Personal Challenge #7 New Creation

Journal Entry, Age 24
Last night I had a revelation about being a ‘New Creation’ . When my future husband meets me, or anyone meets me for that matter, my past will not be part of me anymore. [My ex-fiance] always saw it as a part of me – my past – yet still a part of me. I still carry myself in a way that is kind of sexual – I still carry myself as if I’ve been well-used. But I will literally be as a virgin. Pure.

“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in NEWNESS of life.” (Romans 6:4 ESV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Cor 5:17

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! […] Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by. The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua:  “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here” (Zechariah 3:1-6).

Journal Entry, Age 24
It wasn’t Joshua who was dirty; it was just the clothes he was wearing. He didn’t need a change of skin, he just needed a change of clothes.

Your accuser was rebuked. Your filthy clothes (our sin; old self) were taken away from you. You were clothed in fine garments (new self; clothed with Christ). 

Let’s take a look at what it means to be in Christ (based on Romans 8 and Ephesians 1:3-8): 

If I am in Christ…

  • There is no condemnation for me. (Romans 8:1)
  • The Spirit of God lives in me. (8:11)

If the Spirit of God lives in me…

  • I do not live according to the sinful nature, but rather I live according to the Spirit. I set my mind on what the Spirit desires, rather than what my sinful nature desires. (Romans 8:5)
  • I am no longer controlled by the sinful nature, which brought death in my life, but I am controlled by the Spirit, which is life and peace. (8:6,9)
  • If Christ is in me, my body is dead because of sin, yet my spirit is alive because of righteousness. (8:10)
  • I am led by the Spirit of God. (8:14)

If I am led by the Spirit of God…

  • By the Spirit, I put to death the misdeeds of the body, the sinful nature. (Romans 8:13)
  • I am a child of God, and heir and co-heir with Christ, to share in his sufferings in order to also share in His glory. (8:17)

If I am in Christ, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3):

  • Chosen in him to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)
  • In love, predestined for adoption to sonship. (1:4-5)
  • Given redemption through Jesus’ blood, given the forgiveness of sins. (1:7)
  • God lavishes grace on us. (1:7-8)

I am reconciled to God, brought near by the blood of Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’s sins against them.” (2 Cor 5:17-19)

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:14a)

I am clothed with Christ.

“…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Gal 3:27)

“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:14) 

The way I live changes.

  • I take off my old self with its practices and put on the new self.
  • I don’t think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Rather, I think about excellent and praiseworthy things.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col 2:20-3:10)

God’s peace protects our hearts and minds.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:4-9)

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” (Romans 8:6-9a)

I forget what is behind and live my life in Him.

  • Called to a holy life.
  • Exhorted to continue to live my life in Him, being rooted, built up, and strengthened in Him, overflowing with thankfulness.
  • Enabled to stand firm in Christ.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

“It is because of God that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:30,31) 

“…we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—” (Phil 3:3). 

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time […] You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 1:9; 2:1)

“Those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus are called to be holy.” (1 Cor 1:2) 

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col 2:6-7)

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.” (2 Cor 1:21)

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 1:20)

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)

2:16 Testimony: New Creation