Our biggest disconnect to life in Christ is sin. When Jesus makes his home in us, our sin nature remains, and without vigilant pruning it can dominate our lives. We have a job to do. “. . . but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
The moment you were born again, the unregenerate person you used to be—your old self (crab apple tree)—was sliced off, crucified. What you had been by nature you are no more.
Crab apple is your essential nature. Then one day a momentous, momentarily terrifying thing happens. Someone takes a razor-sharp knife and makes a long diagonal cut and slices part of you off a few inches or so above the soil. The entire top of you is gone. Quickly this same someone takes a fresh green section of stem, cut with a matching diagonal slice from a different tree, and splices it on to what’s left of you. Carefully, the splice is wrapped and sealed. Then a tag is attached to you that reads “golden delicious.”
In the days that follow, the buds above that splice burst with life. Eventually they blossom and produce. What will they produce? That’s right—golden delicious apples. Why? Because this is who you now are. No one who knew what had taken place would ever think of calling you a crab apple. You are not even a crab apple plus a golden delicious. You are a “golden delicious.”
But what about below the graft? What if sprouts were allowed to flourish there? What would they produce? That’s right—crab apples. Yet if that happened, they would be considered usurpers, suckers, deserving of only one thing: removal. . . If you fail to deal with them, those lower shoots could so dominate this little tree, its true identity could scarcely be seen, surrounded as it was by the lush wild growth from below the graft.”
What “shoots” or “suckers” grow out of your old nature that continually need removal?
Birthright, David Needham, 81-82.