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Monday, May 18, 2020

Cut Away

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
—Colossians 2:11-12 (NLT)

Do you experience the new life Jesus has given you, or are you overcome with feelings of guilt and shame that keep you from relishing it?  Do past sins or even worry you are going to do something wrong, consume your thoughts? When you came to Jesus, you had what Paul calls a “spiritual circumcision.” This was more than just a physical procedure. Your sinful nature was cut away by the precious blood of Christ. 

“Since we have died to sin,” Paul wrote to the Romans, “how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Romans 6:2-4, NLT).

Your sinful nature was cut away and buried with Christ in death. Then just as Jesus was raised from the dead, your new life—your new nature—rose from the dead by the glorious power of the Father. You have died to sin, Paul wrote, how can you continue to live in it?

“You also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote (Romans 6:11, NLT). Sin will have its way in your life if you don’t believe you are dead to it. When you believe Jesus took your punishment and that God is not keeping a record of your sins, you experience the power to overcome sin. Jesus came to save the world from sin and not condemn it. Condemnation holds a person in the shame of their sin until they forget who they are in Jesus. Instead of experiencing the freedom of one washed clean and forgiven, they hold onto their identity as a sinner. They don't live the joy of their salvation because the fear of falling has set them up to fail.

The precious grace of Jesus is NEVER a license to sin. His grace is the miracle that sets us free from sin. But if we deliberately sin, then we hurt ourselves. There are consequences to sin. God hates sin because He loves us. Do you believe He wants us suffering the consequences of sin? As a believer with the new nature of Christ, you experience conviction when faced with temptation. There is a strain between your new nature, which Jesus gave you at salvation, and the flesh where sin works.

If you are tired of experiencing that strain and the temptation to sin, then there is hope! Stop focusing on sin and put your focus on Jesus Christ. What you dwell on—what you continuously think about–can become your obsession. Wouldn't you rather obsess over the positive and incredible love of Jesus than the negative and condemning fear of sin?

Every judgment God demanded for our sin fell on Jesus. The Cross is where everything changed. Sin was crucified. Separation from God was crucified. Sickness was crucified. He was pierced on the Cross for you. Your old nature was cut away. His new life rose from the grave in you. Rejoice in your new life! Give praise and power to Jesus! You will discover the old is gone. Jesus’ work on the Cross for you is not a dream. It is finished. 

©2020 Lynn Lacher

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