This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
First, what does this verse not say?
- It doesn’t say you need to strive to become a new person.
- It doesn’t say you need to work to change yourself into a new person.
- It doesn’t say you must become a better person before you can be accepted in Christ.
What this verse does say, is the moment you placed your trust in Christ, you became a new person. It’s not a future conversion but a done deal. This means your old self that was a slave to pornography is gone! Your new life in Christ allows you to be truly free—today!
You see, God is not interested in changing you. If you are in Christ, you have already been changed. So the question isn’t “What do I need to do to change for the better?” The question is “How should I live my life because of who I am in Christ?” God just wants you to continue to mature into who you already are.
The cool thing about being a new person in Christ, is it means you now have the Spirit of Christ empowering you to live this new life. I love the way William Temple sums up this idea:
It’s no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it; I can’t. And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it; I can’t. But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like his. And if the Spirit of Jesus could come and live in me, then I could live a life like his.
You can live a life like Jesus because the Spirit of Jesus is alive inside of you!
But it doesn’t always feel like it, does it? This, my friend, is where faith comes in. If we wait until we feel something before we believe it to be true, we will never feel it. If, however, we chose to believe that what God says is true regardless of whether it feels true—if we chose to believe we really are dead to sin and we really have become new people in Christ—then the feelings will come. Trusting that God has already changed you, regardless of your feelings, is what will allow you to live your life as if He has.