In the last post, I suggested that it is the Christian’s right self image, that is, understanding who they are in Christ which is to fuel and motivate them as they put sin to death. Theology provides rich fodder for doing this. Here are three suggestions:
- Firstly, the believer can remember their status in Christ. From the first three chapters of Ephesians, the believer can say, “I am adopted by God through Christ Jesus; I am redeemed and forgiven in accordance with the riches of God’s grace; I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ to do good works; I am seated in the heavenly realms with Christ; I am a member of God’s household, etc.”
- Secondly, they can remember the work of the Spirit in them. For this Galatians’ language of keeping in step with the Spirit is beneficial. Paul speaks of what has already happened: we already live by the Spirit; that is why we keep in step with him (5:25).
- Thirdly, the Christian can remember that they are no under sin’s dominion. As Grudem says, they can remind themselves that a statement like “This sin has defeated me” is incorrect. While they can never in this life say, “I am completely free from sin”, they can say, “sin is not my master; it has no dominion over me; in Christ, I have the power to overcome its temptations and enticements.”
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.