2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Like I said yesterday, there is a lot to learn in this verse. First Paul focused on the Love of Christ and the dramatic impact God has planned for this love to have on our life, and now he moves on to the responsibility Christ has given us as Christians in the world. Is there anyone reading here, that doubts that if we could somehow just get Christians worldwide to allow the love of Christ to guide them all, moment by moment, day by day, that there would not be a dramatic change in the world, and in the way Christians are viewed by the world? Doesn’t it also make sense that as a result, millions would turn to Christ from this impact? I am convinced that most Christians do not have their priorities straight. If the creator of the universe gave you a specific mission, would you take it seriously? He did ... and collectively ... we don't!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Could it be that many of us are “In Christ” but are in fact living as if they don't even know Christ? What about you? Are you a “New Creation”? What is different about you when you compare yourself to the person you were before you accepted Jesus’ free gift of eternal life? What “old has gone”, and what “new has come”? I don’t mean to be confrontational ... but when God says he wants us to meditate on the word, these are the hard questions he wants us to ask ourselves. If the old is still a daily reality in your life, then this is the first day of the rest of your life. I am confident that if you have received Christ as your Savior, that you are a new creation, and that your salvation is secure, based upon what Jesus did for all of us on the cross ... but does anyone want to spend the rest of their life here on earth ... with a witness contrary to the Love of Christ?
The question is: when are you going to start living the victorious life that Jesus has planned for you?
What “OLD” is still hindering you in your life? There are no new “Old” ways. They are the same as they were from the beginning of man. In Gen 3:1-5 and Mat 4:1-10, the devil tempted first Adam and Eve, and then Jesus in the same three ways: the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. We all know what happened to Adam and Eve. They failed God, and lost their relationship, and many of the special blessings and plans that He had in store for them. If you follow the lead of Adam and Eve, you will continue to fall into the same traps that they fell into. The different way that Jesus responded to the same temptations brought about totally different results with each temptation. Jesus responds with a specific truth that contradicts and counteracts each temptation. The devil retreats and angels come and minister to him. Jesus has given us his word to help us to respond to these three areas of attack. As was pointed out in the “Satan’s Meeting”, there are many subtle ways we can be led in the wrong direction. The challenge is that most of these issues are not wrong in and of themselves, but rather potential ways of transition from the Best possible way to go, to the Worst way to go. As anyone with a computer knows, a few steps in the wrong direction and you can end up in the worst of places. Each of us is different and our enemy knows our weakest areas of attack. Fortunately, so do you and you have God’s word, the sword of the spirit to respond to these attacks when they come upon you. But first, you need to test your current state of mind.
1. Does Moral Truth absolutely exist? Yes or No
2. Is Moral truth defined in the Bible? Yes or No
3. Did Jesus lead a sinless life? Yes or No
4. Is God the all powerful and all knowing creator of the universe? Yes or No
5. Do you believe salvation is a gift of God, and you can’t earn it? Yes or No
6. Do you believe Satan, the devil is real? Yes or No
7. Are Christians responsible to share their faith with others? Yes or No
8. Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings? Yes or No
The answers to these questions will help you identify some issues that may be hindering your spiritual growth. As Christians we do not get to choose: what is truth, and what is not truth. God has defined truth issue by issue for us: in his word. When we decide to maintain control over what truth is, the result is: we become hypocrites. How does this play out in the real world? Earlier today, while I was reading a blog, a man identified himself as a Christian homosexual. He explained he had a wife and children, but had divorced his wife. Now I did not want to judge this man, instead I invited him to my blog. In my mind, the truth on this issue is clear in God's word. But the fact is that the truth is also clear about a hundred other issues and many Christians conveniently ignore those truths also. God is certainly able to speak to each one of us. God wants me to love all as he loves me. I am convinced that God does not want me to be legalistic. I have my own list of ways that I fail to be the man Jesus wants me to be. Without question, I would never qualify if not for the sacrifice Jesus made for me. But, because of that sacrifice I have certainty of eternity with Christ in heaven. We must take the logs out of our eyes so that we can help others take the speck out of their eyes. Only God can judge others. God wants to replace your OLD with NEW. The essence of these New things Jesus has for each of us become clear when we make a list of the qualities of the love of Christ. When satan offers you the Old things, Jesus wants you to respond to him by saying: Be gone, I am a new man, I have replaced that with the love of Christ. And Jesus has a mission for you and me!
Things to do:
List your OLD
Identify God’s Biblical responses to your Old
How has God changed you?
How do you still need to change?
What mission has Jesus given you?
Email me direct with any questions or biblical issues that you might have
God Bless You! Bob
Joy to the World! #2
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