January 3, 2021
In this issue: The New Creation by Roger Lindsey
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17
Paul would have us realize that something fundamentally changed in us when we became obedient to the gospel of Christ and were baptized into Him according to His commandment. We are now a "new creation."
We have been born again as the Lord said we must be:
Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5
Again Paul says: "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4
Paul says in another place: "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:26-27
We have become someone we were not before!
We have heard the word, the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11), have received it into good and honest hearts (Luke 8:15), and have been born again.
"since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God..." 1 Peter 1:23
Our hearts have been made clean by the blood of Christ, we are no longer condemned but saved. We have passed from death to life, life eternal.
Our actions are motivated by a different standard than before. We are a new person in heart, mind and deed. We are "created in Christ Jesus" to do good works.
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
We look back on our previous "selves" and are ashamed (Rom 6:21). We do our best to root out, to kill, what remains in us of that old person we once were.
"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24
People will see that we are different. If not, then we should question whether we are indeed abiding in Christ.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." John 8:31
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:4
"If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned." John 15:6
If we are indeed in Christ and abiding in Him, we are a new creation now, in this world. The gospel changes us!
But there is another part of this truth that is even more amazing. While we are new creatures in Christ, here and now, we are also a part of a new creation that God is making through His Son.
We are a part of the new building that God is preparing for Himself.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5
Those who become a part of this new creation of God will be changed into wholly new beings when our Lord appears in His glory to judge the world.
Paul speaks of the connection between what we are now in Christ and what we will be at His appearing:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21
This is what is at stake; this is what the Lord God has planned for us before the world was made. This is the ultimate prize, given not because of merit or something that was earned, but by grace through obedient faith.
Who, in his right mind, would even consider missing this or jeopardizing it for some lust of the flesh, lust of the eye or prideful arrogance of life here.
We patiently endure and persevere for that prize until the end, whether it be our death or the coming of the Lord in His glory.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
We are changed now by the gospel of Christ, we are being changed into the image of Him who saved us, we will be changed into His glorious image at His appearing. We will be made like Him! Never to die, never to suffer again, never to deal with the flesh and it's temptations again!
Praise to God, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit by whom we have this hope.
by Roger Lindsey