Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Three Wednesday nights ago I spoke about Lazarus being raised from the dead. The next two Wednesday nights I spoke on what the Bible calls A New Creation. Then last Wednesday, we looked at another verse about becoming A New Creation, found in 2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!
If we look at 2 Corinthians 5:17 in detail we see that it begins with 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ. What does it mean to be In Christ? Doing a word search on the phrase “in Christ” found it does not occur in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John at all.
Out of the 90 plus times ‘in Christ’ appeared in scripture I narrowed it down to the following four verses.
Romans 6:11, 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:22, 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Ephesians 2:10, 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
A few verses that do not have the phrase “in Christ” within them, but in the NIV there is an introductory header that reads, Living as those made alive in Christ. I hope you find that header as interesting as I do, but let’s look at the three verses it introduces. Colossians 3:1-3. Focusing on verse three, 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Now none of us literally died did we when we accepted Christ? No, of course not. But it says here we died.
So how did we go about getting this new life in Christ? Part of the answer comes from 1 Peter 1:23, 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For many of us this new life does not come easy. Some of us have to hit rock bottom in this life, living in the values of this world before we will acknowledge we need help that we cannot do it on our own.
Looking back at God’s word, what does He expect of us once we are given this new life? James wrote in his book in chapter 1 verse 18, James 1:18, 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
I really like how Paul puts it in his letter to Titus in chapter 3 verses 3-7. None of us deserved it, but it was a free gift of grace that we could have a new life in Christ. I was all of those things, foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures and more yet I have been saved by His mercy.
What are we to do with this new life in Christ. I don’t know what you are to do, but ask God in prayer. You never know what He might say to you. Let’s look at what He told the apostles in Acts 5:17-20. Nicodemus didn’t know what to make of all this when he visited Jesus – John 3:2-10. However, after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, we find Nicodemus may have finally understood. For we read in Acts 5:7, 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
So we should as a minimum and tell the people all about this new life we have in Christ. This new, incredibly new and wonderful way of seeing everything in our lives.