As Christians, we live by the notion that we are forever and instantly changed by the Lord’s love – that we are made new, reconciled, and given a fresh slate. This conception is absolutely correct; it is both biblical and encouraging to the sinner’s heart. However, it is dangerous.
Let me explain.
When we accept the truth of our newness in Christ it is freeing, it is glorifying to God, and it’s a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, the enemy has the power to take this truth and plant deceit right in the middle of it. We are made new, this is true. What is not true is the often assumed idea that in the midst of our change, we will somehow gain immunity from the struggle with our sins. In other words, just because our spirits are changed in Christ does not mean that our human bodies are, too. Galatians 5:17 tells us, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (NLT)
After we choose salvation, we often still struggle with the same sins that we have always struggled with. In fact, it may even be a harder struggle because of our recognition of the evil we have been enslaved to. Now, though, because we are new creations in Christ, we are no longer slaves to our sinful desires and intentions. We are conquerors of these desires; through the power of the Holy Spirit within us we are able to give our sinful thoughts and desires captive to God. (2 Corinthians 1-:4-6, NIV)
This doesn’t mean that we won’t be tempted, tricked, or deceived by Satan. It does mean that when we are put to the test, we can and will stand up in faith, confident of the power within us that overcomes the sin we were once enslaved to. This is why we have hope in Christ; this is why we continue in our pursuit to live as He has called us to. He removes our bondages and hands us our freedom, forever free as slaves of the Living God.