I’ve been memorizing and reflecting on Romans 7:20 lately:
“Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
The Biblical paradigm is that when we become a new creation in Christ, our old sinful self is crucified and is no longer a part of our true nature. Instead, it becomes an imposter who keeps trying to resurrect and reattach itself.
In Christ, we are holy. We embrace that reality by saying “no” to those old dead ways and saying “yes” to ways of the Spirit within us.
Paul makes it clear what when Christians sin, it is not the real them doing it. Instead, it is their old, false, sinful self re-appearing and acting out.
Of course, we’re still accountable for our wrong decisions and should confess them to God and others. But we recognize that they no longer originate from who we really are. (And how could they? We now live in and out of divine union with the triune God, in whom there is no sin.) Instead they’re more like viruses or malware that we’ve deliberately allowed into our new operating system.
When we get ahold of the truth about sin, it’s incredibly liberating. We stop beating ourselves up for messing up, and quit trying to makeover our old identities. Instead, we’re freed up to focus on being who we really are in Christ – holy and blameless in his sight.