2 Cor 5:17 (AMPLIFIED) “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”
So often our practice doesn’t line up with our beliefs – and this affects every area of our lives. We speak of “the new man in Christ Jesus” but yet live like the old man used to live. A review of the Bible’s teaching about the old man may be of help in bringing our living in line with our believing. After all, if we're going to talk the talk we should walk the walk.
The above verse is a statement of fact. It’s an action viewed as accomplished – old things are already passed away. What are the old things that have passed away? We’re not talking about the physical or material sense (arthritis, a leaky roof, etc). Obviously the spiritual is what is spoken of here. This includes sinful habits, lusts, patterns of life, spiritually related personality problems, internal spiritual disorders (such as pride, hate, stubbornness), etc.
We’re talking about an action reversed – all things are become new . This is also viewed as having already taken place. An excitement engendered – “Behold” is an attention getter.
This is an argument from experience. This is contrary to much common experience in which one is saved, freed from old habits and then doomed to the return of many of those same habits. We tend to live the opposite way – old things are not only alive but actually dominant keeping us from fleshing out our Christianity. This raises serious questions – are the Scriptures wrong or should they be somehow re-translated? Why are the Scriptures and experience so often so far apart?
Let’s look at a Scriptural answer. God has made a provision – sin was covered on Calvary. As far as God is concerned, sin is cared for. This sin issue is resolved. So the answer must lie elsewhere. We are the problem. We fail to appropriate what God has done for us. Actually we, rather than the Scriptures, need the new translation
God has even provided the answer to this problem.
Galatians 5:16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”
Ephesians 4:17-24 (The Message) “And so I insist – and God backs me up on this – that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion. But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to Him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything – and I do mean everything – connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life – a God fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you”
Colossians 3:5-15 (The Message) “Meanwhile be content with obscurity, like Christ. And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator, with His label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everything is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.
God has accomplished certain things for us – things which can set us free. The question rests with what we are willing to do with what He has accomplished. Let's not live beneath our privileges as children of God. Rather, let's walk in newness of life that's found only in Jesus.
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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