Sunday, May 18, 2008

141. Do our sinful actions negate our righteous identity in Christ?

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  1. Thanks for a better understanding
    on this subject.
    I find myself battling constantly against evil desires and acts of the flesh,yet i know, in Christ, i'm made right,but it pains me,hurts, this battle i'm in.
    When will i be delivered..?

  2. Hi there,

    First of all I just want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle. There are many people around the world who are dealing with what you're dealing with. As far as being an overcomer in the battle, one thing that Mike and I like to emphasize is how the true battle is a battle of identity.

    To quote to of our favorite authors/teachers:

    "We, like Jesus, have only one great battle to fight in this life - the battle of identity. All other battles revolve around this. With identity, self-image and self-worth intact, obeying God, avoiding sin and conquering temptation is very easy. The area of identity will be the number one area in which Satan will attack us. Like Jesus, it will be a lifetime battle. Only to the degree that we can be undermined in this area can we be conquered." - James B. Richards

    "Understanding our identity is absolutely essential to our success in living the Christian life. No person can consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with the way he perceives himself. Next to a knowledge of God, a knowledge of who we are is by far the most important truth we can possess." - Steve McVey

    Overcoming the flesh is not actually a battle of trying to overcome the flesh. :) It's really a matter of growing in our understanding of God's love and grace, and who we are in Him. Doesn't it seem to be true that the more we focus on how sinful our behavior is, the more we seem to sin?

    But the more we learn about who God has already made us to be, and dwell upon His goodness and love, the more we will naturally walk as who we truly are in Him.

    To answer your question, "when will i be delivered?" - It's truly a matter of a lifetime of growing. While we're truly perfected forever in Christ (Hebrews 10:14), we're still in a lifetime process of "being sanctified" - that is, growing in the outward expression of who God has already made us to be.

    I know how painful it is. We hurt ourselves, we hurt others, due to the things we do. But with God's grace we grow in learning to love with His love.