Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -1 Corinthians 5:17
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind… -Romans 12:2a
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. -1 Corinthians 9:27
It’s funny how sometimes you can hear something you’ve heard a million times over the course of your life, but one day it just “clicks” with you. Or more likely, the Holy Spirit, illuminates, and hits it home for you. I was in church a couple of weeks ago and my pastor preached a sermon entitled “Strength and Struggles” and a light bulb went off for me.
How many of us have found ourselves in a Christian walk struggling with some sin or the other? Or maybe you have some other pattern of anger or pride and you just can’t seem to shake it? If you are born again you are a new creation. You are not the same. You did nothing to earn it. God has made your spirit new. Yet, the struggle remains. How can this be? If you’re anything like me, the struggle can go from a nuisance to, in some cases, an all out crisis of faith. How can I struggle like this when I am a Christian? I shouldn't have these thoughts, etc. The inner monologue wages war against yourself and it’s so easy to get discouraged. Like a newly adopted child who doesn’t understand the ways of their new family, so we, though we have been adopted into the Family of God, can still walk in the ways of our former family of darkness.
Something my pastor said that Sunday really helped me. Yes, our spirits are new. We are born again. We are new creations. BUT…our minds must be continually renewed and our bodies must be disciplined. We may be a new creation, but if we consistently feed ourselves things that nourish the flesh, how can we hope to walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit?
This is not a legalistic message. This is not a condemning message. If you are in Christ, you are adopted. You are part of new family. Be encouraged, you must fight the good fight. You must renew your mind daily. You must discipline your body. We are all in the same boat. There are no SUPER Christians who this somehow magically comes easy to. The Holy Spirit will help us if we but ask. We are not in competition with other believers to earn the approval of God. We have His approval through Jesus Christ. We are adopted. We are in the family. Be encouraged today.