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You: Are a new creation

Published: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

PART 2 – You must realize that God used Jesus for you to have a new life

What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?   Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  Romans 6:1-4

This is the second of a four-part discussion on two Biblical passages.  The first passage was last week.  We continue with that passage this week.  The purpose of this four-part series is to allow the Holy Spirit to show you, as real and deeply as possible, the grace of God.

 

Last week I ended the discussion by talking about dying to sin.  This was God’s doing.  You must realize that God knew that you could not live in your existing body with the sinful “self”, because the sins that you commit will continue and continue and continue until you die.  God had to do something to remove the control of sin.  Please understand this.  God made you into a new creation by sending His own Son to die on the cross.  He knows you cannot control the “self” in you.  It will take the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is all a part of God’s grace.

Most Christians think of the death of Jesus on the cross as a global event that permitted all sins to be forgiven.  This is absolutely and totally true.  But, God did not stop with the future salvation that Christians will experience when they do not have to face God’s judgment at the end times.  God used the cross, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to tell Christians that NOW is the time to apply God’s work to our lives so that we will live a life like Christ.  This is why you need to have GRACE always in the front of your mind.

In the passage above, it is explained that Christians died to sin and were baptized into Christ Jesus.  Baptism is a transliterated word from the Greek.  This means that it is the same word in Greek as it is in any other language.  No new word was formed to replace the word baptism.  At the time of Christ, “baptizo” was a word used to dye cloth.  This usually meant placing the cloth completely under the dye solution.   Therefore, to be baptized into Christ Jesus is to become like Him.  In a way, you can say we are the same died color as Christ.  I believe it would be the color red representing the blood of Christ.

What makes this so important to you today is that God meant for this to happen to you when you became a Christian.  God wants you to be baptized into Christ Jesus as soon as you become a Christian.  This outward sign demonstrates that you and Christ Jesus are the same.  You are identified with Him in every way.   As an aside, this is why Jesus said that He had to be baptized…He wanted to identify with you as a human being.  He wanted you to know that He was living a life just like you with all of the joys, trials, sufferings, temptations, and everything else that we experience in life.  He experienced everything (and more) that you experience in life.

But, God doesn’t stop here.  God specifically says that you were baptized into the death of Jesus Christ.  Don’t make this hard to understand.  God wanted you to begin to identify with Jesus in all that happened to Him starting with His death.  You must think about this identification with Christ.  You died as Christ died.  God goes on to say that you were buried with Christ.  This is another concept that may be hard to accept, but God, through the Holy Spirit, will help you.

These identifications with Christ are the spiritual truths that God wants you to know about and apply to your life so that you will become more like Christ in the way you live. This is the goal that God has purposed for your life.  He wants to remove the world from you and replace it with spiritual truths.

 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:8

God continues to draw a parallel between your new creation and Christ by saying that just as Christ was raised from the dead, you will live a new life.  I believe that your new life is now.  All Christians should be aware of these most important spiritual truths.  They should be made a part of your everyday activity.

I think you will agree with the following statement: most people who become Christians and are baptized never make the connection that God is creating them new through their identification with Christ.  I think it should be a huge part of every new Christian’s life.  They have died, been buried, and raised to a new life just like Christ.  Most importantly, I think God expects this to be happening in the here and now.

There is one very damaging aspect of these spiritual truths.  Too many Christians try to live a Christian life on their own strength.  I hope this discussion has shown how that is impossible.  We are back to the list of who sinners are in Part 1.  Everything has been connected to the Son of God, because God said that this is the way it’s going to work and it’s the only way it’s going to work.

Every Christian should be seeking what Christ did, how He lived with other people, how He responded to good and bad things, etc.  Only then can we truly become the children of God on this earth giving a great and true witness of who God is and how much He loves you and others.

I hope this has given you something to think about in your own life.  No matter how long you have been a Christian, please do not rationalize that it is too late to live a life for God as He intended.  If you are a Christian and you make these spiritual truths part of your life, I hope you will seek out a new Christian who has been recently baptized.  I beg you to walk along side them and explain this unbelievable grand plan that God put in place for us to live a Christ-like life today.

A little hint about Part 3 next week is that God’s grace will be clearly shown through the life of Christ!  This is the same life that He wants you to live now!

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