Categories: Uncategorized
New Creation

New Creation

New Creation

Just as each of us was with Adam in the garden, we also were with Jesus on the cross.  Paul said to the Galatians:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

After being nailed with Him on the cross, we were raised with Him from the dead:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus is the solution to our sin problem.  But there is a lot more to t his deal than the propitiation of sin.

Unfortunately, many Christians are taught that being reborn is all there is.  So spiritually they continue to drink milk, mess their diapers, and crawl around on their hands and knees.  Everyday, year after year, they roll around in their baby fat and gurgle.

Surely God must want to shout, “Get out of your playpens!  Grow up!  Have a steak!  Explore My Kingdom!  Your name is on the deed!”

For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.  (2 Timothy 2:11-12)

It’s the reigning part that seems to have eluded the Church for the past several centuries.  Like the disciples who had never heard of the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2), many believers today know all about the Gospel of salvation by faith but not a thing about the Gospel of the Kingdom, which, incidentally, is all Jesus and the disciples preached.

So what is the Kingdom of heaven?  Jesus described it this way:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

But before a man is willing to sell all his possessions, he needs to be assured that what he wants is worth a whole lot more than what he has already.

That’s why The Journey to Be Like Jesus often begins with what some refer to as a “mountaintop experience” because we feel so close to God.  We’re given a peek, a taste, the tiniest sample of the reassure.

 Rarified Air

Worship

Suddenly, we are bowled over by the breathtaking revelation that Jesus is not just a literary or historical character.  There He is, standing before us, bigger than life.  Living, breathing, laughing at our amazement.

Soon, we learn to pray, and every prayer is answered spectacularly.  We learn to praise God, and our feet never touch the ground.  We learn to worship, and we can’t get flat enough on our faces.  The moment we start reading the Bible, fertile seeds of truth leap off the page and are planted in our hearts.  We’re clean and light.  And in the company of other Christians, we are dumbfounded that we’ve never noticed these wonderful people before.

Sometimes we may notice that they are not quite as excited and enthusiastic as we are, and we feel sorry for them.  And when we see a world without Jesus, our heart weeps bitterly.

This is good and normal.  But, for our sake, it doesn’t last too long.

It is, however, a very important experience, a bit like pulling out the choke to start a cold engine.  For a little, while the motor revs and roars and races.  But eventually it settles down or runs out of gas.  So, too, we calm down a little, resolved now to begin shedding our old life.

 Reality Check

 Our spirit is indeed a new creation.  The old is dead, for “behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  But not quite all.  There is no noticeable difference in our body or soul.  In fact, this tag team pretty much insists on remaining in power.

But their days are numbered, because that attitude is alien to God’s Kingdom.

In fact, it is along this leg of our journey that we begin to put off everything that no longer fits or is appropriate to our new life.

To simplify the process, the Holy Spirit gently highlights each anomaly in His own order of priority and asks us to discard it.

You’ll no longer need your fangs and claws, he says to some, because in My Kingdom “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Smoking, drunkenness, drug abuse, sexual immorality, foul language, lying, stealing, cheating—they all have to go.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, le tit not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor course jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:3-4)

Getting rid of corruption and perversion should be a pleasant, refreshing experience.  Curiously enough, however, it’s not, because these behaviors usually have become dear friends over the years.

 (coming: a starless night)

 

© 2005, 2012 Bill Atwood

Previous

Next