Today weíll look at what Paul says in his letter to the Colossian believers regarding our sinnerís identity. In Colossians 3:2-3 it says ďSet your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.Ē
The good news of the gospel contains the following two elements: a) when Jesus died on the Cross, we died with him and our old, sinnerís identity ceased to exist; b) we each have a new life and a new identity hidden in Christ with God. So, what does this all mean for us as believers?
Well, if the sinner died and no longer exists then the sinnerís identity no longer exists and it follows then, without question, that the attributes of that identity donít exist either. Colossians 3 goes on to identify some of these attributes: Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language. Galatians 5 gives us some more: debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. These lists are not exhaustive and King Davidís prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 is a great way to find out if there are other sinful things in our lives that we should be aware of.
A lack of knowledge of the fate of the sinnerís identity allows Satan to deceive us into believing that these things are still part of us and, whilst we try to avoid them, we accept them as a normal in our lives. Itís a crafty scheme because we waste our time and energy trying to avoid things that no longer exist! Also, itís a fact that our life experience sometimes appears to confirm this lie. Itís good to know that truth always trumps fact. The truth is that they really donít exist any longer and instead of trying to avoid them we can simply choose to ignore them.
The issue before us now is how to walk in our new nature without getting into the Romans 7 struggle (works) that we talked about yesterday. Weíll look at that tomorrow.