But what about the sins I still do? If I still steal, am I still a thief? If I still think lustful thoughts, am I still an adulterer?
Here’s where the message gets really good…
You are no longer identified by the things you do. You are identified by your relationship with Jesus. You are His. He is in you and you are in Him. You are pure and righteous because He is pure and righteous—and you remain pure and righteous, no matter what you do, because He remains pure and righteous. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you always. He is your life.
What that means is that your actions may be like those actions you used to do, but they are part of the past. Even future sins are part of your past. They are what has been washed away in Jesus.
So, if you steal, you are not a thief in God’s eyes. You are a saint who chose poorly. You are a Christian who is participating in the things of the past. You are a new person who has chosen to act according to the old way.
There are many reasons not to do the things God calls sin. The people around you probably won’t accept an excuse that you just chose poorly. Those who steal will be treated as thieves by the world, and rightly so since the world still operates in the past. A Christian who commits adultery will suffer the consequences of an adulterer because those temporal or earthly consequences have been built into the world and flesh systems. He may still lose his family, his reputation, even his ministry. Don’t expect anyone else to see you in the same way God sees you if you continue to live according to the past.
If you live and act according to the past, expect to be treated and viewed by others according to the past.
God sees you as His. One of His children. He accepts you and loves you. Nothing has changed. He allows the consequences offered by this world to affect you so that you will see the truth about yourself. The life of the past is no longer yours. You are free and clean and you don’t have to do those things. They are of your past, not your present. Today, you are a new creature, living a new life, citizen of a new realm.
And listen: God is not content with being the only one who sees you that way. He wants you to see yourself that way. He wants you to know that there is a new life for you and you can live that new life in Him. Each day is a new opportunity to live according to the Spirit, rather than the flesh. He invites you to live in that new life and let the old things go. The old has passed away and the new has come.
One more thing: As you walk with Jesus, accepting His opinion of you, He will open your eyes to see others in the same way. Even though other believers may do things from the past, even things that hurt you, you will learn not to label them as anything other than children of God who chose poorly. They have their journey, just like you and I do.