Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Overcoming the Old Self

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

In quoting this passage – I have often added a postscript – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (but, the old hasn’t gone very far)!

Paul said it this way in another passage:

Romans 7:14-20 – 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul knew that he struggled with doing the right thing.  Can you identify?  Please – I’m not giving us an excuse for sinning – but rather acknowledging that we will struggle – even after Jesus becomes Lord of our life.   The old has gone – but it hasn’t gone very far.

It is for this reason that we cannot slide or slack in our walk.  We must persevere – we must maintain – we must walk daily in the Lord.  More time in the Word – more time in prayer – more time in fellowship with other believers.  The more we surround ourselves and fill ourselves with the things of God – the more we will walk the walk as well as we might talk and talk.  Immersing ourselves in Christ – daily – even moment by moment – gives us a better opportunity to walk with Jesus in all our ways – because the old hasn’t gone far.

Here’s an example that might help.  Have you ever been in the tub as a child or in a pool or in a body of water and played with a ball filled with air?  If you want the ball to stay underwater – you must exert constant pressure to hold it under.  The air in the ball wants to surface and in order to keep it under water – you must keep your hand on it or some type of pressure.  If you let it go – it will pop up!  The old self is like an air-filled ball – constantly wanting to rear its head in our lives.  We must constantly walk with Jesus – not allowing the old to resurface.  Persevere and run the race and fight the fight – living for Jesus in all you do today!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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August 11, 2011 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , ,


  1. Love the ball example. It really helped me understand the passage you share and your add on.


    Comment by Mary | August 11, 2011 | Reply

  2. for sure the old self keep bouncing back hence we need to be prayerful and live the word.


    Comment by mary | February 3, 2012 | Reply

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