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3 truths that describe what new life in Christ looks like
- Believers must lead lives progressively characterized by moral purity.
- An immoral lifestyle is inconceivable for believers.
- We achieve personal purity by following God’s 3-fold principles of transformation.
Exciting and adventurous?
Fearful and uncertain?
The Barna and Gallup research tells us that most Christians, though given a new life, still live a lifestyle closely resembling the old one.
Why is there not a more noticeable change in the lives of believers?
New and seasoned Christians often ask why this transformation doesn’t seem as radical and liberating as they expected. Why does it take so long for transformation to occur? And why, if we’re empowered by the Holy Spirit, does it seem so difficult to break out of our old, destructive lifestyles of sin?
We have trouble grasping our new identity because our only experience is with the old one.
Scripture spells it out for us, repeatedly pointing us to Jesus. That’s what a new creation looks like. And when we begin to grasp that — and fill our vision with who He is rather than who we used to be — we’ll be living a life on the edge.
Discover the 3 truths that will help you break out of a destructive lifestyle and prepare you for living an impactful life on the edge.
In Ephesians 4, Paul insists that we not live like the unbeliever, whose lives are defined as darkened in understanding and excluded from the life of God.
“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” Ephesians 4:19
Every one of us was on a journey towards this kind of life when we were apart from God. But now we’re a new creation, right?
Our vertical relationship with God through Christ must get played out in real time, in real life. Are we obeying God’s commands? Are we loving others well?
Moral purity isn’t optional.
Get practical steps for change in How to Turn 5 Powerful Truths Into a Supernaturally Transformed Life.
Do you consider your old, destructive lifestyle “inconceivable” since you’re now a new creation? Jesus was holy and pure and He says for us to live like Him, no matter the cost. Living immorally contradicts who we are as new people: we are redeemed, precious and adopted.
Most of us mistake sin for a behavioral problem when it’s actually an internal problem. We try to keep away from the sin that trips us, but we quickly fail and then begin a defeating cycle of trying and trying and failing.
The internal problem is that we haven’t chosen to recognize our new identity as a redeemed, adopted child of God. You’re a new creation!
How can deeply flawed people in desperate situations live as God has called us? Paul gives us three principles of holy transformation in Ephesians 4:22–24.
Many believers come to Christ with baggage that looks like drug or alcohol addiction, codependency, gluttony, pornography and countless other “old” ways. As for me, the baggage was workaholism, people-pleasing and pride. Can you relate?
Choosing to put off these temptations is not a gradual process, it’s a decisive point in time.
Our actual transformation may play out over time, but it’s important to make a clear decision rather than waffling back and forth between old and new. Draw a line between your new and old self and determine not to go back to it.
Achieving personal purity is not about trying hard to remove those tendencies, but to renew our minds and see ourselves in our new identity.
This is done by replacing the old ways with continual, life-giving input — Scripture reading, positive spiritual relationships with other believers, grace imparted through their gifts, accountability in the fellowship, and whatever it takes to experience renewal.
Make holy transformation the default setting of your mind.
Just a liar isn’t considered a truth-teller until he resists temptation and replaces opportunities to lie with moments of truth, we must replace our old habits with healthy choices. In this, we’re putting on our new self.
Consciously aim to reflect Jesus in your lifestyle, thoughts, feelings, work ethic and relationships, your marriage or singleness, your family relationships, your friendships, your hobbies and activities, your politics, your investments of time and money, and everything else you do.
Though I was a believer, my early days of college life could not be described as putting on my new self. My thoughts and relationships with the opposite sex were not healthy, and I was making excuses for my behavior.
One day, in the spirit of competition, I decided to memorize 60 Bible verses alongside my roommate. He was preparing for a training program with Navigators and I thought I’d try and beat him to it.
After a couple weeks of putting verses to memory, I knew I had turned a corner. I’d had an encounter with someone who would’ve been a temptation in the past, and I wasn’t tempted. My efforts to renew my mind were paying off! I’d replaced the unhealthy activities with new, life-building ones, and renewal had begun taking place.
As you prepare to live a life on the edge, consider which truths represent the areas of your life that are lacking growth.
The answer to those questions outlines out your lifelong process of transformation. Start putting on your new self today and get ready for a life on the edge.
- How To Turn 5 Powerful Truths Into A Supernaturally Transformed Life
- What’s Your Unique Purpose In God’s Big Story?
- 5 Reliable Methods For Putting On Your New Self — Even Before It Fits
- The One Leadership Mindset That Maximizes Transformation
- 5 Power Faith-Building Exercises That Work Every Time
Spend 10 minutes a day in Daily Discipleship with Chip.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip