The life of the born again Christian believer is, or ought to be, a constant journey of discovery about who our new “Boss” is, the Kingdom that He is the head over, and how we have now been made a citizen of that Kingdom. We must learn what our new identity in Him is, and what rights and privileges have now been given to us.
After I was married in 1988, having gotten saved and filled with God’s spirit in 1984, and because I was having difficulty changing some things in my life, I started to muse that Jesus had an edge on us humans. Now most people, even believers I dare say, would say that He did have an edge, and in one respect, it would appear that He did; He was God. I used to ponder how Jesus was not trained in sin like we are, seeing as how He did not have a natural father like we do. We are born into sin by virtue of an earthly father, whereas He was not born into sin, but had the blood of His Heavenly Father in His veins. And so, many of us revere Him as God (and He is, no doubt about it) and we tend to see the things that he did and the life He lived as unattainable to us “mere mortals.” This puts the life that Jesus lived entirely out of our own reach. We think we can never be holy, or that we will always sin because we are not like Him. But we ARE like Him, we have BEEN MADE like Him….that’s the point. We are saved and have a new nature that He gave us on our insides, but we still struggle with sin such as I was at that time. We must not use that thinking to give us an excuse to stay in sin. We have been delivered from sin! Therefore, we are free from it. The bible says so.
Thus, what are we to do with a scripture such as this from 2 Peter 1:3-4 that says,“by these exceedingly great and precious promises we may partake of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.”?
In Ephesians 2:4-6, it says “He has raised us up and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” When He was raised, we were raised.
Mark 16…”these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall speak with new tongues, raise the dead, lay hands-on the sick.” I suppose one could say, conversely, these signs shall not follow those who don’t believe…such as what we see (or not see as the case may be) in most professing Christian communities in the U.S.
I am not trying to diminish the supremacy and Godhood of our Savior who took our sins away, by suffering a cruel death on our behalf as payment for sins. He is infinitely supreme. Jesus is the second Person of the Godhead and currently sits on the throne of the universe, where all judgment has been committed to Him. But if we don’t understand who He has made us to be as a part of His family and heirs of His kingdom, we will never get over our small thinking to experience the victory He intended us to have.
As I stated earlier, I had this idea, this question in my heart about Jesus having an edge on us. Jesus was born as a baby like all of us. He grew up and needed to be trained in the scriptures (you might disagree with that) just like us. However for the rest of us, we were trained in sin, listening to lies the devil told us, day after day, and not realizing we were being lied to. We adopted the ways of the world. Jesus lived without sin, which is incredible for a human being on any level. Because of that fact, He became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the human race. When the devil tried to get Him to accept his lies, Jesus dealt with those temptations by speaking God’s word to him. That is what we too must do when we are challenged with the devil’s lies. We use the truth of God’s word just like Jesus did.
So I had been pondering this thought for some time, off and on. Jesus had an edge on us because he never had a sin nature, like we do. One day, and I can tell you exactly where I was when God spoke to me regarding this. The thought came into my mind for the umpteenth time that Jesus never had a sin nature, when I distinctly had these words come to my mind, “And you don’t have it any more either.”
Wow. That was truth. Because I was born again, I no longer had the sin nature either, just like Jesus. It had been removed when I accepted Him as Lord and Savior. I was now free from it. That didn’t mean I never sinned. Obviously, the Bible speaks of having our minds renewed by the word of God, so that process needed to happen and to continue, training me in the ways and the truth of what God desires for all of us. But salvation, accepting Him as my Savior and being filled with His Spirit gave me a new HEART, one that desired to follow Him and to do what He told me to do, a heart that no longer desired to sin, a heart that wanted to flee from any sin.
Let me explain what the sin nature is. The sin nature is the spiritual part of us that, before salvation, operated under another “father,” the father of lies, the devil. Until Jesus is our Lord and Savior, that is our only option. We are locked into that from birth. We really have no choice in the matter, as the spiritual part of us is under the domain of the evil one and that is what drives us to sin. We need a new nature to change that. In the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 36 (see below), God says He will give us a new nature and a new heart, one that will want to obey Him.
Once a person is saved and makes Jesus the Lord of their life, he gets a new spirit or nature, one that does not WANT to sin. This was prophesied in the Old Testament. God says I will give them a new spirit and write my laws on their hearts….The Spirit of God comes to dwell in us and help us live this new God-life. God elevates us and gives us dominion over sin. We no longer HAVE to sin. Once we really come to grips with the fact that “sin no longer has dominion over us,” (Romans 6:14) we can actually embrace this reality! This is excellent news! Even Cain in the Old Testament was told he could have mastery over sin! (Gen. 4:7) Ponder this deeply. This is a Kingdom truth! This will lift your heart in faith to believe you can change your life. You CAN live holy. That doesn’t mean you won’t make a mistake, but your new nature loves God and desires to please Him and so you are continually on that quest to follow and please Him.
Humans no longer have to live under the power of the devil. Those who are born again are new creations and have now been elevated to a position of authority over the devil and all his works. He’s bread for us! But you must be born again so you can be free from sin and get that new heart living inside of you. Yes, you may struggle with some sin until your mind is renewed, but never give up. The Holy Spirit will never stop helping you. Jesus died so that you could be free. And that, my friends, is no small thing. If we will embrace these truths, He has things for us to do so serve His kingdom and do the works that He did, and even greater works He said we would do. He elevated us to do the things He did while He was here on earth. That includes healing the sick. We can’t do that if we don’t believe what the scriptures say. God is a supernatural God.
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Ezekiel 11:19 “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.“
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
2 Corinthians 3:3 “…clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.“