We cannot fight sin with our hands tied in condemnation. In this lab, Pastor John reminds us that only when Christ has set us free can we truly conquer our sin.
Principle for Bible Reading
Already and Not Yet
The Bible teaches, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old age of sin and death is passing away and the new age of Christ’s kingdom and life is breaking in. As Christians, we live in between these two ages, right in the middle of Christ’s first and second coming.
The already/not yet distinction (referring to things that are already true/real but not yet fully realized) aids our understanding of how to make sense of the Bible, especially as it depicts the Christian life. The gospel makes us new people (Romans 6:4), and yet we still need to renew our minds (Romans 12:1–2). Jesus freed us decisively from sin (Romans 6:6), and yet we still need to put the old man to death (Romans 8:13). We are already clean in God’s eyes (John 13:10), but still need Christ’s cleansing (John 13:8).
- The Christian is both counted sinless and yet still sins. How does the reality that God counts us righteous cause us to fight sin differently?
- In John 13:8, Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” What do you think Jesus meant by that? And why would he need his feet still washed?
- What particular sin do you need to war against this week from a righteous standing in Christ?