Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our New Creation in Christ & sin

  • People are born spiritually dead with the condition of sin. It is the charge of the action of sin that does not currently exist (from God or the law). God holds nothing against anyone so they can freely experience the grace of His kindness which leads them to trust Jesus. Not everyone is born again but God makes it as easy as possible to be by removing sin as a spiritual barrier & having no wrath for the time being for anyone.
  • Baptism is a picture of burial & resurrection with Christ. My understanding is that all spiritually died with Christ on the cross, "Christ died for all, and therefore all died" (2 Corinthians 5:14). However you are not raised until you first trust in Jesus. That raising is new birth. New birth is exclusively spiritual. Your new born spirit cannot sin because it is "one spirit with God" (1 Corinthians 6:17). The issue of sin was taken care of on the cross. We trust God and thank God that He has handled sin for us. Eternal life is about relationship. Jesus said in John 17:3, "This is eternal life, to intimately know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent."
  • "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)
    • 1 John 1 is a description of how to be saved in the first place. One must acknowledge their sinful state to recognize that Christ has already taken their sin upon Himself. 1 John 1 is not a continuing description of Christians whom God has rebirthed & cleansed forever. Christians have no sin. They are in Christ & "in Him there is no sin." (1 John 3:5)
  • My stance on 1 John 3:6,9 & 1 John 5:18 is that it speaks of the Christian's spirit, their true identity. It says, "Whoever is born of God cannot sin."  The only part of us that is born of God is our spirit, Jesus makes that clear in John 3. There is no doubt to me that these scriptures speak of spiritual identity & not of temporal flesh based morality.
    • If these scriptures meant "Christians cannot continually sin" how do you define continually? Is that to be left up to man's interpretation? How I see these scriptures don't leave a gaping whole of "how much sin is enough sin to be considered "continually"? The interpretation that this means "Christians cannot continually sin" points to man's performance in the flesh rather than the rebirth of the spirit through the work of Christ. It is utterly sin conscious.
  • Can a disciple of Jesus Christ look at a woman lustfully?
    I would say no.
    • The bible says to not regard anyone (including yourself) according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16). The Christian's spirit is their true & sole identity & it cannot sin. It is "perfected forever by the one time sacrifice of Christ" (Hebrews 10:14).
    • A disciple of Jesus Christ, through unrenewed parts of their mind (which is flesh), can offer their eyes (part of their flesh) to sin (Romans 6:13). God does not charge them with sin because of this. He doesn't add plus one to the sin ledger, He doesn't get offended (angry), He doesn't break fellowship, He doesn't condemn, disgrace, shame, or convict (convict means to declare guilty). He doesn't require you to ask for forgiveness or to "turn from sin."
    • As a disciple pays attention to the Spirit God will walk them out of doing such a thing (it could take a very long time before the eyes are no longer offered to sin). God's loving kindness is able to change us without charging us with sin.
  • Walk by the spirit which is your true (sinless) identity in Christ or walk by the flesh which causes you to treat others unlovingly through lies etc. My manifested actions do not change my identity nor are the sinful actions caused by it.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, "He who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." If you think a Christian's spirit can produce sin you believe God can produce sin. Is God's Spirit sinful?
  • We have both the flesh & the spirit but I am only identified by one.
    • "YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH BUT IN THE SPIRIT, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you."  (Romans 8:9)
      • That means all Christians are exclusively in the spirit because all of us have His spirit in us.
    • "Because Christ died for all we are to no longer identify anyone according to the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:16).
      • Our identity is our spirit, that is how God identifies us and how God wants us to identify ourselves.
    • "Your new man (spirit) has been created in the likeness of God. You truly are right with God. You were made righteous, pure, guiltless, innocent, faultless, and holy" (Ephesians 4:24).
  • I am not saying we do not have flesh. I am upholding the idea that we are to walk by the spirit/not the flesh. If the spirit is bad why walk by it?
  • Sin is never sourced in or credited to our spirit, which is our sole identity. Our flesh (if we walk by it) produces sin.
    The flesh we have can produce sin but our spirit cannot. Our spirit is one Spirit with God.
  • If you actually believe Christ is our new identity how then do you believe we can sin with that identity? Christ does not serve out sin (Galatians 2:17), we are in Him.
  • If God sees us as he sees Christ WHY SHOULD WE SEE OURSELVES ANY DIFFERENT? Why should I not see myself with God's perfect eyes?
  • Did Peter sin when he lied about not being with Jesus?
    • Yes. Peter had not yet received God's spirit (John 20:22) & Christ had not yet been to the cross.
  • Can a child of God sin?
    The answer is no.
    • A child of God is an eternal spirit that temporarily lives in the flesh. They are responsible for controlling their flesh but are not condemned or charged with sin by God if they do a bad job.
    • "No one who is born of God practices sin, BECAUSE GOD'S SEED ABIDES IN HIM; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:9)
      • "You have been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed" (1 Peter 1:23).
        • Sin corrupts. Sin cannot touch our spirit.
    • "YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH BUT IN THE SPIRIT, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." (Romans 8:9)
      • This isn't talking about physical locality but identity.
    • "Because Christ died for all we are to no longer identify anyone according to the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:16).
  • You empower sin by holding onto it as part of your identity.
  • Perfect Spirits
    • In spirit we are perfect but our consciousness resides in the flesh. Our mind is the bridge between the spirit & the flesh. When we allow God to renew our minds we walk by the spirit.
    • His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness, THROUGH OUR TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM (2 Peter 1:3-4)
      • "Everything" means we lack nothing (are perfect) but we cannot experience "everything" or "perfection" unless we have true knowledge of Him.
    • I say we are perfect in the spirit only. That does not mean we see perfect behavior come out of us all the time. Nor does it mean that our fleshly minds have perfect knowledge. Our spirits have the mind of Christ. Our spirits "know all things" (1 John 2:20) but we cannot access that knowledge & righteousness if our fleshly minds are ignorant (unrenewed).
    • "The spirits of righteous men have been made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22-23).
  • "I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want." (Romans 7:15,19)
    • I once experienced the struggle Romans 7 talks about when I believed I was a sinner. But now that I truly walk by the spirit (which doesn't simply mean to act moral or obey the law, it means to know & focus on the spirit of God & what he has birthed as our spirit) I never experience the condition of Romans 7 but the freedom & empowered state spoken of in Romans 8 where I never have condemnation, guilt, or shame.
    • Twice in Romans 7 (17 & 20) Paul says, "It is no longer I who sin but sin living in me that sins." He is saying "I no longer sin." "I do not sin anymore." "When you see sin come out of my person it is not me who is doing it. I am not the cause or the source. I no longer produce sin." This gels perfectly with 1 John 3:9 which says someone who is born of God cannot produce sin. I can rightly say, "I, being a child of God, no longer sin."
      • "It is no longer I who sin but sin living in me that sins," has to be speaking of either the flesh, the mind (soul), the spirit, or some combination of those. Certainly it is at the very least talking about the spirit. IT MUST BE TALKING ABOUT ONE OF THEM or Paul is a liar & you must throw out his writings.
      • I no longer sin. Sin in my flesh still produces sinful actions if I don't walk by spirit but I, in my new spiritual identity in Christ, do not sin. Why? Because a birth establishes a new identity. "Your new creation has been created in God’s image. It is righteous and holy" (Ephesians 4:24).
    • "From now on we identify NO ONE according to the flesh (what else is there left to identify by but the spirit?). If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things PASSED AWAY; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) That new creature is new because it has been recently born. Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." New birth exclusively concerns the spirit because "A man cannot be born when he is old. He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born" (John 3:4). Our new creation is our spirit, we are not to identify ourselves according to the flesh. Don't hold onto the flesh as part of your identity, doing so empowers the enemy.
  • If "It is not I who sins but the sin living in me that sins," as Paul says in Romans 7:17,20, then who is responsible for the sins?
    • While there are various instigators for unloving actions (sin, Satan, the law, the body, lies that are believed) the unrenewed mind, which is flesh, is ultimately responsible for those actions occurring.
    • If you don't put to death the DEEDS of the flesh sin is going to come out of your body. If you don't mow the lawn it is going to continue to grow & get longer. Putting to death the deeds of the flesh is like mowing the lawn.
    • Renewing your mind is like uprooting the grass & plowing the dirt so sin will never grow there again. The less renewed your mind is the more unloving actions will show up in your behavior.
    • Truly it is not you, as a spiritual child of God, sinning. If sinful actions come out in your behavior it is your unrenewed mind that does not cut them off. Your mind is the bridge between the flesh & the spirit. The unrenewed parts of your mind are paved with old flesh. The renewed parts of your mind are paved with spirit.
    • Your mind can be used as a lawnmower, plow, or seed sowing hand. The unrenewed mind lets the grass grow. A partially spiritual area of the mind only mows the grass. A renewed area of the mind plows the land to prevent grass from growing in that area again. A fully renewed area of the mind sows good seed into the soil for fruit bearing life.
    • The love of the spirit, through renewed parts of the mind, takes responsibility for the unloving actions caused by the flesh & makes amends with the parties harmed. Christ made amends for our actions & relationally He continues to do so through us who walk by spirit.
  • So our spiritual identity in Christ isn't a false excuse to "get off the hook" for how we behave. It is our reborn identity perfectly loved by God that, given the opportunity, flows out only good things. It is our true self, our eternal self. It is not self-centered nor does it make excuses for the flesh's behavior. It is one spirit with God(1 Corinthians 6:17 & Ephesians 4:4) . It is God living in us, & with us, & through us. I will accept nothing less than the identity I know I was born into by the Spirit of God. I am not a sinner. I am perfected forever. I am perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I am one with God because He wanted to love me & I let Him. The fact that nothing can separate you from His love means you are already in His love. Absolutely nothing ever stands between you & His love. Trust Him & let Him love you as He wants to love you.

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