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Sunday, August 25, 2013

ARE YOU A NEW CREATION?

(Original post from Oct. 2010)
After hearing about God and about Jesus, a person will either believe that the Bible is true or they will believe that it is false.  They will make a decision about what to do with the One True God and the Savior Jesus Christ based upon what they hear and what they believe.

Hearing and believeing that Jesus is a Savior makes a person realize that they have sin in their lives.  Sin seperates us from God and Jesus is the only one who can draw us closer to God.  But, He can only draw us closer to Him if we allow Him to work in our lives.  Believeing that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the Savior and the one who can wash away our sin, will cause us to repent of those sins.  Repenting is turning away from sin and drawing closer to God.  He draws us near to Him when we allow Him to be a part of our lives.

Jesus wants us to have a new life...a life that is ready to surrender our will and a life that is ready to do His Father's will. We put our faith in Jesus and give our lives to Him.  He can take our dirty, sinful life and make it new.  I like that, don't you?

There are so many scriptures that refer to our relationship with Jesus.  Here are a few of them.  Pay attention to the specifics of our relationship with Him. (I'm numbering the scriptures to discuss them at the end. I am also enlarging the text I will be referring to later. I try to use the whole passage thought, so that the full meaning is understood. (Be sure to open up your own Bible and check the scriptures for yourself!) Don't take my word for it. Take GOD'S WORD for it!  Let Him speak to you through His Words.
#1:  You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27

#2:  In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,  not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us;
he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:11-14

#3. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
1 Peter 3:19-22

#4. 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.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:1-7

So let's look at each of the passages from above and consider our relationship with Jesus:

#1:  By faith we become sons (or daughters!) of God.  This happens through Christ Jesus and we clothe ourselves with Jesus at baptism.

#2 and #3 and #4: Each of these passages deal with our relationship with Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.  The gospel is the "good news".  What is the good news?  It is Christ's death burial and resurrection. The best way to understand this is by the following illustration.  When I first saw an illustration similar to this several years ago...even though I had been baptized several years before that time...it was the greatest thing!  It truly illustrates these verses and shows the significance of water baptism.



(Illustrations by Robert Swain)

So, here we see a wonderful illustration to the scriptures that teach that we are baptized into His death, we are buried with Him through baptism, and then just as Christ was raised up from the dead. We also are raised to walk in newness of life after baptism. There must be a death, burial, and resurrection before this new life is possible. Only in baptism does our old sinful person die and our new person rises free from sin. We are transformed from death to life. We become a new creation. PRAISE GOD!

Baptism gives us a new life because of what Jesus did - because of the gospel!  He willingly died on the cross to save you and I!  He was buried and raised up to give us a death and burial of our old, sinful life...and resurrection resulting in a new life! 

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so much!  Thank you, God, for loving us so much!

 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
 2 Thessalonians 1:8
    
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:15-16

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

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