I grew up in church. Ever since I can remember, church had been a vital part of our family life. My father was a church planter, which means I was a pastor’s kid. A PK. As an adult, I have been an active, serving church member most of the time. There is little in church life than can take me by surprise. I think I have seen or heard most of it.
In every congregation, you will find people that fit the following profiles:
A man that physically abuses his wife and children;
A man addicted to pornography;
People with anger management problems;
People stuck in sexual sin;
People stuck in substance abuse of some sorts (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, medication, etc);
And the list continues.
These people are often regular church attending members, with these secret sins nobody know of. In other cases they are well-known, being counseled by the poor pastor or his wife virtually on a daily basis. They cannot break free.
What are you battling with? Your first reaction might be that you don’t have such serious issues in your life. My question in return would be: who classified sin as serious or not serious anyway? We can add the following to the list: gossip, telling lies, not submitting to the powers above you (parents, pastor, employer, etc.), breaking the law by ignoring the traffic regulations, etc.
That bad habit you have been feeling so guilty about – that’s the one I am referring to. That thing you do when you are all alone – that is the one I am talking about. You see you are not alone in this! Most of the Christians today are still stuck in sin! And most Christians still refer to themselves as sinners. “I am just a sinner, saved by grace”. Oh but we are so humble aren’t we? No, we are ignorant. We were sinners. We are not sinners anymore.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)
That moment when you surrendered it all and gave your life to Jesus, in that moment you have been made new. Brand new. The old person is no longer there. There is a new person! Old things, old sins, old habits – at that moment, they all passed away. So why are we battling? Because we are ignorant! You accepted your salvation by faith right? There was nothing tangible that you could see? By faith you believed that you were born into God’s family. In the same way, by faith, you should believe that you have been recreated! Yes, satan will come against you with all he has! And all he has is your old life! That is what he will use against you. He will tempt you with the same sins you were in before. He will try to convince you that you cannot change your ways. He will try to tell you that resisting the temptation is just too hard. And if you yield to those thoughts, you will stay stuck in that sin.
This verse is the first of many you have to add to your arsenal of ammunition. Memorise it! When you are tempted again, reflect on this verse. Meditate on it. You are no longer the old person. You have been made new. You can resist the temptation. You can change your habits. You can exercise self control. Why? Because you are a new creation!