Christ Has Made Us New
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Too many times, we as Christians can walk around feeling dejected and shamed because of our sins. We lament over our actions and condemn ourselves because of them. We beat ourselves up over our shortcomings and join with Paul in saying, "Wretched man that I am!" (Romans 7:24) We say about ourselves, "I'm a dirty sinner," or, "my heart is corrupt." The fact of the matter is, though, that Christians are no longer those things. "I once was lost, but now I'm found." We were once sinners, but because Christ died for us, we are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), no longer defined by sinfulness. "The blood of Jesus, [God's] son, cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) "Sinner" is no longer our name. We are no longer seen by God as "wretched men," but as "children of God." (Romans 8:16, Philippians 2:15, 1 John 3:1) "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1) Christ hung wounded and bloodied on a cross, died a sinner's death, and rose again from the dead so that we would no longer find condemnation from the sin that would bring death in us. "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Corinthians 15:20) Christians are no longer beaten by death because of Christ!
I have found myself holding myself back from the blessings of God by speaking negative things about myself. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." (Proverbs 18:21) When we speak poorly about ourselves, we begin to give life to the lies of Satan who says we are not redeemed, we are not made new, and that Christ's blood is not sufficient to cleanse us of our sins. God's Scripture is very clear about our identity. "All Scripture is God-breathed." (2 Timothy 3:16) Therefore, all that Scripture has to say about us is true. To speak negatively about oneself is to contend with the truth of Scripture. I have never benefitted from beating myself up. I have never spoken life over myself by saying that I am a sinner. These things are not beneficial to believers.
Yes, we sin, and yes, we fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23) but we are not defined by those things. We may lift weights every once in a while, but that doesn't make us bodybuilders. Bodybuilding is a way of life. So it is with sinfulness. "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24) Our flesh is dead, crucified with Christ and no longer in power over us. That is the power of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. "If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:10-11) "Therefore lift your drooping heads and strengthen your weak knees," (Hebrews 12:12) because you are a new creation, a child of God, and sin cannot hold you down!