How does (or should) a Christian live? We might say a Christian is “made” by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; and we might define a Christian as a child of God who will spend eternity in His presence. And while these are true statements, it still seems there ought to be something about a Christian which makes him different from the rest of the unbelieving world; “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The moment we truly believe in Jesus Christ and accept the forgiveness offered through His sacrifice, we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and become a “new creation.” But at the very instant of what we call our new birth, there is little recognizable difference between the old creation and the new. The transformation is done on our heart when we receive His Spirit, but there still remains a long process of maturing and allowing this transformation to consume every area of our life.
Much of the letters written by Paul were devoted to this same subject. He spent most of his ministry preaching the good news of Salvation through faith in Jesus; but most of his writing was to Christians, instructing them on how they should live.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
These verses are part of a three chapter passage (Ephesians 4-6) which begins with “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1) and includes teaching about unity, love, humility, anger, purity, husbands, wives, parents, children, slaves, masters, and the full armor of God – all teaching about what is meant by the new self! Some find it hard to understand that a Christian must be taught and urged how to live, but Paul understood. In fact, it’s clear in the original language that Paul is saying to put on the new self…and to KEEP putting it on!!
This is perhaps the most important, yet also the most neglected, teaching of the church today. We seem to have lost the understanding that the Christian life is designed to be a radical transformation which lasts all the rest of our days. The call to “come as you are” is also a call to prepare for, and expect, change.
The new life we have been given is not like the old; it is “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Let’s rise up every day and be determined to put away the old and live according to the new. Let’s show the world that our walk is different, that we walk hand in hand with Jesus, and that we have and will continue to put on the new self.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Dec 2 Daniel 9:1-10:21; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 28:27-28