S103P3 – Our daily encouragement: out with the old

2 Cor. 5:17

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

My moment of justification surely resulted in some instant and drastic changes in my life.  I can recall many conversations with old friends after that moment during which they made me feel like they did not know me anymore.  I tried my hardest to convince them that I was still the same old me just with a new faith.  In my mind, it was not such a big change that I was no longer the friend they had grown to know and love.  I still liked the same activities and the same food as before meeting Jesus; so many of my tastes did not change.  What I did not realize was that they saw the transformation in me that I should have seen, which is God’s new creation in those who are in Christ.  Perhaps still superficially the same in many ways, yet we are completely transformed in a very evident way.

We severely cheapen the work that Christ has done through his death and resurrection when we fail to see that we are not simply a little different than we were before him.  The T-shirt or bumper sticker that say we are not perfect but just forgiven makes it seem like Christians are just like the sinful world with only a small asterisk next to our names.  The truth is that we have been made completely new because we already have partaken in the death and resurrection of Christ spiritually. [Col. 3:1-4] We were sinners but are now saints.  We were enemies of God but now are his friends.  We are his sons and daughters, members of his royal priesthood.  We wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and the Father sees his Son when He sets his eyes upon us.  We are not just different; we are made new.  That is why we are reminded time and again to walk and live like the new creations we have become, putting aside the ways of the old.

I may have some of my old personality or sense of humor, but all things should be in the process of being refined to righteousness.  There are tastes which I no longer can afford to have nor should I desire to have.  There are interests I never had that I now should chase and make daily habit.  I used to be a shadow of the man God desired to create in me, but I now have the opportunity to walk in the fulfillment of that desired creation.  The change that we have undergone is complete even if we are still working out our salvation with fear and trembling.  We are not the people we used to be, and God sees the difference.  He is waiting for us to acknowledge the difference and walk in that transformation.  Father, thank You for not simply making us better but for making us completely new, and give us the revelation of the new creations we are so that we can live these lives in freedom.