The “sin nature” is a subject that is taught, preached and studied extensively in the church today.
Conversely there isn’t much focus on what it means to be a “new creation” in Christ.Think about it for a moment. How often do you hear the sin/human nature mentioned in a sermon compared to the “inward man” or the “new creation”?
If you’re like most Christians you’ve been taught about the sinful, fallen and corrupt nature of man far more than you have about being a new creation.
It’s as if what Adam and Eve did was more important (or powerful) than what Christ did.
And it’s a tragedy. When we neglect to teach Christians the truth about what it means to be a new creation we do a terrible disservice. We end up with Christians and churches who are completely ignorant of the abundant spiritual life available and who continue to strive against sin. Plus, it makes having a real relationship with God almost impossible.
Forgetting What Manner Of Man You Are
If you believe you’re just a sinner who must continue to battle your sinful/human nature then your life will be marked by struggle, defeat and despair. And you’ll become introspective with sin consciousness plaguing your mind.
But if you’re taught, and believe, that when you were born again you received a new nature (God’s nature) and sin no longer has control over you then a whole new life opens up to you.
A life of full of freedom, power and love. A spiritual life governed by your recreated spirit. Your spirit that’s in communion with God’s Spirit. This is the life of those who are new creations in Christ. Old things have passed way. All things are new.
“What about the sin issue?” some might ask.
Well, that’s a good question.
You’re Not “Just Human”
Last time I checked Jesus did a pretty thorough job at the Cross. He settled the sin issue once and for all. And the Bible says you died with Him (Rom 6:8). The Word also says that Jesus “condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3) and freed you from the “law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2).
Romans 6:11 goes on to say, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So then why is there so much attention given to the sinful nature and so little focus on God’s nature (the new creation) in us?
I’m not sure.
But it bothers me.
It bothers me because it keeps people in the dark about one of the most important truths of our faith: “that you are a new creation in Christ (II Cor 5:17). A “new creation” means you’re part of a “new species.” The same species Jesus is part of. That’s why the Bible says He is “the firstborn among many brethren.”
It’s also why Paul criticized people in the Corinthian Church for acting like mere men (I Cor 3:3). It’s because if you’re born again there’s a part of you (your spirit) that’s alive that was formerly dead. You’re now able to make choices as a spiritual man, not just a “mere man.”
This flies in the face of the excuse many Christians have who say, “Well, what do you expect? I’m just human.”
Well, not exactly. A born again believe is not “just human.” In fact, they are more than human. They are alive spiritually and can now partake in the divine nature.
What would we do if this truth spread throughout the church like wildfire? Instead of producing crowds of introspective and condemned “sinners” we could train up people who actually changed the world. Heck, church might even start to gain a reputation as a place where spiritual things happened. Imagine that!
Instead of preaching 5 point sermons about how to fight sin we could instead spend our time experiencing God and feasting on the meat of His Word.
Instead of learning how to strengthen our resolve (will) to not sin we could learn how to strengthen our spirits. Instead of debating the Bible we could learn how to obey it. Instead of churches filled with weak, powerless people we could have churches with strong believers who made powerful decisions.
I mean just imagine what it’d be like to be completely free from sin so your entire being (spirit, soul and body) is free to serve God and to go on adventures with Him.
Sound to good to be true? Well, the “Good News” sometimes seems like that.
How To Live As A New Creation
But where do we go from here? How do we go from living like “mere men” to living as “new creations”?
First things first.
There’s no way you can live and experience life as a new creation without actually being a new creation. In other words you must be born again (John 3:7).
If you’re already born again but still still living like a mere man then you can repent. And I’m not talking about expressing remorse over something you did wrong.
The Greek word “repent,” as used in Acts 2:38 means a “change of principle and practice; A mental change of attitudes; A change of mind.” Basically it means to change the way you think.
You are free to change the way you think about your nature and your relationship to sin. Even if living life as a new creation is not a popular topic of discussion in your church you can still study it, believe it and live it. Even if someone tells you that you’re just a sinful human being you don’t have to believe them.
Instead, you can believe God’s Word and exercise faith in it. The Bible says in I John 3:9 that, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
That verse makes many people uncomfortable. But why?
Is it because it contradicts popular Christian belief? Is it because you believe that if you let go of your “sin consciousness it will take over and totally destroy you? That you’ll become “holier than though”? Really, think about it. If this verse makes you uncomfortable ask yourself why.
Because it’s better to believe God, live as a new creation and be “odd” then to fit in with the crowds and live as a carnal Christian. Besides, do you really want to miss out on the abundant life God has promised you?
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about living as new creation vs a mere “sinful” man.