Why We Still Struggle
1 John 4:17
2 Corinthians 5:17
Yeah, I know you still sin. I do too! But this is not some name-it-and-claim-it approach. What I’m saying is: it doesn’t matter if you name it or claim it. If you are in Christ, it’s true. You are new. And here’s the thing: you’re going to prove your new identity one way or another – either by sinning and being miserable (because you’re not made for it!) or by living in dependency on Christ and being fulfilled. Either way, you prove that you are a peculiar person, out of the ordinary – a new creation that is like Jesus at the core (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 4:17). You’re not like the guy next door.
Yes, we’re still learning and growing in our knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18). There’s change going on in our minds, as our mindsets are experiencing a complete overhaul. But that doesn’t mean that our spiritual death with Christ was bogus. It definitely happened. But it was a spiritual surgery, not a mental one. At the center of your spiritual being, it happened. But much like a mobile device is constantly being offered a new download, our minds are being offered “updates” of truth: “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). Still, even with those software downloads still happening, remember that the spiritual hardware itself (our human spirit) is brand new and designed to operate with the latest soul software!
Don’t mistake the software for the hardware. Yeah, loads of Christians these days think they have a “sinful nature” and maybe another (new) nature right beside it. You know, two natures. This misconception comes about because we still sin and need to explain why. In so doing, we might mistake the software (which is in need of updates) for the hardware. We might think that because we’ve still got loads of stinking thinking to deal with, our hearts must still be sinful and wicked.
But the reality is that, despite the ongoing renewing of our minds, our hearts are new and obedient now (Romans 6:17). This is what it means to be born again, born of the Spirit, as a brand new creation at the very core of our being.