Living According to Your New Nature
This post is an excerpt from a message I just shared entitled, “You Can Live Righteously.” We were answering the question, “Why do Christians continue to sin?” The text for the message was Colossians 3:5-11. You can check out of the full message by going to www.lifebaptistchurch.com, click on media, click on video, and then select the message from the group.
The answer to our primary question came after a significant discussion on the death of the sin nature. Christians do not have two natures (the sin nature and the spirit nature). The sin nature dies at salvation and the spirit nature is given simultaneously. The reason Christians continue to sin is not because we have a sin nature. Christians sin because they choose to living according to the desires of the flesh (the traits, tendencies, and habits developed under the sin nature) and not according to their new nature in Christ.
At the end of the message, I shared 3 parts on living according to your new nature. It’s one thing to know you have a new nature in Christ; it is another thing to live according to that new nature.
How do I live according to my new nature in Christ?
First, we must know and reflect upon our new nature. You apply this step by spending time with Christ, time in the Word, and focused time studying your position and possessions in Christ. It comes by continuing to seek and set your mind on things above. It comes by Christ practically becoming your life. For greater explanation, follow the same directions above and check out the message entitled, “Developing An Overcoming Mindset.”
Second, we must submit our mind, will, and actions before Christ. This is not a one-time submission; it’s a continual submission (case by case, problem by problem, sometimes moment by moment). The Christian life is not you living for God; it’s God living through you. God gave you a new spirit (His Spirit; John 14:16-17). God gave you a new nature (the nature of Christ; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4). Paul told the Galatians that he would labor until Christ is formed in you (4:19). God’s predestined plan is that we are conformed into the character of Christ (Romans 8:29).
Third, we must humble ourselves before the Lord and trust that He can live righteousness through us. God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). The motto of a person living in this state of humility is, “I can’t, but Christ can through me.” We are to humble ourselves before God. Likewise, we must trust that Christ will live through a life submitted to Him.
Here’s what it looks like when packaged together. A trial comes. Instead of taking on the problem yourself, you humble yourself before the Lord. “God, I can’t but you can through me.” You submit your mind, will, and actions to Christ in prayer. You recognize that you no longer have a sin nature; you have Christ’s nature enabling you to be victorious. Your dead spirit has been replaced with God’s Spirit.
Between the time you submit the problem to God until the time God directs you with the next step—you are to set your mind on things above. Reflect upon your position in Christ; remember your possessions in Christ. Set your mind on things above. As God lives His life through you, our part is to obediently respond to His promptings.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s a process. The more you do it, the more it comes naturally. The more you do it, the more you practically walk in righteousness. The more you practice this process, the more you see God living His life through you.
You can live righteously…if Christ is living through you.
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