When Judy and I disagree and I go into “defend yourself, make three preaching points and get your way” mode, I often win the argument. But it never feels as good as I thought it would. In fact, I feel a little sick inside.
When Judy and I disagree and I give up my rights, listen to her, and determine to love her well as Christ loves the church, I usually lose the argument. But it always feels better than winning. In fact, I feel a little euphoric.
How do you explain this?
My new identity as a Christian: When I trusted in Christ, I became a new creation.
I’m not who I use to be; I do not have to act the way I use to act, and I get more pleasure out of doing what Christ would do than doing what the old Ed would have done.
This doesn’t mean that I always do what Christ would do, but it does mean that the new Ed, Christ in me the hope of glory, is only satisfied completely when I’m living out of who I am in Christ.
There’s a big difference between shaming and manipulating people into doing what Christ would do and telling Christians that they don’t have to live the way they use to.
The same difference there is between grace and works. Grace never fails; works always fail.
So, has anyone ever told you that when you trusted in Christ you became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)? Or, explained to you that you were set free from not only the guilt of sin, but its tyranny (Romans 6:14)? That the real you, the forever you, the Jesus life inside you will never be satisfied with the life you use to live? And that you have the power of God within you to live a life only explained by His presence and power?
If not, then let me be the first.
If you have believed in Jesus, you are not who you use to be. Your life is comingled with Him in inseparable ways. You have the power to resist sin. You have the power to live the life He always wanted to give you and that your redeemed heart longs for.
That’s how I explain that—by the most radical New Testament truth in the Bible:
It’s a mystery now revealed to His saints: “What are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Question: Do you feel better when you win at all costs or when you lose for the sake of Christ?