Monday, September 19, 2016

New Creation in Christ

Praise God for our new birth/new lives in Christ! Those who are saved by grace through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ are made new creations through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Transformation follows salvation. God gives us new heart and new identity. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are now beloved children of God and saints, equipped to do good works. When we die to self and surrender all to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit does His recreating work in us and we evidently have new priorities, new values, new vision, new character, new worldview, new perspectives, new attitudes, new affections, new direction, new habits, and new desires. "The new has come!" By the grace and power of God, we are being transformed into Christlikeness.

"The old has passed away." Don't go back to your old life. 
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24) We are not to be driven by the old sinful nature. We must daily put on Christ and have the mind of Christ, the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives. "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." (Romans 13:14) We are to glorify Christ, not gratify selves!

Don't let your past define you, either. You are now forgiven and free. When you let your past pain and failures be your present identity, you are stuck in a prison of shame. God's grace and forgiveness can heal you and help you break free from the shackles of shame. We cannot change our past but we can do something about our present and future. We are not what we did or what happened to us; we are who God says we are. Give God all your broken pieces; He will make a beautiful mosaic for His glory.

Prayer: Thank You, Abba Father, for Your forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and sanctification! Thank You for my union with Christ that gives me a new life to live for You. Please continue to mold me to be more Christlike and enable me to walk faithfully in obedience. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and change me from the inside out. May the fruit of the Spirit be evident in my life so that my life may be a blessing to others and point them to You! May my life manifest Your transforming grace! Please help me boldly share the Good News with anyone who needs to experience Your grace and forgiveness. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.
"Does anyone ask me what we may expect to see in a true conversion? I reply--there will always be something seen in a converted man's . . .
  and daily life. 

You will not see perfection in him; but you will see in him--something peculiar, distinct, and different from other people.

You will see him . . . 
  hating sin, 
  loving Christ, 
  following after holiness, 
  taking pleasure in his Bible, 
  persevering in prayer. 

You will see him . . .

These, at any rate, will be his aims--these are the things which he will follow after, however short he may come of perfection.
In some converted people you will see these things more distinctly--in others less. This only I say--wherever there is true conversion, something of this kind will be seen." (J.C. Ryle)

"He who is born again, gives evidence that he has passed from death to life. It is visible in his conduct--the observer of him perceives the change. How different now, from what he once was! The following are the principal evidences of regeneration:
(1) Hatred to sin.
(2) Victory over the world.
(3) Brotherly love.
(4) Delight in spiritual duties.
(5) A life of holiness.
(6) Self-loathing, and constant faith in the sacrifice of Christ. 
(7) Sincere love to Christ.
" (William Nicholson)

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