Wednesday, August 13, 2014
August 13 – Get rid of the old
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away - look, what is new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NET)
The message that Jesus came to proclaim to the world was that it is now possible to be born a second time and become a new creation. This was not possible in the Old Testament, even though we have examples of men and women of faith who lived before the Lord Jesus came to the world, that did great things and who lived holy lives even though they were surrounded by unholy people, and lived in pagan societies. Though they serve as examples for us, and manifested courage, determination, and faith to a very high degree, they had not been born a second time. They were spiritual, but we cannot say that they were born of the Spirit because that only became possible with the life and death of the Lord Jesus. How blessed we are to live in this age, in a time when we can all be born of God and receive the baptism of the Spirit.
Only after Jesus had made His sacrifice on the cross and defeated sin and the devil, was it possible for people to be born of God. But we cannot become new creations unless we are willing to die to our old lives, just like Jesus did. Though many people call themselves Christians, and say they are born again and filled with the Spirit, these things cannot happen unless we die to our own will and to the flesh. The idea that a person can go to church, confess his sins, sing hymns to God, greet his friends with a smile, and then go home or to his job and be the same old person that he has always been, is a lie straight from the pit of hell. God demands that we take on His nature and become brand new creatures. He cannot, and will not, be content with our old lives that easily fall into sin and crave the things of the flesh. God forgives our sins and loves the sinner, but despises sin itself. So if we are complacent about sin, thinking that He will always be there to forgive us no matter what we do, and if we expect His total forgiveness even though we are not even trying to live new lives, we are being deceived by the devil.
We are not saved by our works. Salvation is a free gift for all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But, a sign of salvation and of being close to God is good works. If we are baptized in the Spirit we will have the fruit of the Spirit, and if we have experienced the new birth, we will have our Father’s nature — His mind, His desires — because every true child resembles his parents.
If you cannot say that you are a new creation, and if people around you cannot confirm this about you — your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers — then there is something seriously wrong with your life and with the way you are serving God. Being new creatures is the most natural thing for people that surrender their lives to God. It takes work, but it is something that we desire, something we cannot be content without, something we are ready to sacrifice for.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation… and if anyone is the same old creation, he is NOT in Christ. If you find that you are not in Him, run to Him now. Repent of your sin and pride, and grab a hold of the Lord Jesus with all your strength. It’s the most important thing in life.