God is not “dealing with” our sin. He is establishing our righteousness.
He gave Jesus both as Savior, to bring closure to the old nature, and as Redeemer, to turn a sin habit into righteous behavior. Then he gave the Holy Spirit to empower us in the process of being made in His image. God loves to give us permission to be like Him — to view ourselves as He does and then to take on that identity.
God also gave us authority.
Which means we have the right to confess our new identity, refuse temptation, and choose righteousness. Thankfully, The Lord behaves towards us as though we are dead to sin and alive to Him (Romans 6:11), and this gives us the authority and permission to do the same. We must behave towards Him as He behaves towards us.
He considers us dead to our sinful self and alive in a new life hidden with Christ, in Him (Colossians 3:3). As we all know, death is an end of something but it doesn’t mean it’s not the beginning of something better.
In fact, he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:7)
The Good News is now that we are in Christ.
We get to become everything that He is in His relationship before God. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once and for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so (in the same way) consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 6:10–11).
As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
God dealt with sin once and for all in Christ. He is now focused entirely on righteousness. Jesus did not just take our sin; He became the embodiment of it, so that we could become the embodiment of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In Christ, it is grace that reigns in life through righteousness (Romans 5:21). So now that we are free from sin, we can become servants of righteousness. Everyday we get to show up and present ourselves as righteous servants (Romans 6:18–19).
You must learn to love righteousness.
In the Gospel, the righteousness of God is always being revealed; because the righteous live by faith (Romans 1:16– 17). When we learn to love righteousness, we’re able to narrow our focus on being right with God and enjoying all the benefits of sanctification (Romans 6:22).
This incomparable gift of being in Christ is only by God’s doing. With this gift, Jesus becomes not only our righteousness, but our wisdom, sanctification, and redemption as well (1 Corinthians 1:30). God truly dealt with our sin once and for all by sacrificing Jesus. It would be an insult to Jesus if the Father still considered sin to be alive in us. Our old nature is dead.
It is only our new nature that occupies God’s attention.
The Holy Spirit works to establish righteousness as our lifestyle, empowering us to become Christlike. He reminds us always of who we are in the Beloved and He speaks to our new position in Christ.
When the Spirit puts His finger on a part of our life that is not working, it is to remind us of our righteousness and to establish it in this part of our life. We no longer have to identify ourselves in our sin nature; it died. However, we do have a sin habit that will need to be continually reformed into righteousness throughout the course of our lives.
God’s approach is different than you think.
It is not “get rid of this and you can become that.” Rather, He says,“you are this, and you have no need of that.”
We do not become a new person by changing our behavior. We discover the person we already are in Christ and behave accordingly.
May we together begin to see this role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as this: to empower that discovery and transformation.
In what ways are you still claiming your old nature? What practice could you add to your daily routine that would help you better claim who you already are in Christ?
P.S. We have an entire section of our store dedicated to helping you develop this kind of new-man thinking in life. If you have interest in learning more, be sure to take a glance here: Transformational Thinking.