For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15
One of many things that I have learned in my last rotation is that the identity of cancer patient is one that is nearly impossible to shed. Even for the very fortunate ones who are able to get through treatment and have resolution of their cancer, they still have to live with the fact that the cancer can come back.
Because recurrence is highest in the first few years out, especially the first two, cancer patients aren’t given the label “in remission” until after five years. I personally worked with sarcoma patients. It’s extremely rare, and what I noticed was that a few of these patients had conquered some other type of cancer MANY years ago.
Basically, as much as they wanted to shed the diagnosis of cancer, they couldn’t do it. Is that how you feel about your past? Is there something you did that continues to haunt you over and over? Perhaps you used to have a colorful past, changed over a new leaf, but “relapsed” after years of being “good”. Maybe you feel like you can never shed the verdict of being a sinner.
Let me just make this very clear. Once you have accepted the fact that you are a broken human with the MOST lethal diagnosis of sinner and accepted the ONLY cure provided for free by the shed blood Jesus Christ, YOU ARE FREE. Your past is wiped clean. Instead of the identity of sinner, you have a new identity in Christ!
Just because you are saved, that doesn’t mean that you are transformed into the perfect Christian. (The perfect Christian doesn’t exist.) Sin will be something that you will struggle with for as long as you are on this planet, but you are no longer a slave to sin. It has no power over you because of the finished work of Christ. When he died on the cross, Christ defeated sin. When he rose again from the dead, He defeated death. Because you have been adopted, you belong to God. You are His child, and you have direct access to Him.
I’ll be honest with you. When I sin, I fall into this slump of condemnation, but I have to constantly remind myself of the Gospel that continues to have an impact even past the point of conversion. I am no longer a slave to sin. My identity is in Christ. I have freedom forever. I hope it’s the same for you.