We’ve heard the phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It comes up when we see a person stuck in their ways. A person may be able to fake being something their not for a short while, but it’s just a matter of time before their true self comes out. It’s for this very reason that when we address building character, we recognize that Scripture does not call us to change. Scripture does not call us to change, because change is impossible. The calling of Scripture is not to change but to die, and to then experience a new life in Christ. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul did not seek to change his old self, rather, by entrusting his life to Christ his old self was crucified on the cross with Christ, so a new self would be raised with Christ to live a new way. To the Romans Paul wrote, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). The authentic Christian life is not a life of muscling our way to change our behaviors. Such living is both frustrating and futile. The authentic Christian life is miraculous. It is the life that learns to live out of the new creation. “If anyone is in Christ,” Paul wrote, “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The enemy knows this reality and combats it with the same strategy he has used for thousands of years. He lies to us about ourselves. Jesus referred to our enemy as “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). We should not be surprised then, that when it comes to new creation living, we must identify deeply embedded lies about ourselves, and replace these lives with Scripture’s truths. Warped thoughts lead to warped living. Understanding and embracing the wondrous work of Christ in our lives leads to a new kind of living that would be impossible if left to our old selves. But we are not left to our old selves. We have been raised with Christ that “we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Spiritual Fitness Check
Training is aimless without clear goals. Spiritual Fitness checks make sure you’re training effectively and progressing toward your goals.
Signs You're Living It Out
Knows and confidently claims Scripture’s teachings on one’s identity in Christ
Is aware of personal points of vulnerability to the enemy’s lies and knows the truths that correct these lies
Has a growing ability to help others identify lies about themselves and is able to point them to Scripture’s truths that correct these lies
The conviction that one can and will live differently because of the work Christ has done in one’s life
Spiritual Fitness Check
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This bible study gives a holistic look through Scripture at the New Creation outcome. Engage thought provoking questions for individual reflection and then discuss them in your Life Group or Spiritual Running Partner relationships.
Let’s talk reality. We’re not into pretending to be something we’re not. We’re not into conformity. We’re not into acting as if we want to live a certain way, but internally wishing to live otherwise. We loathe... Read More
We’re tired of plastic religiosity. We are after the real thing and if the real thing is genuinely available we’ll drink deeply. This morph me exercise is a soul-satisfying experience if you want more of the real thing.... Read More
Out with the Old
Look for a tangible object around you that reminds you of your old self, before you trusted Jesus and started following him. It might be a shot glass that reminds you of the days when you mostly lived to party. It might be an old shirt left at your place by a long-ago boyfriend,... Read More
Many Christians feel broken and angry but don't think they can express these real feelings around others--or to God. So we put on a mask to hide our identity. Feelings of embarrassment and shame make us hide from the One who truly loves us. Brennan Manning encourages you to let go of this stressful,... Read More
Learn to see your worth through God's eyes, countering four areas where we often fail to embrace our identity in Christ and instead fall into false belief: the performance trap, the approval addict, the blame game, and shame. This book (Read More