“We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”.
Knowing who you are as a believer and what has happened to you when you received Jesus is crucial to living the abundant life that Jesus died to give you. Many Christians fail to embrace their new nature. Whether through ignorance or the deceit of the devil they embrace life as a sinner rather than a saint as Christians were referred to in the Bible.
We are currently working on a 10-week series that will provide a solid scriptural foundation which if, embraced will set people free and into the abundant life. The content of this course is at the bottom of this page.
How you can live set free from sin
Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus is saying that believers live out the word of God they will know the truth and that truth will set them free. What will they be set free from? Not many Christians know. But the answer is found in the following verses.
In verses 34-36, Jesus states, “I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.So, knowing the truth will set you free from slavery to sin. How is this so? In the book of James, we find the answer. James says that the word of God is like a mirror, we are to see who we are in Christ and live that way. If we only hear the word of God and do not do what it says, then we forget who we really are.
James 1:22-26 states, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty (New Covenant), and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing”.
Can you still sin after being set free from slavery to sin?
Yes, you can. But just because you can sin does not define you as a sinner. Just like you can fail an exam but that does not define you as a failure. Adam and Eve, when they were created were made after the likeness of God and they did not have a sinful nature. They were deceived into sinning by the devil.
Likewise, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so he did not have a sinful nature, but he was still capable of sinning. Likewise, born again believers are born of the Spirit and therefore no longer living under the curse of Adam’s sin. Knowing that you have power over sin and that there is nothing evil in you is the freedom that Jesus spoke about. Knowing that temptation is external means that you will no longer fight against yourself but the true enemy – the devil. That is why God gave you the armour of God – to keep evil out, not in.
The devil is cunning and would love for you to believe that you are inherently bad so that you would never live in victory as you should. He sought to attack the identity of Jesus and this is still one of his major points of attack today.
Being Born Again
The Bible states that when someone repents and believes in Jesus they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Many people in this church testify of dramatic changes in their lives and experience a love, joy and peace that they have never experienced before. It is like they have a brand-new way of life. Jesus refers to this transformation as being born again.
In John 3, Jesus said that unless someone is born again, they cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. He goes on to say that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, they cannot enter the kingdom of God”. Being born of the Spirit occurs when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. The Apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.
The Apostle Paul goes into further detail about the transformation process. He says that there is a death of the old life and nature and the experience of a new spiritual life. He says that the old life was crucified with Jesus and new life is given through the resurrection of Jesus. In Romans 6, the Apostle Paul states that all Christians filled with the Holy Spirit, died with Christ, and were raised with Christ into new life.
In verses 6&7, Paul says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him (Jesus) in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin”.
These verses are not speaking of the forgiveness of sin, but power over sin. In verse 11, Paul says that Christians must consider themselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. In Colossians, Paul again speaks on a co-crucifixion and co-resurrection. He states in verses 11&12, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
A circumcision involves the cutting away of flesh. The flesh referred to by Paul in this verse is the source in which sin generates. The NLT version of the Bible refers to the flesh as our old sinful nature. Therefore, the flesh (old sinful nature) of a born-again believer is cut from them and they die to the power of sin, so they are no longer enslaved to it.
Paul in Ephesians 4 contrasts the old self (before being born again) and the new self afterward. In verses 22-24 he states, “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. So, Paul says that born again believers have an old self that is corrupt through deceitful desires. He then states that born-again believers have a new self which is created after the likeness of God in true holiness and righteousness.
You may want to reflect upon that scripture for a while. Is it not saying that born again Christians are created like God with a holy and righteous nature? You may also want to consider Colossians 3:9&10. The sad reality is that many Christians are not taught that they have to take off their old way of life and embrace their new self. So, they see themselves as a slightly better version of whom they once were. But, by taking off old ways of life, old habits, old ways of dealing with stress, old mindsets and embracing the ways of Jesus people live set free from the power of sin.
The 10-week Identity Course
The Identity Course will cover the following topics:
What we believe determines the way we live.
What does it mean to be born again?
Old life vs New life
Taking off the old and putting on the new
Sin and temptation are external
The Spirit and the Flesh
The problematic scriptures
Walking in freedom
Renewing the mind
Knowing your identity increases your intimacy with God and your boldness in sharing your faith