You Don’t Have a Sin Problem, part 1
I want to begin a new series of posts concerning living in the flesh and believing lies. As a believer in Christ, we are to walk in the Spirit and live according to the truth. Yet, many find themselves struggling with sin and living defeated lives. We can live in the abundance that Jesus gives when our thinking lines up with our new nature.
Far too many Christians are sin-conscious. What I mean is that they are constantly thinking about, talking about, preaching against and struggling with sin. I grew up believing we had the responsibility of telling others how sinful they were and that they needed to repent or they would go to hell forever.
I know of two very popular Christian evangelists who stop random people on the street to ask them if they have ever broken one, or more, of the ten commandments. Just about everyone says yes. They use this tactic to show the person they are talking to they that they are worthy of eternal damnation because of sin.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if we started with the love of God, His goodness, and kindness? But we usually don’t because of . . . .
The problem with this approach is that whatever a person focuses on that is what they will gravitate toward. If all we do is talk about sin, preach against sin and do our best to not struggle with sin then chances are our primary focus is going to be SIN.
As born-again Christians we no longer have a sin problem, we have a thinking problem. Sin isn’t your problem any longer. And to be quite brutally honest, sin isn’t the problem of humanity any longer. Jesus took care of the problem of sin on the cross.
Now before you start calling me a heretic, please read on and open your mind a little.
Romans 8:12-17 2So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
We were created in the image and likeness of God. We are designed to be His image bearers in the earth. We were created to be sons and daughters (not Christians). When we put our faith in Christ as the Supreme Human who cut a New Covenant with God the Father to redeem humanity, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives and witnesses to us that we are now sons and daughters of God.
We must live our lives with this view in mind, that above all else, we are a son or daughter of God. Being a son/daughter involves relationship and it gives us an identity. Being a Christian can simply be a label. What kind of Christian are you (Baptist, Methodist, First Chosen, etc.)? With over 33,000 denominations in the world, you can pretty much pick your label. We can even label what we believe about theology and all it’s sub-roots. Are you a partial preterist or full preterist? Are you a pre-trib, post-trib or mid-trib believer? Are you a cessationist or a non-cessationist? Are you Calvinist, Arminian, Orthodox, Reformed, Catholic? The list goes on.
Let’s start with the basics and stick with the basics. Jesus came to redeem sons and daughters. Are we all going to think alike and agree. Absolutely not. However, we can always come back to the fact that if we are born from above then we are brothers and sisters in the Lord.
If I start thinking like a son, then I will start acting like a son. Most Christians think like a follower of their particular persuasion and thus end up acting more like a picture of their denomination (or particular church) than that of a son or daughter.
Just like in a natural family, each child is their own person and will display different characteristics, even though they have the same set of parents. They will not all act or think alike. That’s perfectly normal. And the same is true of God’s children. We will think and act differently. But we can, and should, respect one another as family.
As a son or daughter of God, I can stop calling myself a sinner, a worm, worthless, etc. I have been a Christian now for 35 years. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard sons and daughters of God describe themselves this way. I have done it before as well, but I will not do it anymore. That’s not who I am.
I would never allow my children to come to me and tell me how worthless they are. I would never allow them to put themselves down to me. Yet, we do that all the time to God and before other Christians because we are focused more on our failures, shortcomings, and faults than we are focused on the finished work of Jesus.
You must start believing that you are a beloved and dear child of God. The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth because He cannot lie, witnesses to your spirit that you are a child of God that gets to call God Daddy! He is your Papa, your daddy, your biggest fan, your greatest supporter, your best friend.
When we start living our lives as children of God (rather than just as a Christian), everything will begin to look differently.
In my next post, we will talk about thinking like citizens of heaven.