“Our poor choices to live according to the flesh are not indication of our nature. Christians are new creations at heart, no matter how we choose to walk in a given moment. Christians are in the Spirit. But we choose to walk after the Spirit or after the flesh as circumstances hit us.” (The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley: page 114)
We’ve all heard it said that Christians are just “sinners saved by grace.” While it’s true that we were saved by grace, once we believe in Christ’s work on the cross, we're no longer sinners. Yes! We do still sin at times but that has absolutely nothing to do with our nature. In Christ, we’re a new creation and we’ve been given a new nature which is now righteous and pure.
The problem isn’t that we still have a sin nature. The problem is the flesh which still wants to sin. The flesh is not us but it’s similar to a virus that’s in our bodies and gives us a disease called sin. As Andrew Farley said, we now choose whether we’re going to follow the Spirit or follow the flesh. However, we often make the wrong choice and choose to follow the flesh but that doesn’t mean that we have a sin nature. As believers, we’re ALWAYS in the spirit but, as free will beings, we can choose to follow the flesh and when we do, we sin.
Learning how to live out of our new nature is a growing process. While I don’t encourage anyone to sin, I think it’s important to just relax and not get stressed when we do sin. I think it’s wise to expect that it will happen and, when it does, deal with it, get over it and then forget about it.
Religion teaches us that we’re just old worms in the dust and that God turns his face away from us when we sin. The truth is in Christ, he came looking for us even in our sinful state. God’s love for us never changes and while he prefers that we not sin, he’ll NEVER turn his face away from us when we do. I believe a misunderstanding of God’s nature of love has caused us to hide from him when we sin rather than run to him.
Once we understand that Christ dealt with our sins on the cross and that we now have a new heart which is good and pure, we’ll be able to understand that we’ve been forgiven. God isn’t holding anything against us. He’s forgiven us so now we need to forgive ourselves and allow him to heal those broken places in our lives that cause us to follow sin instead of our new nature of righteousness and purity.