A 2014 CBS study on addiction monitored rats and their ingestion of cocaine. They linked a point in time when the rat chose the drug over instinctive behavior. For example, every time they took the cocaine they were shocked, yet the rat came back for more. Something changed in the thought process enough for the rat to ignore what it knew would hurt them.
Paul speaks to a similar situation in our death to sin. When we accept Jesus as our savior, biblically we should leave what is termed as the “old man” behind and we are reborn into Christ and the grace he offers. The only “problem” is that we are still human thus we continue to sin. Some say, “then what’s the point? If I’m bound to sin and covered by God’s grace then I’ll just continue to live as I did before”. Here’s the deal, when we surrender our lives to Christ we should begin to see a change of heart. For some it happens instantaneously, for most though, it is a process. Remember, there was only one sinless man. As we continue to walk with Jesus our heart understands the freedom from sin he offers and innately we move further away from it. While we are far from lab rats there is no question that behavior is learned. Left to our own devices we generally choose what feels good in the moment. Dying to sin can be a slow death but as long as we look to Jesus it will happen. Romans 6:11 – So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.