There was a body of sin that was left behind after we were born again, but it is a dead body. It was the part of us that was connected to the world. That body was a citizen of the world. It followed the will of the Enemy and conformed itself to the world. Now it is no longer master over us. It is not the lord of our lives. It does not have the authority to control what we do.
“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin,” Romans 6:6 (NASB)
Being part of God’s kingdom means that we are new creations.
We have no choice about living in the world, but we should not conform to its ways. We should not resemble its people. Our true citizenship is now in heaven and our lives should be a reflection of that citizenship.
“For our citizenship is in heaven,” Philippians 3:20 (NASB)
This doesn’t happen by accident, though. We aren’t going to stumble into a life that is a reflection of heaven. It takes a conscious effort of leaving behind our old ways and living from our new nature.
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy,” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)
It’s a choice we make every day.
We wake up in the morning and choose to be like Jesus until that choice becomes our first nature. It might be difficult at first. It will tempting to forego reading our Bible or praying so we can watch one more episode of our show or spend a few more minutes on social media. However, as we progress and mature we’ll start to desire the things of God more and more and lose our appetite for anything the world has to offer. This is what it means to work out our own salvation.
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” Philippians 2:12(b)-13(NASB).
This doesn’t mean that we should be afraid that God will bring the hammer down on us if we step out of line. It means that we should work out our salvation with a deep desire to get it right. We should also be encouraged because it is not by our own power that this will be done. God says that He will work in us to bring about His good pleasure, and His pleasure is always for our greatest good.