Monday, 12 January 2015

I’M NOT A SINNER! - GOD IS GREATER THAN MY FAILURES – PART 2 OF 9


How many times have you heard a preacher say, “We are sinners saved by grace”?  The real truth of the matter is, “We WERE sinners saved by grace.”
OK.  Here’s our first paradigm-shift, mind-bender number one.
We have to ask the question, “Will the real me please stand up?”
The Bible talks about the ‘old me’, my body (or flesh) and the ‘new me’.  
Paul writes, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 
If I have received Jesus as my Saviour then the Bible says the ‘old me’ is dead. D-E-A-D.  Crucified. Dead. Buried. Never to rise again. Finito!  I am already  [presently] living my eternal life in Christ.
In this one verse we have four very important principles to take in:
  • The ‘old me’ has been crucified and no longer lives;
  • The ‘new me’ lives by faith in the Son of God;
  • The ‘new me’ still lives in the ‘old body’
  • Christ lives in the ‘new me’.
This is the essence of what Jesus was saying when He told Nicodemus, “…you must be born again.”
The ‘new you’, or the ‘new me’, is now so intimately intertwined with Christ, that if I point an accusing finger at the ‘new you’, calling you ‘a sinner’, I am simultaneously pointing the finger at Christ.  Heaven forbid!
So, what gives? What about all the sins I committed since I woke up this morning? Well, this is where Paul helps us to distinguish between the ‘real me’ and this ‘old body’ (and I must say that I’m looking forward to the new and improved version!)
In Romans 6:11-12, Paul writes, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not [the new you] let sin reign in your [old] mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
Here Paul clearly distinguishes between the ‘new you’ and your mortal body, and that it is your mortal body that has a problem with evil desires.  The job of the ‘new you’ is to keep the mortal body in check, with Christ’s help.
Each time your mortal body fails, don’t give up.  Even the Apostle Paul screamed frustration at his sin, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” and in his next breath exclaimed, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So the correct answer to question number one is, the ‘new me’, the ‘real me’ that is one with Christ, is not a sinner, yet I do live in a mortal body that sometimes sins.
As long as we go around believing that we are sinners we provide Satan with the ultimate weapon of guilt to use against us and disable us.
I want to emphasize that we should never use this truth, that it is our old body that sins, as an excuse to indulge in wilful sin. 
Again, as Paul wrote, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”  Romans 6:1-2

As a postscript; after I first shared this truth my wife, Wendy, observed that it is Satan, the great accuser that would try and convince us that we are, not were, sinners.  As Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44