a “NEW CREATION” in Christ. You now have “the power and the right” to live for God and to bring glory to His name by living holy; nevertheless, you must still choose to live a righteous life.
It DOES matter what we believe when it comes to our salvation in Christ. If we don’t take the Word of God for what it says, then we won’t be able to experience the freedom that comes with Christ. However, if we simply believe it as it is written, we will experience total liberty from the guilt and bondage associated with the old man.
If you have lived your “saved life” in bondage to a belief that won’t allow you to be totally separated from the guilt and sin of your old nature, then I invite you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Take God at His Word; walk in His love and experience the liberating power of God’s grace.
Free to Live in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery