Sin can be a degrading act or a refusal to enter our inheritance in Christ.
“We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves—the ones we are born with and which feed the roots of sin. For most of the people in the world, there is no greater subjective reality than this false self of theirs, which cannot exist. A life devoted to the cult of this shadow is what is called a life of sin.”
There’s a reason why we must lose our lives to gain it. The cross is the place where we lay down the us that we know and take up the self that we will be getting to know as we mature into Christ our life.
We can have the attention span of a fly or live a considered life. If we are careless we will live in our false self, all of our lives. If we are even more handicapped because we live in a bent, law strangled Christianity, we may never realise we are a false self and hence never escape Adamic selves. We will be encased in usages that have scant life and obsessed with icons than stifle life instead of enhancing it. Unfortunately, in this situation we can have a band of followers even though we are not spiritual leaders and function as blind leaders of the blind. We are in trouble when we exist as blind leaders of those who can see.
Jesus teaches us how to see.
As a function of the letter than kills, the law* is skilled at ruining the genuine self. It will produce in us pieties instead of Godliness and religion instead of the spirit of sonship. The false self is bereft of spirit and life. The real self is spirit and life in person.
The false self-excels in erecting fictions like barriers to protect itself from the attack of the real self who is eager to breathe life into what is really a dead corpse – a zombie like figure of the kind produce by what Paul called, ‘this body of death.’
Of course we are already set free from it. All that remains is for us to live in the freedom of our real self – a life that is Christ and never Christianity. This is a life that signals our birth from old Adam into new Jesus and a new us: The beginning of our growth in the spirit of sonship. Richard Rohr cites a story of mistaken identity, “She has suffered from a massive case of mistaken identity all of her life, just as we all do, but hers was bolstered by a strong “Christian” False Self. Religion can significantly delay the emergence of our True Self. Particularly if it is a false gospel. I have been a priest for forty-two years and can say that from solid experience.” (1)
Christ our life is always our real self on the up and up.
* The law was a measure God put in place within the frame of the Adamic separation that was the culture of the knowledge of good and evil. It was no meant to last but to function as a schoolmaster to lead to Christ who would replace it by incarnating Himself in Believers.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self . SPCK. Kindle Edition.