Q. Thank you for your wonderful site.
My question is, believing that Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins ( I understand that to be the punishment from our sins – correct me if I’m wrong) and that as we accept Him we are new creatures in Christ – then why do we still have this sin nature? 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; and behold all things are become new.”
I understand that we live in a fallen world but if our old sin nature is not removed when we become new creatures in Christ, then what does this verse mean? How literal are we to take it? Or do we just overlook it when we, as believers, sin, which we all do? It seems we like to rationalize our sinning by blaming it on our old sin nature – but if all things are new, then what? Some insight on interpreting this verse would be helpful.
A. This is a great question because it demonstrates what God can do since He’s not constrained by time. When Jesus went to the cross for us, He did so on a particular day in time but the effect of His death extended throughout all of time and even beyond.
Hebrews 10:14 explains it this way. “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, all the sins of your life, past present and future were taken away as if they had never happened. Since that time God has chosen to look upon you as if you’ve never sinned at all.
As far as He’s concerned the old has gone, the new has come. This is why you can’t do anything to lose your salvation, because every sin of your life has already been paid for and erased. You have a clean slate.
On Earth we’re still bound by time so we still see ourselves as we are, imperfect sinners. The Holy Spirit is helping us become more holy, but we know we’re not there yet. God looks at us the way we will be, without spot or blemish, perfect in every way.