When we say we know someone, what we are implying is that we not only know who they are but their mannerisms, their nature. We have gained an understanding of who we believe them to be based on time spent with them, listening to what they say and what they do. The vast majority of people in the world will form their opinions of who someone is and what they are like based on that person’s words and actions, and we, the Christians, unfortunately are no different. We do this even though we have been admonished not to form any opinion of a person based on their natural actions.
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
This is done mostly because we still believe that what we hear and what we see is reality, while relegating everything that pertains to what Jesus did on the cross to just some spiritual theology that has very little to do with our natural existence; just something we will receive the benefits of after we die. I’m not just talking about salvation as most would define salvation, but am talking about every aspect of your life. We cannot define ourselves or others based on natural actions. Let me explain it this way.
2 Corinthians 5:21 states:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
According to the above scripture, as one who has accepted Jesus as savior and made Him lord of your life, you are now the righteousness of God. You have been given God’s righteousness, just as if you had never sinned. Now that is truth, that’s reality! But you may say, “but I keep messing up, I don’t really act very righteous.” Now that may be true but remember we don’t know ourselves after the flesh. You didn’t do anything to earn your righteousness and you can’t do anything to make yourself any less righteous! Your problem is that you don’t see yourself as the righteousness of God and so don’t act like the righteousness of God. There is a spiritual principle that says you will go in the direction you gaze. So, if you see yourself as an unrighteous person trying to obtain righteousness then you will constantly struggle with sin, constantly failing because you can never become righteous by your own actions. However, if you see yourself as the righteousness of God then your actions will begin to follow as you start receiving the reality of your righteousness by faith. That is why we are told to walk by faith and not by sight. (2Corinthians 5:7)
“So, if I’m already righteous no matter what I do, why do I need to change my behavior?” A question that I would hope nobody would ask, but unfortunately some have. First of all, once born again, your nature will be to desire to act and be like Jesus. Your desire will be to be here on this earth as He is! Grace was poured out to you, not so that you can be righteous and continue in your sins, but grace was poured out to set you free from sin, (Romans 8:2) and this must be walked out by faith. Jesus came to set you free from all bondage, and when you willingly sin you make yourself a slave to that sin. You willfully place yourself in bondage to that sin. You must see yourself beyond what it looks like in the natural and see the truth of who God has made you. It is in the revelation of who you really are that you find the power and grace to walk in the reality of who God has already created you to be. When you gain the revelation that sin has no power over you, then you are free!