Who am I? (part 1)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace. Thank for your faithfulness and love. Please reveal to me and to everyone reading this the empowering and transformative truth of who we are in you. Please open our eyes to see ourselves as you see us and see others as you see them. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

I am a new creation. Praise the Lord!!!!  I am not the sinner I was. I am not the broken, hurting person I used to be.  I am not any longer a terrible person. I am made new! New I tell ya, new!!!

I new creature! New and made into what He intended for His good works and glory – new for the blessed life I was supposed to have. Anyone following this? Good stuff here!!! If you are new as well, say AMEN!

So, what does this mean and how are we made new.  Well, this one hurts the fleshly sinful nature of the ‘Old’ – actually it kills it. So that the new nature may live and have abundant life! Put the knife down, it is a metaphor, although denying one’s self can be painful at first.  Let’s take a closer look.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 ESV
Paul wrote this – and as a Roman citizen it is unlikely he was ever crucified as citizens were protected from that brutal of a death. He was most likely, and commonly believed to have, died by beheading as a martyr.  So, what does he mean when he says he has been crucified with Christ? 
I will not share the verses from the book of Roman’s chapters 6-8 where he describes the battle over flesh and sin – the submission to God’s will and obedience – and the whole ‘Die to self’.  But if you are hungry for more meat, feel free to go read it.

Paul repeated his message in different letters to the various churches.  Let’s study how he presented this message to the Colossians:  

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is 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 what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:1-14 ESV

Such a full passage! It begins with being raised with Christ – so we see the death of self, had happened by inference and then again in verse 5 it is flat out stated along with a good description of what should be ‘put to death’.

Let us describe the “old” me – the old you – the old that was made into a new creation. These practices, behaviors and ‘just who I am’ (or even ‘I was born this way’ ideologies) are:
a mind set on things that are on earth, sexual immorality, impurity, passion [hold up! What? Oh the Greek word here can be translated as passion however it can also be translated as ‘depraved passion’ or ‘lust’. The King James translates it as inordinate affection.], evil desire, covetousness – which is idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk from your mouth [yep, that potty mouth – oh how hard a time I had and sometimes still have with not using foul language], and lying to one another.
This seems like a pretty exhaustive list – but I am sure we can, if we examine ourselves well enough, find other things that do not bring glory to God that should be part of the ‘old’ me (old you).

We most definitely were born that way – born into a sin nature and propensity to sin and grow in depravity. When people say they cannot help themselves – it most definitely is a truth, however only in part. They are in bondage to the sin, in the dark and do not have the light to see. The interesting thing about Jesus’s work on the cross is that, at the moment Jesus’s blood spilt, sin became a choice. To some degree it was always a choice. If you know it or not, having a sin nature and being compelled to sin is no longer an excuse. Yes you were born sinful, but you have the choice to sin or not. Yes you may be in bondage to sin, but you have the choice to be free from bondage. Yes the old man is sin – but you have the choice to deny sin, resist the devil, and be delivered and become a new creature.

Oh how the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Oh how I could not do it on my own – I am sure you could not as well. But…
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 ESV

So we deny our old selves, nail them to a cross metaphorically speaking. (If nailed and left there I am sure the struggle to metaphorically kill the sin nature will be easier.) Choose not to sin. Pray, repent, fall, get back up – it is a process. An intentional process.

Then we become a new creature, described here in Colossians as:
Raised with Christ
Seeks the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God
Mind set on things that are above
Life hidden with Christ in God
Practices righteousness 
having put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator
Unity with Christians where Christ is all, and in all
BeingGod’s chosen ones
holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving
And above all these loving, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

This is a fabulous and surly incomplete description of the new creature. And we can examine ourselves for evidence of these things developing in our lives as those old things pass away.

“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 ESV

Oh the grace of it all!!! Here in 1 John we see God grace as He, Himself, helps us, protects us and works in us to complete the process with us! All for the Glory of God!!!
Because those who do not have a relationship cannot stop sinning, cannot be free from bondage, cannot change – But through grace and for God’s glory we can and then can say – I am a new creature!

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” Romans 12:2a ESV

Are you a new creature? Or are you the same as you have always been except now you call yourself a Christian. Calling yourself something different is not the same as letting God transform you into something new – with release, with peace, with blessings, with real love, etc. It’s time to call out to God in surrender and let Him make you new!

And if you are a new creature, continue to read your Bible – it continues to transform you and renew you and keeps you the New Creature that God intended for you to be.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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