"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"... -Romans 5:12
Before a person can truly appreciate the wonderful truths of being "In Christ", there must be an understanding of what it means to be "In Adam". Romans 5:12-21 explains the predicament of every human being that will ever be born on this earth.
The Bible makes clear, the fact that everyone is born a sinner (Ps. 51:5). The problem is not that people become sinful when growing up, nor do they become a sinner when their first sin is committed. Everyone sinned when Adam sinned (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, we were born in Adam and our identity lies in the nature that he brought forth because of his choice to sin. All sins that are committed are the direct result of the Adamic Nature that mankind inherited at conception.
So, because our identity is in Adam the devastating results naturally flow from this source. We are self-centered, prideful, arrogant, untruthful, unloving, and rebel against God. Another thing also happens. We have the tendency to look at these outward sins and cut off the branches when the problem lies at the roots. To use the words of Dennis McCallum, "our doing arises out of our being" meaning our problem does not lie within the branches. The source must be taken care of! We must have a new identity or the patterns of sin will continue to dominate and control us.
This is the bad news of the Biblical teaching on identity. Adam is our spiritual father and we inherited a nature that produces sinful actions. This nature is never taken away from the believer this side of heaven, but our identity can change. The remedy for this change involves death and a connection to a new Root.
There is no longer a need to fix and cut off the outward sins that our nature produces. This will never bring long term change. Change that Paul longed for in his Romans 7 cry "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death". The Bible deals with the root issue and goes straight to the source for a solution.
How long have you been trying to clean up the "branches" while never taking a look at your roots?
To be continued...