Failed Resolutions or Fulfilled Replacement?

18 01 2016

pic-beach-arms-raised1By now many Christian men are disappointed that the resolutions they had made for the new year have already been broken. Hopes for a better prayer life, quitting porn, reading the Bible more or not getting angry with the kids and wife have all been given up. Only a few have had the steely resolve to make good on promises but the effort has not been cheap. They may have made some gains but there still remains the fear that at any moment they may slip back into old ways.

It’s for this reason that most men have given up on making promises to God, themselves or others. They don’t want any further shame from the reminder that they don’t have what it takes to become a better person. Even more shaming is the message from his church or men’s program that he could change if he joins the right “steps” group or was just more committed. But many have done that and have still not seen the expected results.

Is there any hope that these men can become better men? Yes!! The good news is that they can because they already are. The Bible says that if a man has accepted Christ he IS a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). He already IS the person that he always wanted to be. The old, imperfect man, always falling short, has been removed and a “new creation” man has taken his place. The truth is that a man doesn’t become the person he desires to be, he receives the person he wants to be. He receives the new creation or Spirit of Jesus. He becomes the better man because He contains Christ the best man of all (Col.1:27). Like a good cup of coffee, he is now known by who he contains (Col. 3:3-4, 1 Jn. 3:2, 4:4).

But what about the bad habits or all the weaknesses he still sees in his flesh? Don’t those indicate that He is still not perfect and needs to improve himself? The Bible says that “we no longer regard anyone according to the flesh” because that isn’t who we really are (2 Cor.5:16). If that’s the case, and it is, then does he just ignore the flesh and pretend it isn’t real? Or, as the Bible teaches, does he declare by faith who he is and watch God deal with his weak flesh (Rom. 6:11)?

The temptation is to continue trying to manage the flesh when the only way to successfully control it is through the Spirit (Rom.8:14, Gal.5:16). If we know who we are in the spirit and continue to affirm that reality, the flesh gradually loses its hold on our lives. This is the process the Bible refers to as being “transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom 12:2).

The feeling that a man needs to make New Year’s resolutions is the result of forgetting that he doesn’t have anyone to change. It’s forgetting that his old, imperfect man has been replaced with the new perfect man, Jesus. Any sense of imperfection in the flesh should not be met with promises to be better but a daily decision to follow the impulses of his new spirit man, who he is in reality (Rom.8:1,2). In no time at all Jesus then becomes “fully developed” or fully expressed through his fleshly humanity (Gal. 4:19 NLT).
Don’t make resolutions, affirm your replacement!

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One response

19 01 2016
Scott Wakefield

We have NOTHING to change when Lord Jesus is in us! The change was made when we accepted him. As Galations 2:20 tells us, “I” have been crucified with Christ!! The old is gone, the new is here 🙂

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