“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;”
Jesus made it clear that, if we have rejected Him, we are already dead, “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” John 3:18 HCSB
We are dead before we accepted Christ. We are cut off from God. We have no home in Heaven, no hope of eternal life. We are still born entities who have not been given the gift of eternal life via the Holy Spirit. We are already dead.
There is a familiar saying that, “Jesus did not come here to make bad people good, but to make dead people live.” I have no idea who said this, so I cannot give attribution.
Jesus came here to die so that I can live. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, all the law of sin was nailed to the cross. The law existed to demonstrate that it is impossible for me to obey God on my own power. Jesus put “finished” to the law when He was nailed to the cross, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. “ Col 2:14
All the reasons that people can think of, all the accusation that Satan accuses you with, any right anyone had to find fault with you was put to death the moment you accepted Him. Furthermore, sin itself no longer has command over you. When you accepted Christ, the Spirit of God immediately came to you, moved in to your body, your mind, your life, and brought YOU to life in Christ.
Jesus became sin, and died of it, took it to Hell with him and paid the full penalty for it. All sin was put to death and no longer has any authority over you. The only power sin has, now, is whatever you give it. The good news here is, now that the Spirit of God lives in you, you have all the resources of Heaven to help you overcome sin.
BUT WHAT ABOUT MY PAST?
old things have passed away
When you accepted Jesus Christ’s free gift, your past died with Christ. Your new life was created when He rose from the dead. Your acceptance of this completed work put to death your old self. “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” Col 2: 12-13 NASB
When you accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for you, you were buried with him in death, and the new creation that arose from the dead is the new creation that now lives in you.
Your past is just that, the past.
I know, I know, everyone else still treats me as if I am the old me. That is OK. People will eventually see that you are no longer that person. This takes time and patience. The new life you will live will be a product of Christ living in you.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 NASB
You died. Christ lives in you, now. Your old self is dead.
Yes, you still have memories of the past, but they no longer have power over you. The Spirit of God lives in you, now. Allow the Spirit of God to work in you to change you into the likeness of Christ. You have to forgive your past. God already did.
The past has just as much hold over you as you let it. Forgive your past. People change very slowly, but they will change. As evidence of your new life dawns on others, you will be treated differently. Let time and patience do their jobs.
GOD LIVES IN YOU
The greatest thing that you will learn is, now that you are born into the Kingdom of Heaven, you are now an adopted child of God. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 NASB
Fear of punishment for your past can go away now. You are no longer a slave to your past, so you can stop acting as if it has any influence over you. It died when you died. You died when you accepted the free gift of salvation. It is now Christ that lives in you. You are His brother. God is now your father.
I John 4:15 says that God abides in you, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
QUALITY OF LIFE
This new life, this “Zoe” as it is said in the scriptures, is not just living, it defines a new quality of life. Your life changes because you are a new born creature. Where you didn’t exist, you now exist in Heaven. Zoe is not just a life form, but a new life form that has a new quality of life. This quality of life manifests itself in you as you grow in Christ.
We are possessed of this quality the second we are born. All that God is, has, and gives, lives in you. It is your inheritance. The fullness of the Kingdom of God is yours, now, today, because you were born into the kingdom of Heaven.
Sin used to be your master. This is no longer true of you. Where you were once dead in your sin, sin now only has the power over you that you allow it to have. But, even then, the Grace of God covers our sin. We do not abuse this grace, but have access to it so that we can be continually made into the righteousness of Christ. Christ’s righteousness lives in us. It becomes manifest in us when we realize we are free from the curse of sin.
Being free from sin is not comprised of a list of “Don’ts”. The influence of the Spirit of God will show you a view of sin that you never had before. Sin does not become a list of don’ts, but a fact of “Don’t want to”. Sin no longer will have the power over you that it used to have.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:1-8
Before we were born again, we had no righteousness. Now, we are alive in Christ, and HIS righteousness lives in us. He did this for us, so we cannot brag about it.
IT NO LONGER MATTERS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS
In God’s eyes, you are His child. In His eyes, you are complete. You are loved and lovely. You are whole and pure. When you accepted this free gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you were born into the Kingdom of Heaven complete in every way.
The world may not recognize what God has done in you. But as you submit to Him, by the power of His spirit, God will make manifest in your life all the riches of His Kingdom. He will do this in you as you humble yourself before the Lord: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:10
Don’t let people convince you that you are not His. Don’t talk yourself into going back to your old life. Let the power of the Living God work in you. It is written that a broken and contrite heart, God will not despise. It takes you emptying you of yourself and allowing the completed work of God, that is in you, to be made manifest in your life.
No one can take this away from you.
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
No one can rob you of your God-given gift of life and abundant living unless you allow it. Abide in the word, abide in the love of God. Let the power of the Spirit of God rule in your life.
I promise, you will see life and live life differently than you ever knew was possible. The problems you think you have today, will be manageable because you will see them in the light of the Love of God, and His wisdom. Many of the problems you have today will stop being problems because God will change your heart.
Where the law of sin said “You can’t”, Jesus and the power of His resurrection says, “I DID!”.
Where guilt and the world and Satan says, “You are a failure”, Jesus says, “My success is YOUR success, recieve it and walk in it.”
Where the Accuser says, “You are guilty!”, Jesus said, “You are innocent.”
The love and power of God abides in you. Fear and sin no longer rules your life. What God has placed in you cannot be removed. God wants to make His power and life manifest in you. As you seek Him, and pray, and search His word, and believe, the life God has placed inside you will be known to the rest of the world.
Chose you this day whom you will serve…
Let’s be about it.
I Love You
David G. Perkins