Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Releasing the New Man Puts Sin to Death

It's been just over a month that you and I have had a relationship and I think it's time we make a decision - do we keep it between you and me, or should we open it up to other people. That's what I thought too. So, we're opening it up to other people and the first up is my brother by the same Father.

I met David Johndrow the same way I'm meeting many of you - through a blog. We share a mutual love for Matt Appling's blog, The Church of No People. I liked his comments there, so I started lurking around his blog too. David has great vision and insight. I've learned a lot from him and I hope you'll love what he has to say here, and then be sure to check out his blog, Fire & Grace.

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There are many way in which we identify ourselves. As Christians we have a new identity, but somehow we've been taught to live like sinners.

As humans we do have frailties which the word of God has not yet been able to eradicate; some of that is due to the lack of knowledge, His sovereignty, His timing, and in some case, His grace. If we are saved, we are God’s mess now.

What I find in the church (and I suffer from it too) is that we still work hard to gain the approval of others, we strive to out-perform one another, find creative ways to blame others when we don’t measure up, and hide our shame.

These dynamics are human, and they are NOT God.

We are often told that we are in the process of sanctification; that we were saved, that we are being saved and that we will be saved. It is the Kingdom of God which always was, which is at hand (within us) and the eternal Kingdom to come.

I see it differently.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Are we not a new creation? We can't be a half new, or half old; no we are NEW! The question is this, then how does sin fit into the picture of a new creation? It doesn't. That is why we need not identify with it! When we sin, we are not in God's will, and we are operating from the soul and the flesh. It is unfortunate that our old creation sticks around as a vessel for the new one to dwell in. It is an interesting dilemma, one which can only be discerned with the spirit whom identifies us with Christ.

The task at hand is to let the old creation die.

Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

The trick to releasing the new creation is to live by the spirit. We cannot live by our emotions, our culture, or our thoughts; we must live by faith, being ever watchful of what the Father is doing. When we release the new and perfect creation, we cannot sin, and our identity is truly in Him. Of course this is impossible all the time. As we are intimate with the Father, we will hear from Him more often, and more clearly: putting to death our shame, our need to blame others, never again relaying on performance and perfectionism or the approval of others.

It’s a wonderful plan; let us know how you put it in action.

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Many thanks to my northern neighbor for an opportunity to guest post on her blog.

David Johndrow is a musician, software engineer and amateur blogger; author of Fire & Grace and weekly contributor on Kingdom Bloggers - a sushi eating, caffeine fueled reformer and rock music loving warrior of King Jesus. He has worked as a short term missionary in both Brazil and Norway, and ministered in various denominations as a conference speaker and itinerant preacher. He now resides in greater Boston with his wife and three daughters. David is currently part of the ministry at Faith Worship Center in Pepperell.

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