Two Selves: One Cannot Be Improved, the Other is Perfect in Christ (Part 1)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:22-24 NIV)

…you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Col. 3:9b-10)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)

Understanding our identity as born-again children of God is key to overcoming all our trials. In fact, coming to know and apprehend who we actually are according to God’s word is key to overcoming our old self.  We do so by abiding in the living and active Word (the double-edged sword which divides our soul from our spirit) AND by receiving the discipline of the Holy Spirit (which He graciously brings via our day-to-day circumstances as well as our trials in order to sanctify us) (see John 15:7Heb. 4:12Heb. 12:5-13).

Of course, as emphasized in the last series, we must habitually choose to abide in Christthe living Word – in order for  our minds to be renewed. Paul exhorts, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro. 12:1b-2) See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Col. 2:8).

And yes, as Part 4 emphasized, we must choose hourly to receive the discipline the Holy Spirit brings via our outward circumstances. In a nutshell, this is choosing to repent of living by the old self, putting it off, and putting on our new self in Christ; it is choosing death to self in order that the resurrected Lord may live His righteous life through our branches. It is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Man who overcame the old Adam on our behalf, through whom we are now one in Spirit with God, that we can do this.

Another one of my favorite Scriptures addressing this dual process of dying to the old self and living from the new self is this passage from Second Corinthians:

For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away [our old selves, the sinful nature], yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day [our new true selves in Christ]. For our light and momentary troubles [discipline from the Holy Spirit] are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen [the old self AND the world], but on what is unseen [the new self one with God in Christ AND its heavenly home]. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:11; 16-18).

Now, here is a new point: understanding that we Christians have two selves – a sin producer which cannot be improved (that’s why God crucified it via His only begotten Son!), and a sinless one which IS perfect for it is a member of Christ Himself we can now apprehend some key Scriptures which previously may have been beyond our understanding!

In preparation for next time, I recommend you seek the Lord for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, then read First John. In particular, I suggest you ask the Holy Spirit how to reconcile this word

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1:8-9)

with these three:

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (3:6)

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God… Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (3:9, 10b)

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (1 John 5:18)

God will bless you abundantly as you do so!

[To be continued…]

Rejoicing with you in Christ the Resurrection and the Life,  your sister deanna

21 thoughts on “Two Selves: One Cannot Be Improved, the Other is Perfect in Christ (Part 1)

    1. Praise God for revealing Christ to us (connecting the dots in the closed cannon of Scripture) and giving us the words to share with each other, that we all grow in the knowledge of HIM / who we are as members of His blessed Body!! Thank you, brother, for the encouragement to continue as He leads!

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    1. Thank you so very much for your intercession; I can feel your prayers, Rick (rarely do I feel prayers). They enable me to spend less time in the old self and more time in the new true self! “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

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  1. We are perfect in Christ. This is our aim, goal, objective, really our everything. When Jesus shows his compassion and pities the lost lambs out there in the world, it just makes me want to be perfect in Jesus. That perfect love which can be attained by faith in Christ. Amen.

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  2. Brother, somehow my reply wasn’t posted along with the like! I thank you so very much for taking the time to share those perfect Scriptures with me here! I also thank you very much for your ministry; you have a great library of worship videos to accompany the Scriptures you post. When you thanked me for liking your comment, I thought my reply had been posted. 😊

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  3. Amen!! Just what I needed as our Lord ploughs through my heart. I’m spending about 10 days with my mom. She’s living in tough circumstances but yet she’s rising above it while I’ve struggled. It’s not for me to struggle as I know the Lord has it under His control. It takes such circumstances to remind us of our sinful nature but yet rejoicing He’s covering me in His perfection.
    Just read Exodus 16-18. Love the Israelites journey as I examine my own!

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  4. Deanna, I’m reminded of Brother Lawrence. People would come from around the globe to watch him in the kitchen of the monastery, cooking, washing dishes, and praising God. He practiced the Presence of God.

    I read your thorough and blessed teaching on healing, and this message. It’s all about being aware of God’s Presence in our lives, second by second. When we are aware of Him, we sit at His feet and behold His glory, and like Isaiah, we cry “Woe is me! I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.” At that moment we are cleansed, equipped, and commissioned.

    May we learn to practice His Presence, being aware of His Presence each second of every day, and may we burst forth in praise and honor to Him; serving Him however He wills.

    Bless you, Deanna, and thank you. Karen

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    1. Brother Lawrence indeed! I hadn’t connected the two before, but he essentially was as the woman with the alabaster jar. God wants us ALL to be that woman, as you are, sister. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all that you did here! You are such a blessing, Karen; thank you!

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