Robert McGee in his book, The Search for Significance, shares a story about a man who lost his mind, got down on all fours and began barking like a dog. Sometimes we, who are born again in Christ, do something similar. We act like someone we really aren’t.
Even though the gospel of Christ says we have been recreated by the hand of God, therefore, there is no longer anything negative about us, we live with feelings of shame and guilt. Even though Scripture tells us we have been given a brand new nature with new potential and new capacities, we still see ourselves as inept and worthless. We underestimate our value. We know the gospel, yet we continue to live out our lives as though we are defeated. We act like someone we really aren’t, like the man in McGee’s story. Does our wrongful thinking change the fact that God values us greatly? No. We have the utmost value in God’s eyes no matter what we think, but we don’t experience much of the good consequence of what Christ has done for us if we are stuck in unbelief.
We live our lives as “someone we no longer are” when we have head- knowledge without heart- agreement with God concerning three specific things – what Christ accomplished for us, how valuable we are and who Christ has made us to be. We have failed to agree with God concerning the truth that we have been reconciled to God, given the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and recreated in our spirits as a new creation in Christ. We fail to recognize that our value was determined by the price paid for us – the life of God’s only begotten Son! We know the words. We say the words. But we do not always agree with them. In other words, we don’t believe God.
There is power in agreement and until we come to the place that we agree with what God says about us, we will continue to live in our old patterns of thinking and sin even though we have a new life waiting to be nurtured. Agreement with God releases the power of God and the new creation within.
Romans 6:1-11 teaches us that when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior something miraculous happened to us. Yes, our salvation happened but there was more. At that moment, we actually died with Christ and then resurrected with Him unto new life. That means sin no longer has spiritual or legal power over us. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6).
So why is it we struggle with this body, and its thoughts and desires, when it is supposed to be dead? The New Spirit Filled Life Bible commentary explains, “The body of sin refers to the sinful nature within us, not to the human body. Secondly the Greek verb translated done away with does not mean to become extinct, but to be defeated or deprived of power.
In other words, you may still struggle with your old way of thinking and being because it is still hanging around. However, just because it wants to hang out with you doesn’t mean it has power over you. In fact, Scripture declares it has NO power. Your old nature has been defeated and stripped of its power! Christ did this for you! To rid yourself of feelings of inferiority, shame, guilt and other sin, you must renew your mind to what God says and while doing so, agree with God that your old nature has lost all of its power. You have been set free.
As believers, we no longer desire to sin – we have died to the love of sinful deeds, yet we are not yet dead to all of our old nature’s sinful influences. We have to say “NO” just like we tell our kids to do when their friends try to influence them to do something they know not to do. We must determine not to let sin – in thought, word or deed – reign in our bodies. I would encourage you to study the benefits Christ has given to you through His work of propitiation, regeneration, reconciliation and justification. As you begin to agree with God concerning these powerful truths, I guarantee you – better yet, the Scripture guarantees you will begin to experience the power of God in your life like never before. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as a man thinks, so he is. Agree with God and your mind, will and emotions will begin to express the new creation that you are. Then it will be seen in your actions. You will quit acting like someone you really aren’t and begin to act like the real you – a power-filled, born again child of the living God.
By the way, I do recommend the book by Robert McGee, The Search for Significance for anyone who struggles with feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, judgmental attitudes, fear of failure, or fear of punishment. It is a long study, but full of biblical principles and truths that will set you free.