I wear eyeglasses, and I have worn them since I was a young boy. Without my eyeglasses on, everything is real fuzzy or foggy. I simply cannot see very well or very far off without them. But with them on, I can see 20/20, and everything looks clear, sharp, and focused.
The Christian life is a lot like the eyeglass analogy. We all have a choice each day whether to put them on and see clearly and focused, or leave them off and see blurred and fuzzy. When we live our lives through the lenses of our new man or our new identity in Christ, we exercise faith and walk in victory. But when we live our life through the lenses of our carnal mind, we live in unbelief and defeat. The carnal mind is the enemy of God.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:4-7
All Christians need to be aware that we have a carnal mind, a human soul (נֶפֶש nephesh, in Hebrew), that is at odds with God's Word and His Will. The carnal mind views life only from a natural perspective and interprets what it believes to be reality based upon what it sees, feels, and experiences. The carnal mind does not look through the eyes or faith of Jesus Christ into the spiritual world. If an immature Christian comes to all conclusions and make all decisions based only on what he feels or experiences, he might start doubting his salvation because, even though he is saved, he lives from the perspective of his carnal mind.
Christians need to have their souls changed. We all need to surrender daily to God as He sanctifies and transforms us by the renewing of our minds with the truth of His Word. Trying to get most Christians to wake up each morning and pray, “God change me today,” is harder to do than trying to send a man to Mars. This article is focusing on our new man or who we are in Christ, but don’t be deceived. Your carnal mind must be acknowledged and dealt with, or your wrong thinking will get you into a world of trouble. We need to have the mind of Christ, and we need to learn to think like Christ thinks. This transformation comes as we open our minds to receive the truth of God’s Word.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1,2
Sometimes we Christians are so aware of and impressed with our carnal minds that we are not aware of the miraculous regeneration that has taken place within our spirit. Because of this lack of awareness of what God has placed within us, we simply live life like the people of the world, through the perspective of our carnal minds, believing what we see more than believing God’s Word. When we do this, we acknowledge the devil's kingdom of darkness more than God’s kingdom of light. Most Christians are more impressed with the kingdom of darkness than they are of the Kingdom of God.
Christians will say, "Yes, Jesus lives in my heart," but live as if He were far away, only in heaven. Some might be aware of His Spirit within them, but they live as if He abides in a small closet somewhere hidden deep within the basement of their being. We should acknowledge and believe the miracle of regeneration, the spiritual new birth that took place in our spirit when we were born again, and we should realize that this is Jesus Christ Himself, the Creator of the universe, joined to and living within our spirit.
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing, which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 1:6
I cannot stress enough the importance of acknowledging every good thing that Jesus Christ has put into our spirits. We need to be aware that Jesus lives within us, and then we need to learn how to release His nature and power into our daily lives. We can do all things through Christ. He has regenerated our spirits, and we have been born again. We have a new man and a new identity that Jesus died on a cross to give us.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; Titus 3:4-6
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:3-7
When we were born again, a miracle took place in our spirits. Jesus Christ came into our spirits and made all things new.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17
Christ did not make all things new in our bodies, because we can plainly see that our bodies are still full of sickness and death. We are aging and heading toward the grave unless the rapture of God’s overcoming church takes place first. Furthermore, we know that our souls are not yet perfect, because they are being sanctified by the truth of God’s Word and transformed by the renewing of our minds daily. It was in our Spirits that all things were made new. Our Spirits are now joined to God’s Spirit.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. I Corinthians 6:17
The Holy Ghost Himself now lives in our beings.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? I Corinthians 6:19
Every born-again believer has Jesus Christ (The Living Word of God) living inside of them, and He is perfect and cannot sin.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9
As He is, so are we. We do not fear the judgment seat of Christ, not because we are so good or perfect, but because we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ and His perfection. My faith in Jesus changed everything for me. The day I was born again, He came and joined His Spirit to mine. So, I can say, “As He is, so am I,” not my carnal mind or my body, but my regenerated, born again spirit is just like Jesus, and He lives inside of me.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. I John 4:17
The statement, “as He is, so are we”, is amazing. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit now dwell or reside within our spirit. Very few Christians really believe that Jesus is alive in them, in their spirit. This is how the Apostle Paul could proclaim that I can do all things through Christ.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Once we believe that God is living within our spirit, then we can begin to release His power into our daily life. Yet, this is just the beginning, as we need to not only be aware of His abiding presence, but learn to release His nature and His power into our daily lives. We also need to learn that this born-again spirit is the real you, the real me. This is the new identity that God has given us, and it is this perspective from which we should view life.
When God regenerated our spirits, we became born again. All things were made new in our spirits. God Himself came to live there with all His perfection, divinity, and power and now we have a brand-new identity. We are saved, redeemed, and justified.
Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1
This means that our spirits are in right standing with God. The wall has been removed that separated us from God. All our sins have been forgiven and forgotten. We have been made righteous by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and saved from the penalty and punishment of sin.
I am now a child of God, a son to a loving Father, and God has put me in Christ, which means that I am clothed in His righteousness. If I stay in Christ, I experience no guilt, no condemnation, and no shame. God has given me a new life, a new spirit, a new man, a new identity, and this is who I am. This is the real me. My old man is crucified with Jesus at the cross and by faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, I can step into my new identity and walk in victory as I walk in the Spirit.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
Walking in the Spirit is viewing life through the lenses of my new man, my new Spirit joined to Jesus Christ living within me. When I see myself the way the devil desires for me to, then I immediately experience unbelief and doubt, because I am viewing life through the lenses of my carnal mind. Now I can live Galatians 2:20 and understand how this works in my life.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
My old man is dead with Christ at the cross by faith, but even though he died there, I can still live because I have been born again, and now I have a new man. I was buried with Jesus at baptism, but I came up with His resurrection life. And now I can walk in newness of life. This is the new life Jesus gave me when He regenerated my spirit, and I was born again. This is Jesus Christ in me, living the life that I could never have lived without Him. And I don’t even need my faith to do this, because I have the faith of Jesus Christ. It is through His eyes of faith that I walk through this life.
I live and walk by the faith of Jesus Christ. I am dead, but I live, but not me, it is Christ in me. God killed off my old man at the cross, so no longer am I a slave to sin. Instead, I am alive in the Spirit, and I can walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:6
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24
One of the devil's biggest schemes is to get Christians to live their lives from the perspective of their old man, even though he was crucified at the cross with Jesus Christ. Even though they have been given a brand-new life, a brand-new identity, they awake each morning not believing this great truth, so they revert to their old identity and live in unbelief and defeat.
I like the AA program as it has helped millions of addicts all over the world to stay sober. Most of what they teach is very good. However, if you would allow me to be a bit critical, there are two things that I do not like about it. One is that they instruct their students to submit to a higher power, and the students can choose the higher power of their choice, when we know that Jesus Christ is the only higher power than can help them.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
The second thing they do that I don’t particularly like is when everyone introduces themselves each meeting by stating, "Hi, my name is Bill, and I am an addict, or I am an alcoholic." By doing this they are keeping them enslaved in their old identity.
If I awaken every morning, looking at life through my old identity, I might begin my day something like this: "I am a sinner. I am unworthy. I am a mess. I have this gigantic carnal mind that is controlling me. I am a slave to sin." Then, my next thoughts are going to be something like this: "I am never going to get better. I am worse off now than I was before I was saved. I will never get the victory." Next, my thoughts might digress even worse to thinking: "I wonder if I am even saved. I am a big phony. I am a hypocrite. God will never be able to use me. I will never be able to please God enough to make the rapture." This is what happens when a Christian lives life through the lenses of his old identity.
Instead, we should walk by the faith of the Son of God and live life through our new man, our born-again spirit, or our new identity. Maybe our first thoughts of the day should go something like this:
"Thank you Jesus for saving me. You are so very good to me. You have made me righteous with Your own blood. You have made me holy, clean, and pure. I am in right standing with God. I am a child of God. You imputed Your holiness and righteousness onto me just because You are so good to me. By Your grace, You have made me a brand-new person. You love me so much that You regenerated my spirit. You gave me a born-again spirit, and now You live inside of me. I am dead, and my life is hid with Christ. You have forgiven me of my sins. You have destroyed the power of sin once and for all. My old man is crucified with You, and he is rendered powerless over me. Yet, I live. Yes, I live as Christ lives within me, and I walk in newness of life, the resurrected life of Jesus Christ”.
This is who I am in Christ Jesus. This is the real me. This is my new man, my new identity, that I have been given as my life is hid in Christ. I am not who the world says I used to be, and I am surely not who the devil tries to tell me that I am. I am living by the eyesight and faith of Jesus Christ, and I view God, myself, and others through the lenses of my new life in Christ. I have no guilt, no condemnation, and no more shame, for my sins are forgiven, and I am who Jesus says that I am. I am seeing myself the way God views me, and I am enjoying my relationship with God from His perspective. This is a much better way to begin your day, looking through the lenses of your new man instead of looking at life through the lenses of your old identity.
I have spent most of my Christian life thinking that God was very small inside of me and that my old man was still alive, strong, powerful, and very large. I have labored with the old man, against the law of God, trying to subdue and conquer his power, trying to shrink his size. This caused me to view life through the lenses of my old identity and to walk in constant unbelief, doubt, and defeat. I thank God that He showed me that my old man was crucified with Jesus at the cross. He is dead and powerless over me. I am no longer a slave to sin, for I am alive and free in Christ Jesus.
Later, I progressed to the stage that I knew that Jesus lived within me, but I still was unsure of how large He was in me and how much power to which I had access. I knew my old man was dead, but I still saw that my soul was still in bad shape. I still had a carnal mind to deal with that needed sanctifying and transforming. The devil magnified the size of my carnal mind, promoting it at every opportunity to make me think this carnal soul of mine was the real me and that although Jesus lives within me, I believed He must be a very small seed living somewhere deep within the basement of my being. Again, I was still defeated, living life through the lenses of my carnal mind.
Later, I realized that the truth of the miraculous regeneration, the new birth, happened in my spirit which was joined to the Holy Spirit, and “as Jesus was, so am I;” this set me free. In Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Godhead, the Creator of the universe, and He came to live in my spirit. He had been there the entire time I had been a Christian. I simply was not aware of it, and I certainly wasn’t acknowledging His presence. Once I saw that He lives in my spirit, then I realized this was who I am in Christ. Now I understand what it means to be in Christ. So, I am no longer living from my old identity. Instead, I am living life through my new identity that Jesus gave me.
Jesus Christ came and lived a perfect sinless life on this earth so that He could fulfill the law that we could never fulfill. Then, He suffered an agonizing death on a cross to die as our substitutionary, sacrificial offering in our place, for us. He went to hell for three days and nights to suffer our punishment, in our place. Afterwards, He arose from the dead and ascended to His Father. He did this to save us from our sins so He could come into our lives and regenerate us. Now, we can be born again, with a brand-new life and a brand-new identity.
Since Jesus paid such a steep price for this, don’t you think it would give God the greatest honor, glory, and respect if we would accept what He has done, receive it into our lives, and then acknowledge every good thing that He has put inside of us? Look how it would bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God for us to simply thank Him for our new life, our new man, our new identity and begin acknowledging this by viewing and living our life through the lenses of our new identity instead of our old identity. I encourage you to step into Christ, and live a life of victory through your new identity in Christ Jesus.