If you are born-again, the Scriptures say you risen with Christ. You are in union with Him! Sadly, we’ve mostly been taught by well-intentioned pastors and ministry leaders that we need to focus on our flesh, trying to “get right with God.”
This is so not what Paul teaches in his letters, but rather the reality is that sin is in our members – our body, or our flesh as some describe it. But, we have been raised to newness of life in Christ, and sin is NOT a part of the new man that has been born-again. Colossians 1:3 says it wonderfully:
“Since, then, you have been made alive with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
So, instead of looking and struggling with sin, look at the reality of your new man being joined to Him.
If you are looking at and are focused on the flesh, you will not mature in Him. The new creation does not sin, but rather is resurrected in Christ, having been buried with Him and risen with Him. Read the Scriptures and ask God to open the eyes of our understanding. You cannot “get right with God” through your efforts or your adherence to or abstaining from certain behaviors. You are “right with God” simply and only through the sacrifice He made of His only begotten Son. If you could “get right with God” in your flesh and by your own effort(s) you would not need a Savior.
It’s a matter of focus. Are you looking at your flesh, which will never measure up to God’s standards of holiness? Or, are you looking at Him, and at your born-again new nature which is created in His image and is in constant union with Him?
Seeing Him is the only way to effect real change in your behavior, as the Scriptures teach, “It is His grace that leads us to repentance.”
Focus: Flesh vs the New You
The choice is clear: Continue to look at your sin and your failures and your inability to change, or look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. As you ponder and rest in His awesome, unfailing love, you will see more and more of His nature being a part of your life. Change will happen by the strengthening of your innermost self. Where are you focused? On yourself, or on the great God of the universe and His finished work that He accomplished in His Son, Jesus?
The Bible says that God’s ways are higher than our ways. This is so true, especially when we look at ourselves and feel and have been taught to be laser-focused on our sin and failings. God’s ways are different, calling for a laser-focus on Him. It’s simple but yet so awesome, so profound. Gaze upon the goodness of the Lord and watch the changes in your life that have been so elusive become a reality. Look to Him and to His amazing love and grace!