12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:12-14 (NASB)
If you are anything like me, looking closely at your walk before the Lord, the concept that sinful believers who vacillate between godliness and carnality with deliverance from those sins not in any way certain, then the concept that we are heirs with Christ is hard to grasp. I have no trouble with God’s absolute sovereignty, holiness, righteousness, justice, immutablility, omnipotence, omniscience, or omnipresence. He is perfect. He is the most High. The problem is that I know that I am not in any way worthy enough to even be in His presence.
Professing Christians who believe that they earn their salvation or reach some level of godliness in order to deserve it are more than likely placing their trust for eternal life with Christ on the wrong thing. The Elect of God, who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ did not become Christians by doing anything to deserve Grace. There is no character quality that gave them a “free pass” to salvation.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
With this in the forefront of our minds, how do God’s Elect find deliverance from the sins they have lived with for their entire lives? Keep in mind that we are hopelessly flesh bound. The regenerate Heart is a New Creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) However, that regeneration is what enables God’s people to be saved, pray, worship and read and understand the Word of God, but it does not bring perfection. It does not enable believers to “let go and let God,” thereby passively becoming perfect as God cleanses them miraculously. Also, there is no turning point decision on our part that will propel us into a higher level of holiness. Even though those all appear attractive to us in certain ways, none of them are biblical. So what does the believer’s status of being an heir with Christ have to do with deliverance from their indwelling sin nature? The key is found in Romans 8:13.
13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13 (NASB)