“you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.” (Col. 3:9)
Some people say doctrine is cold and heartless. And it is… Unless we understand it. In my life, few things brought more delight, warmth, and joyous love to me as the doctrine of Christ’s imputed righteousness. My failure to understand it left me wallowing in lust.
Jesus lived a perfect life, and on the cross he substituted himself for us—he literally became a curse for our sin, and drank the wrath that we deserved (for every lustful act).
But what’s wild is that when you set your faith in Jesus, he covers you in his perfect righteousness (Philippians 3:9). A “new self” comes into being, robed in Christ’s righteousness, so that when God sees you, he sees not your lust, but Christ’s perfection (1 Peter 1:3). He looks upon you and says, “this is my son (or daughter) with whom I am well pleased.”
When we give into our lustful desires we rarely think about this, we do not feel “new” or like a son of God.
But that’s the issue. We lust because we ‘forget’ our true identity in Christ. This is the fifth time in Colossians 3 that Paul emphasizes our identity and life in Christ. He desperately wants to assure us that Jesus’ work on the cross is effective, perfect, and transformative.
When we forget about Christ’s imputed righteousness, we fearfully begin to trust in ourselves for salvation. We try to win God’s love with our own works of righteousness, but we fail. In our hopeless failure we give in to sin!
If only we remembered that Christ makes us perfect before God. We can add nothing, and take nothing away from his work. So when you lust, first repent, and then rejoice that it cannot steal your righteousness. Rejoice so fully in Christ’s cross that you sin no more.
see other Pull Up Your Pants posts:
- A Series on Battling Sexual Immorality (1)
- What is sexual immorality? (2)
- Only the Rescued (3)
- Dirty Lies We Love to Believe (4)
- Be Killing Sin or Sin Will Be Killing You (5)
- Stop Sniffing Your Vomit (6)
- Assured Christians Resist Lust (7)
- Replace Lust With Love (8)