Sin is Like a Virus. A Virus Has Symptoms but the Symptoms Aren’t Your Identity
Many people think sin is “our nature”, but in fairness, a lot of this confusion comes from a poor translation of the NIV bible. NIV cited Rom 7:18 and read “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful NATURE.” BUT few know that almost every other translation translates it as “sinful FLESH”. Huge difference!
As new creations in Christ, our “nature” is not sinful. Our “nature is good. However, sin, which is from an EXTERNAL source still attacks us through the flesh.
Though usually taught incorrectly, in Rom 7:17 Paul has discovered that sin is a power and he actually says it is no longer he that is doing it because he realizes that sin is a power attacking him through the flesh.
[Rom 7:17] So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
Take a look at Romans 6:12.
[Romans 6:12] Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Sin is not talked about like it’s a part of us. It’s talked about as an external power. The verse says don’t obey ITS lust. Why? Because “IT” is not your lust. You have a NEW nature. Scripture says believers have been given new spirits and new hearts with new desires. Though the evil one makes it feel like sin originates with us it’s actually coming from an outside source and getting to us through our flesh.
Think of sin as a parasite or a virus. You have the symptoms of the virus, like a runny nose, cough, and high blood pressure, but you are not the virus. The virus is just using your body and infecting it. You are not defined by the virus. Likewise, your identity is not in your ability to fight sin (though you should). Our identity is 100% according to who we are in. Dead In Adam or Alive In Christ. Period.
What is the solution? We get a choice each time sin attacks us. We can either obey ITS lusts or choose to walk in the Spirit and obey the NEW desires of our newly created selves.
[Gal 5:16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
You are dead to sin, but sin is very much alive……
SIDE NOTE: Our soul animates us and makes us unique. It’s interesting that when we go to heaven we won’t get new souls or new Spirits. Only the shell will be changed. The flesh is the vehicle sin uses to accuse you and misguide you. The rest of you is good and therefore do not need to be replaced.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.