Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST

Salvation does not Save the Christian from sinning. Salvation Saves the Christian from The Judgement to come.  Therefore, Christians sin too, we just should not be sin focused.  This Great Salvation should motivate the Christian to live out the true meaning to being a New Creature/Creation in Christ.

Jesus did pay every sin-debt of every individual in history (past, present, and future) at one time (Hebrews 7:27), but the redemption seems to come in two phases -
  1. Jesus conquered death, hell, the grave and bore our sickness and rebellion SO THAT the Wrath or Judgement of Father God would be lifted.  This - Is Finished! (John 3:36)
  2. Jesus will grant us glorified bodies that are like His glorified body (no imperfections) one day in a transformation that is still awaiting fulfillment but which I personally feel is very near (Philippians 3:21).
The Scripture says that after I accept Christ as my Lord and Savior that I am a new creation in Christ, the old is gone the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). The challenge is visualizing ourselves as that New Creation and walking out our faith in respect and trembling (Philippians 2:12). However, Christians still sin. The reasons why Christians still struggle with sin is that they are still living in imperfect bodies (Romans 8:23) and have the temptations of the old pleasures/life trying to regain our attention and affection daily (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Life does not become easier because one becomes a Christian.  Even as a Christian, the enemy - Satan - is not going to ease-up. NO!  Life becomes especially challenging because someone has now chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior. Before accepting Christ, the devil is content many times to leave people alone because he/she is no threat to him. However, after accepting Christ and His lifestyle the attacks increase.  In fact, the Holy Spirit promised through Paul's second letter to Timothy - everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (2 Timothy 3:12).     

Thankfully we have a Loving, Faithful, continually Gracious God that understands us better than ourselves and works with us to shape us more into Christ's image (2 Corinthians 3:18).  Believers must journey with a God that asks us to trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  Followers, not fans of Christ, must know and serve a God that places emphasis on keeping pure and holy by maintaining a healthy relationship with God and uniting with other trustworthy brothers and sisters in Christ to share our lives with each other (confessing our sins one with another - James 5:16).

I, by no means, am promoting Christians to gather together and focus on the recent mistakes they have made against God for the sheer meeting and the fulfillment of confessing your sins one to another charge.  This would attack the Graceful lifestyle that God has provided through Jesus' sacrifice and wants us to live under. I do, however, desire Christians to recognize that even though the Wrath or Judgement of Sin is abolished, the manifestation of the nature of sin (i.e. habits, decay, sickness, etc..) are things the Christian still has to work through, as a New Creation in Christ, with the help of God and other trustworthy brothers/sisters in Christ.  We cannot be a body-part, of the Body of Christ, alone.

Together Christians must realize we will make mistakes, but not to focus on them - learn from them.  Dean Smith has said something along these lines - "What do you do with a mistake?  Recognize it.  Admit it. Learn from it.  Forget it."  I would add - and trust in God's all sufficient Grace. "...he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)  As a New Creation in Christ, here is where Christians need to operate out of more - His Grace.

So, Christians, realize your eternal condition is secure.  What you do in the meantime as a New Creation in Christ is the question.  Which tendencies will you feed - the old self that will be tempting you to return soon or the New Creation God has called you to be more of?  I encourage you to work it out with God and others you trust because Christ came So That through choosing Him as our Savior, He gives us life and life more abundantly! (John 10:10)