“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Have you ever wished you could start over? Not just turn over a new leaf that would eventually fall to the ground and be crushed under the weight of trying again; Or making that New Year resolution only to fail in performing it for more than two weeks. But really begin new like a new born baby with its life stretched out before it with all kinds of possibilities. It doesn’t know what failure or bad choices look like. You can have a new beginning. Christ made it possible.
Our physical birth bears the image of Adam the first human.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image …
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12
No matter how hard we try, how may leaves we turn over, or resolutions we make we cannot bridge the gap Adam made between us and God. The sin image we bear in our flesh separates us from a holy God. Only one who is holy could bridge that gap. Only God is holy and he came in Christ Jesus his Son to do that very thing – to make us new. Not just a new image, but a new life with a new heart, a new spirit a new perspective and a new hope.
The New Image:
- “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren …
- And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly…
- That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
- and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
- Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again…
- not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:49; John 3:6,7; 1:13
In Adam we bear sin’s guilt and punishment. We are powerless to overcome it in our own strength. No matter how good we think we are, we are not holy. We are not righteous. And that is the only way to come to God. He is that way. He has provided all we need in Christ.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
2 Peter 1:3,4
In Christ we have all we need for life and godliness for He has made us to share in his divine nature. In Him we have escaped the corrupt state we inherited from Adam.
- “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit …
- In whom we have redemption through his blood,
- the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace …
- of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;” Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30
Jesus bridged the gap. He took on our flesh with all its weakness and guilt. It has been crucified in him. He has given us a new life, not a new leaf, not a second chance to try to make it right. He has made us right with the Father. He has made us completely new. It took God only a day to create the first Adam. He painstakingly works his righteousness in us throughout a lifetime preparing us for eternity with him. Then the image of Christ in us will be completed.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
Then all things will be made new and the old will be gone forever. More about that next time.
What does being “in Christ” mean to you?