Why do Christians do what they don't want to do? This is a question that confuses a lot of Christian's. Here is a brief explanation why this happens. We are supposed to be made holy, perfect, new creations, but we still struggle with sin, problems from our past and our flesh with worldly thinking. You will learn why this happens, and how to overcome these things in your life. Good for the mature Christian looking for answers or new-Christians starting out.
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Christians need to understand a few things about being Born Again. Once you accept Jesus from your heart you are made holy, perfect, you are a new person, and you have the Spirit of God in you, you actually have the Kingdom of God in you.
You are holy and accepted by God:
1 Corinthians 6:11 (NLT): Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
You are made perfect:
Colossians 1:28 (AV): Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus'
Hebrews 12:23 (NLT): You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.
You are made a new person:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT): This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
We actually have the Kingdom of God in us - God is in us, how cool is that?
Luke 17:21 (NKJV): nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
GOD'S GRACE - NOT BY OUR OWN EFFORTS
A Born Again believer has it all, they just need to believe it through faith and stop trying to be perfect, holy, accepted by their own efforts. Trying to be a Christian by your own effort is religion and burns you out. Religion is mankind trying to make their way to God through their own actions and rituals, whereas Christianity is believing God has made His way to mankind. Christianity is the only way to God that does not need any effort, works or ritual. Just believe God has accepted you and wants to have a relationship with you. You do not have to prove yourself or talk God into accepting you, you are accepted just the way you are.
The ritual law in the Old Testament was all about pleasing God by your own efforts, you do something pleasing to God and He will accept you, and bless you. The ritual law was actually created by God to show mankind that they cannot please God or obtain salvation by their own works, it showed how sinful mankind really was.
Romans 3:20 (NLT): For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
In the New Testament it different, God has accepted you, all you have to do is believe it, and this is called "the Grace of God". God's Grace accepts you the way you are, no rituals, or efforts, just faith to believe it, it is a free gift.
God has not only accepted us, but He has blessed us without us having to ask, beg or bring a sacrifice to receive.
Ephesians 1:3 (NLT): All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
God has supplied every Christian with every spiritual blessing that is needed to get them through life. To get the blessings from the spirit to the natural, all we have to do is believe, believe that God has supplied it and wants us to have it. That is called faith.
Just a note here, the faith to believe only comes from the Word of God, you cannot pray it in, fast it in or get it any other way.
Romans 10:17 (NLT): So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
If you want people to believe in Jesus then they have to hear about the Good News of Jesus. The Good News is, God accepts you the way you are, you don't have to be perfect, clean your act up or do any special ritual, He loves you the way you are. Accept Jesus from your heart on the inside and you will eventually supernaturally change you on the outside.
THE NEW CREATION
When a person accepts Jesus, they are Born Again, made perfect and holy in the Spirit. But how does this happen?
Jesus explained that humans have a flesh part and a spiritual part. There are actually three parts to a human - spirit, soul and body - but here Jesus was referring to the spiritual (invisible) and natural (what you see) realms.
John 3:6 (NLT): Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.
John 3:6 (NKJV): That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
When a person accepts Jesus though faith their spiritual part is reborn, the old sinful spiritual side dies and a new, perfect, holy, spirit side is created, or born again.
Romans 6:6 (NKJV): knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Jesus said for a person to enter the Kingdom of God they have to be Born Again. To be a Christian you have to be Born Again in the Spirit, this is something that happens supernaturally and cannot be understood by our natural minds, not even science can explain it. Jesus said ....
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don't be surprised when I say, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit." John 3:6–8 (NLT).
This new born again spirit cannot sin,
1 John 3:9 (NKJV): Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
It is sealed by the Holy Spirit as it cannot be corrupted.
Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV): In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
It is holy, therefore has made us holy for all time, and it never needs to be done again.
Hebrews 10:10 (NLT): For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
A person who is Born Again is made perfect and holy forever, no need to gain holiness through your own works.
Hebrews 10:14 (NLT): For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
OUR UNSAVED SIDE
So if your spirit side is born again, what happens to the natural side, comprising of the body or flesh and mind?
Well, nothing, they stay the same. As Andrew Wommack puts it, "If you were fat before you got saved, you will be fat after you get saved, unless you go on a weight loss program. Your body doesn't instantly change and neither does your soul or mind."
This means our thinking from our old sinful ways (flesh) has not changed, and maybe even some of our habits are still hanging around. Although, I have seen people with drug, alcohol and smoking habits supernaturally healed, but there are usually areas that need working on, such as, insecurity, hurt, and other emotional areas.
This can cause confusion with a lot of Christians. They have been told when they are Born Again they are a new creation, perfect, holy etc. but they still do things wrong and wonder why.
The problem is that when a person is Born Again it is only their spirit side that is Born Again, not their flesh or their thinking, these remains the same. So the Spirit that is perfect and wants to do what is right wars with the flesh and mind that wants to do things the way they have always done it.
Apostle Paul puts it like this ....
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong..... Romans 7:21–23 (NLT).
So how can we overcome this problem?
The problem all stems from our thinking. Change a person's thinking and you change the person. If a person refuses to change the way they think, then there will be no change in their life. What a person thinks, or their philosophy, is known as - what a person thinks in their heart.
Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.....
What people think in their hearts, on the inside, or their belief system, is the type of person they are on the outside. Their life and what they do and achieve comes from what they think. If a person thinks they are a lower class of person, a no-body and of little importance, then that is what their life will display. However, if a person knows God loves them, wants them to succeed, prosper, and be well, then their life will reflect this. What a person believes in their heart about themselves or others or external situations, will be manifested by their actions in life.
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT): Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
So it is very important that a person carefully chooses what they read, what they look at and what they listen to, as these things can change our way of thinking, and eventually if we meditate upon them long enough, it will change our hearts or belief system. It you watch and read a lot of news and dwell on it, and believe what you hear or read is the real truth, then you will be filled with unbelief, fear and anxiety, because the news is nearly always bad. The reason news is bad, is because bad news makes money. You cannot constantly listen to the bad news of the world, and then expect to have the faith to prosper or be in health.
It is also important to hang around the right people, Apostle Paul said
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
He was referring to your local church, and meeting with other Christians.
CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK
This leads us to the question - How can we change the thinking of our natural mind to think like our spiritual mind?
The Word of God tells us that a Christian has the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT): For, "Who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?" But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
But unfortunately not many Christian's believe it, so they never walk in this realm, they are unsure, and find it hard to make decisions just in case they make the wrong one.
I am not going into how to think like God, but I want to make it clear that we can think like God, actually we have the mind of Jesus in us. It is part of the Born Again spirit inside of us.
But remember, we also have this flesh mind and thinking that did not change. The problem is our spirit side thinks like God but our flesh mind usually thinks on worldly things. When a Christian thinks worldly things with their worldly mind, and the spirit inside is thinking Godly things because it has the mind of Christ, we become double-minded.
An example is, the Word of God says that by the wounds Jesus took on the cross, we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 (NLT): He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
We are not healed by our begging God to move and heal us, but that we are healed by His sacrifice, His wounds taken at the cross. It is also not a matter of – we will be or could be healed, it has been done, just one of the spiritual blessings from the cross. To receive this you have to believe you are healed (faith). You have to believe that God loves you, accepts you, and wants you well. If you don't think God loves you, or has put the sickness upon you for some reason then you will struggle to receive your healing. This is being double-minded, the spirit knows, but the flesh doesn't.
Just a quick note here. God does not make you sick or send sickness upon you to teach you some lesson. He does not make you sick to correct you or prepare you for some special work. God would not do that, if He wants you to learn a lesson He will send someone to teach you, or get the Holy Spirit to teach you directly through His Word. It does not make sense for God to send his only Son to the cross to suffer for your health and wellbeing, only to make you sick to teach you a lesson! Sickness comes from the devil our enemy not God.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NLT): All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
When your mind is not lined up with the Word of God, it is in unbelief. Even though you receive faith when you are Born Again, unbelief cancels this faith out, so you stay unwell. I find a lot of Christians like that. They will not let the truth of the Word of God interfere with what they think.
As I have said, when you are in unbelief and your perfect spiritual Born Again mind of Christ is in faith, it is double-mindedness and doubled-minded Christians are unstable in everything they do. They will be doubtful, live in fear and they tend to be all over the place and tend to miss out on those spiritual blessing given as a free gift. They are not able to make decisions and when they do, they are usually the wrong decisions.
James 1:6–8 (NKJV): But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Whatever the natural mind thinks then that is where the flesh and your actions will go. So if we want our actions and words to be Godly, then we have to change our thinking to Godly thinking. Our actions and the words we speak come from our thinking which is in our heart. Jesus put is nicely as he referred to people as trees and their words and actions as fruit.
"A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you." Matthew 12:33–37 (NLT)
It is very plan to see that if you want to do good things, Godly things and not sinful things, if you want to change the way you talk, what you say, then you must change the way you think. This is called single-mindedness. The dictionary says being single-minded is "having but one aim or purpose; dedicated" or "having or showing a single aim or purpose".
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that a single-minded person would be more stable, confident, and able to make better decisions and have a happier and more prosperous life than a double-minded person.
If you think upon hurt and grievances long enough then your lifestyle will reflect anger and un-forgiveness. These can lead to drink, drugs and even crime, all because of what you constantly meditated or think upon. If you think, meditate, dwell on the spiritual things from the Word of God, then you will become more like Christ in thought and actions. It is all based on believing God's Word and then acting in faith on what it says.
James 2:22–23 (NLT): You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.
Your faith in the Word of God will make you complete, it will help overcome the struggles of the flesh and sin.
Romans 12:2 (NLT): Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Religion is trying to be good and loving others by your own efforts. This is what the Pharisees did in Jesus' day, but rather you can let the Word of God transform you, transform your actions and your words, which will ultimately deal with your unbelief, and it happens supernaturally by God's spirit through His Word.
Simply, all your efforts at trying to change yourself will not work, but you can let the Word of God change you into a new person. You can let the Word of God get into your heart and once this happens, you will not want to sin, and you will have a greater understanding that you are holy and fully accepted by God, no works and no effort, just God's Word doing the work. This will not happen overnight, but if you plant the seed of faith in a good heart it will produce fruit, you may not always get a hundred fold, but I am happy to start with thirtyfold, better than unbelief, it returns nothing, actually it creates debt.
Mark 4:20 (NKJV): But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
So back to the original question. Why do Christians still do things wrong when they should be a new creation in Christ and be Holy, and how can we overcome this?
Because only our spirit is Born Again but the flesh and mind are not, they are still tied to their old sinful ways. But this can be overcome by the renewing our mind, from worldly sinful thinking to Godly thinking, going from double-mindedness to single- mindedness. This is done through the Word of God, good teaching and reading the Word of God, asking the Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of the Word, not just head knowledge. Go to a good Word teaching church, attend bible studies, hang around people who are good Christians, and those who love God and His Word. Seek the truth about Gods Word with all your heart.
Andrew Wommack's Audio Teaching is an excellent place to start, this is where I started and my life has been totally transformed through revelation of God's Word.
God bless ya!
Pastor Trevor Springate