I remember when I first listened to a song by my favorite secular artiste, Jon Bellion, titled Human. I smiled so wide because I could feel the sincerity in his words as I recalled my own days of feeling the same way.
God loves you through your struggles Jon, I thought in sympathy as I almost uttered these words out loud while my heart synchronized with the lyrics:
I always feel that I’m not living right
So I feel guilty when I go to church
My pastor tells me I’ve been saved I’m fine
Then please explain to me
Why my chest still hurts…
I’m just so sick of being Human
I’m just so sick of being Human, yeah
I’m just so sick of being Human
Now as much as I tried being sympathetic, I could not help feeling that these words were not too far from home.
I had struggled with the same words just before the Holy Spirit made me to see how funny he thinks it to be – that the very people (us) who could not have done anything to save themselves (ourselves) seem to be very good at executing themselves (ourselves) for the crimes that the Judge Himself (God) no longer remembers Heb 8:12, 10:17.
Gosh! How many times had I embraced a false sense of humility by belittling Christ’s perfect work for my redemption? How many times had I defined myself by weaknesses? How many times had I turned down spiritual assignments because I felt unworthy? How many times had I chosen depression over the voice of God’s word? How many times did I tell my Maker that I was sick of being human? Yes! Man fell, but did I have to keep repeating that cycle?
Not only did I begin to see how funny it was that I would condemn myself for not having such a smooth ride in the journey of sanctification, but I also realized that I was not alone. You see, every human being knows right from wrong but we scarcely have the power to meet God’s standards of what is right and good by ourselves.
The great apostle himself, Paul, speaks of his distress as a man without Christ in Romans chapters 7 & 8:
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
This is Paul’s apt description of man’s natural tendencies towards failure. Although, he spoke of himself as wretched and captive to the body of death, he doesn’t stop there. He makes us to see that this is not the believer’s portion anymore in the next chapter, where he says:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is DEAD because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
~Romans 8: 8-10
It is important that we interpret correctly and read absolutely in context (i.e notice the progression) when studying the bible. This is because the New Testament, particularly the epistles, is as much about you as it is about what Christ has done. Your experience in the faith will never go beyond your understanding of God’s word.
Bearing this in mind, you would observe that Romans chapter eight is a continuation from where Paul stopped in chapter seven. But many believers today do not realize that.
This is why you might hear a person in Christ, who fully houses the Spirit of God, shouting “Oh wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?”, as he clings to his self-condemnation. Certainly, Paul was not speaking of the believer. That wretched man in chapter 7 isn’t the believer, at least not anymore. Therefore, I have good news for you.
However, this good news is in two folds.
Firstly that, everything that your dirty past or maybe even present says about you is DEAD. All the power that your sinful flesh once had over you before you believed has now been usurped by Christ and bows to Christ’s authority in you. You are not your mistakes, you are not your weaknesses, you are not your bad habits, you are not wretched, and you are not a sinner. Please read this:
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him [Christ] from the dead.
And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross!
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” ~Col 2:12-15
Where your case is concerned as a believer, only one person plays the roles of Judge, Jury and Executioner/the Executed; and this person is not you or me or anyone else. It is God himself in Christ who has perfected the equation.
This is how: Although you were the offender, He being the Jury made Christ the guilty one for your sins (past, present, future) 2 Cor 5:21. Being Judge, He sentenced Christ to death as payment of your deadly dues Rom 3:25. And being Executioner, he gave His only begotten Son as the atoning sacrifice for your sins Rom 5:8. This also clearly shows that the Executed isn’t and will never be you. Christ paid the price! This entire equation does not need you as anything more than the beneficiary of such boundless grace to be complete. There is no charge against you!
You might be thinking, but I’m addicted to… I’m struggling with… I feel like…
I’m here to tell you first that God does not condemn you. However, there is a roll for you to play. Christ has saved you from a conscience of sins, so your body and mind are not slaves to a dead nature anymore! Your newly created spirit, the new you in Christ, calls the shots now. Hebrews 10:2 says
“For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.”
Paul speaks here (read the entire chapter) of the fact that where the sacrifice has been made once for all time, the offenders, as soon as they are purged will no longer have a conscience of sins. The operation of God in Christ’s death and resurrection for the purging of your sins was activated the day you believed in His finished works. Therefore, you have been rid of a conscience of sins.
The word Conscience in the above scripture in the original Greek text is “Suneidesis”, which means moral consciousness/perception.
Because you do not have a moral consciousness of sins, not in that you are now careless but rather that the entirety of your morality is no longer inclined towards Sin; your body and mind can be subject to the new nature of righteousness that indwells you.
It is not enough to know that the sacrifice made once for all time for the forgiveness of sins is not going to run out on you, but also that the totality of your victory is that you walk in it perpetually. Moreover you must understand this:
The difference between a believer and an unbeliever is the fact that, while the unbeliever has no control over their ungodly desires, the man in Christ has the Holy Spirit proactively at work within him. The “Holy Spirit factor” is what makes you able to live in accordance with your new nature in Christ.
You cannot overcome those addictions or behaviors without the help of the Holy Ghost. Through him we bear fruits according to righteousness. The bible says God works in us both to will and do his good desires Phil 2:13. Brethren, you will continue to struggle and fall into the trap of sin, self-judgment and eventually give up, for as long as you keep trying on your own.
1 John 2:1-2 says we should not sin but if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, who is Jesus Christ and he is the propitiation for our sins. Even when you fall, don’t stay on the ground. Do what Heb 4: 15-16 says; that Jesus though sinless, was also tempted. And so he is not insensitive to our need for his help or holding it back. He stretches out his hand and says “Come boldly to the throne of grace, you have obtained mercy. Now receive my grace to help you in your time of need.”
Study the bible. This is the only standard for truth by which you can recognize lies and renew your mind daily till you grow to the full stature of Christ within you (I promise you this will take a lifetime). When your mind is renewed, your body can conform. Every action starts as a thought. The life of a believer is one of endless renewal and discipline.
Remember this: He has marked us with his identity, and sealed us with the Holy Ghost. All of us in our worst states are incapable of undoing what He has done only through Christ. And even at our best, we are just as incapable of making Him love us more.
“The most important daily habit we can possess is to
remind ourselves of the Gospel.”
~ Charles Spurgeon