After 30 years of living in 27 rentals around the world, Mark and I bought our first home. It was a little terrifying.
When we took possession of the house, we begin to discover little things that we hadn’t noticed before: a hidden sprinkler head, an antique table and even a dirty storm shelter. We hadn’t known that the house included those items, but were pleasantly surprised when we discovered them.
Most of us receive our faith in the same way. We know that Jesus is somehow forgiving us of our sins and coming to live within us. Yet, we don’t realize the greatest benefits of all.
One of those is our relationship with sin.
I was six when I began my personal relationship with Jesus. Pastor Pope led me through some verses in Romans about my separation from God and how His Son could bridge that gap (Romans 3:23, 10:13). I understood that if I believed in Jesus, He would forgive me of sin and give me eternal life. It was a deep, yet very simple process.
What didn’t occur to me was that I would be tempted (and fall into) sin again.
So, what was the point of my salvation?
The answer lies in one of those hidden benefits of faith.
Whether I realized it or not, Jesus hadn’t just come into my existing heart to try to remodel it. He had totally replaced it (Ezekiel 36:26).
He hadn’t just fortified my prevailing personality with an extra dose of spiritual ump. No, when I believed Him, my old inner man was automatically fused with His own crucifixion. Since time cannot limit on God (2 Peter 3:8), He was very adept in linking a present action with a one in the past. Taking my present sinful nature and having it die with Christ 2000 years ago was not a problem to Him (Romans 6:6).
You see, when Christ died, God enacted a spiritual mandate. From this point forward, everyone who believes in Him would spontaneously have their life traded out for His – whether they understand that or not (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Think of it this way: Corks float. It is their nature to do so. Of course, you can put something heavy on it to force it down, but that doesn’t remove its nature to float.
When you receive Christ as your Lord, you receive a new nature. This new nature doesn’t practice the habit of sinning (1 John 3:9).
That’s not to say that we don’t mess up (1 John 1:8). But now, sin bothers me. It is no longer my nature to disregard it. Your awareness of sin is one of the assurances that you are now His! Now, our bent is to come to God to be restored back to our new nature (1 John 1:9).
Jesus explains this clearly: “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean.” (John 13:10) Once I invite Him to wash off my daily dust, I am restored to my fresh God nature.
Thank Him for your new clean nature today. Rejoice in who He is making you to be.