Monday, April 1, 2019
2nd Corinthians 5:17-18: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
No, this not an April Fools joke. This is real.
When we are "in Christ," we are a new creation. What that means is this. All we were is now gone. The blood of Jesus washes us clean from the inside out. We cannot "reinvent" ourselves. We are remade. We cannot "lift ourselves up by our boot straps." We are picked up from death and ruin into life and salvation.
How can this happen?
"All this is from God..." You have heard the phrase, "a leopard cannot change his spots." How true. Neither can we. We cannot change the fact that we are conceived and born into sin. Only God makes the change. Only God through Christ will change this lowly body and transform it into a heavenly body. Only God through Christ creates someone new out of someone old. We are dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
The Key Phrase:
"if anyone is IN Christ. (emphasis mine), he is a new creation." To be "In Christ" necessitates for us not to be "in self." Something has to give. Something has to go away for us to be "in Christ."
What has to go away?
We do. Jesus was told by Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus, "If you had come when we wanted you to, my brother would not have died." Jesus' reply was, "Your brother will rise again." Martha's reply to that was, "Yes, I know that Lazarus will rise on the last day." Then Jesus says something amazing. Jesus takes what Martha said and took it one step further. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in, even though he will die, yet will he live and whoever believes in me shall never die."
To live in Christ means that we have to die. We have to die to sin and unrighteousness. When we believe in Jesus and what He did, we "crucify" the flesh and live according to spirit of Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus died in order to forgive our sins. Jesus rose to give to us a new life.
Through Christ we are new creations. Through Christ we have new lives that live in the world today AND will live with Jesus forever. We are new creations.
Let's discuss this. I would like to invite you to comment. What are your thoughts.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.