Thursday, October 31, 2013

A New Creation

by Tim O'Brien

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I have been a Christian for just over four years, and from the moment that I realized I was saved, this has been my favorite verse.  One evening I was reading my Bible just making my way through the New Testament, and I read these eye opening words: “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  The Holy Spirit pierced my heart with these words.  I stopped reading and just started to think about all that had changed in the past few months.  No longer was I going to the bar, no longer was I doing drugs, no longer was I cussing and using the Lord’s name in vain, no longer was I purposely deceiving my parents.  These old things had passed away.  What was even more amazing was that along with those behaviors passing away my desire for them was also gone.  In fact my heart was telling me that those behaviors were sinful.  My heart was different.  It was filled with new desires.  Desires for holiness, desires for Jesus, desires to know His Word, desires to serve His church,  and desires to love and serve people in need.  I had become a new creation.  I was in Christ.

This verse is essential in verifying one’s own salvation.  Are you new? Don’t be mistaken, salvation is not the result of behavior modification.  I don’t think that I am saved simply because I don’t outwardly sin as much as I used too.  I know that I am saved because I truly love Jesus and His Word and I desire to know Him better and to grow in holiness.  I think Ezekiel describes in most detail what occurred to me in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  God has given me and all true believers a new heart that desires to obey the laws of God.  The believer has been transported from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13).

Any time I share my testimony I use 2 Corinthians 5:17 to explain what God has done.  Now, for someone who has grown up in the church, this might not be a life changing verse for them because they have grown up avoiding the bad behaviors that I was engaged in.  Therefore, their transformation would not be as outwardly visible as someone with my background, but that does not mean that it is any less significant.  A lost sinner, dead in their transgressions has been made alive in Christ.  Major changes have occurred in the heart desires and attitudes of this person in the same way as in me.  

Do you love Jesus? Do you desire to know His word? Do you love and desire holiness?  These are questions that all believers can answer YES to.

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