Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ may certainly act at times as if we are ugly ducklings, as it were, rather than swans. However, our waywardness does not change the fact of the "new creatures" we are in our spiritual union with our Savior (II Corinthians 5:17).
"Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).
Note to whom the Apostle Paul addresses his strong affirmation of cleansing, sanctification, and justification: the same Corinthians he indicts as "yet carnal" (I Corinthians 3:3). Clearly, believers can think, speak, act, and relate in complete opposition to who we are in Christ. According to His purposes, God allows a "law of sin" in our earthly members and faculties to remain during our present lives (Romans 7:22-25). Left to itself, our flesh will thus elicit the unbelief and disobedience that may cause others and even ourselves to perceive that we are the same slave to sin we were before we trusted the Lord Jesus.
But are we? The Biblical answer, resoundingly, is that we are not.
"When ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Romans 6:20-22).
In the past tense, Paul unequivocally declares believers to no longer be servants of sin. In the present tense, he proclaims that we are servants to God. In no way does the Apostle mean by this that Christians no longer sin. If we do, however, we sin as an aberration rather than as an attribute.
The New Testament epistles not only stress the most important question of our existence, namely, who is God? They also address the fact of who we are in relationship to Him. Scripture commands our reckoning, or our accounting about ourselves truths that may not always manifest themselves in our internal and external actions. They remain true nonetheless because a vital difference exists between who we most deeply are, and the earthly vessels in which we live. We may still live as ugly ducklings. If so, a primary reason is that we do not know, we forget, or we fail to affirm the swans we are through Christ. In the children's tale of Hans Christian Andersen, the swan discovered who he had become by gazing upon himself in the mirrored waters of a garden stream. Intriguingly, the Bible calls God's trusting children in Christ to a similar gaze, with far more wondrous results…
"Beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.