Good morning! Becoming a new person isn’t an easy task. We tend to judge people by what we see and have experienced instead of by what we know. We often see this when someone makes a commitment to change, but all the while we are judging and evaluating whether or not they have changed. Discernment is key and godly wisdom is always the best guidance, but we must never forget the best transformation comes from Christ. Join me as we read 2 Corinthians chapter five. I want to reread verses 14-15 and continue reading verses 16-17 to provide greater context.
“14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.[c] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.[d] 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
There are so many points in these verses, but I will stick to just a few. They are:
- Believing in Christ and that He died for all.
- As a result, those who believe have all died to their old lives.
- Since we believe, we live for Christ who lived, died and was raised for us.
- Because of this, anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person.
Several years ago, I had this habit of calling people who I didn’t agree with or who did things like cut me off on the road, etc., an idiot. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about my heart and word choices. He began to explain to me that they were His child. From that point forward, I began to identify those individuals as child of God. That child of God…that child of God. I could no longer ridicule them or pass judgment as I did because of what Christ did in me and revealed to me. I certainly had to pray more, but now I extend so much more grace and I am still a work in progress.
To be in Christ is to be a new person/creation. Galatians 6:14-16 says:
“14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross,[c] my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.”
God begins a new work in each of us who believe. A new life in Christ means our old life, our old way of thinking and reacting is fading away each day as we draw nearer and closer to God.
When you see a Christian who acts the same as they did before they met Christ, keep praying for them to draw nearer to God, because they are struggling and fighting a war with the enemy who is trying to keep them from experiencing real transformation that is available through Christ Jesus. Pray for God to pour out His Spirit and power into their lives to set those who are captive while free, free indeed.
Titus 5:3-7 states: 3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.[a] 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.“
Sisters and brothers, may the love of the Lord live in you and transform you more and more each day.
Father God, thank you for today. Thank you for the sacrifice of your one and only son Jesus on the cross. Thank you for raising Him to life so that we can be forgiven and set free. Lord, forgive us for our attitudes, for being selfish and self-seeking, forgive us for closing our eyes to the things of you and only focusing on our own benefits. Forgive us. Lord, transform us in a mighty way. Make us new each day as we draw closer to you. Lord, there is no greater relationship that we desire to pursue than one with you. Lord, where we struggle, help us. Lord, where there is bitterness in our hearts, help us. Lord, when we refuse to change or remain stagnant because it is easier, help us to grow in you and pursue you more. Lord, we are new creations because of you, tear away our old selves and may our testimony of deliverance and transformation bring you glory. In Jesus name, amen!
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