When we think of the cross, the first thought that often comes to mind is sin. Jesus died to take away our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But the truth is that the cross accomplished so much more than we can even comprehend. We had an old life, one that was lost in sin and doomed to death because of that sin. But now we have access to a new life, one that is hidden in Christ Jesus our Savior. And when we are born into new life… everything changes.
Before Christ, mankind had a serious problem with sin. But that wasn’t our only problem. Yes, we struggled with specific sins and obeying God’s commands, but the Bible tells us that we were actually in bondage to sin. The enemy had a hold on our lives, and we were unable to break free from his power. We also had a death problem – both spiritually and physically. Needless to say, we needed Jesus!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Old Self vs New Self:
- Our “old self” was crucified with Jesus on the cross. This ended sin’s power over us. We are no longer enslaved but have been set free from sin!
For we know that our “old self” was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. – Romans 6:6-7 (HCSB)
- Our “new self” lives by the Spirit of God – with God’s laws written on our hearts instead of on stone.
But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law. – Romans 7:6 (HCSB)
- Our “old self” was corrupted. Our hearts were deceitful and couldn’t be trusted. But in Jesus, we are given the mind of Christ. We have access to a “new self” – one that is righteous, pure, and embodies the truth of God.
You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. – Ephesians 4:22-24 (HCSB)
- It is our responsibility to take off our “old self” and put on our “new self.”
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. – Colossians 3:9-10 (NIV)
The enemy no longer has any authority in our lives, and we are no longer slaves to his ways. The Bible also tells us that God provides a way out of all temptation we could possibly face. (1 Corinthians 10:13) This is good news indeed!
But even though Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to be made new, we must put forth the effort to put on this new self and to never revert back to our “old self” ways.
Never forget: We have been given the Holy Spirit to empower our lives. He is more than capable of teaching us and strengthening us to live the new life God has given us!
“But what about sin? Why do Christians still sin if we have been set free from its power?”
When it comes to believers, one of the enemy’s main tactics is to tell us that our old selves never left – that somehow they still have power in our lives and that we will always struggle with our old sinful natures.
But that is a lie… and I know it’s a lie because it contradicts the Bible’s teachings to believe that our sinful natures are anything other than crucified and dead. (Romans 6:1-14)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. – Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT)
The key is to continually live by the Spirit. When we abide in Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we are living in the “new self” that Christ purchased for us on the cross. When we allow ourselves to be influenced by the world, however… that is when the enemy likes to entice us with our “old self” way of living.
So if the enemy is trying to convince you that your sin nature is still alive, active, and powerful in your life, remind him of this spiritual truth: Our sinful nature was crucified. He is a dead man, and we are alive in Christ! And a dead man is no match for our new, Holy Spirit-empowered selves!
In His mission to save us, our Messiah made a way for us to have new life. We were dead in our sin, and now we are alive in Him.