Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are We Merely The Old Creation Acting Like The New?

I am afraid that we have failed to understand the mystery that God has revealed to us in Jesus Christ. We say that we know Jesus, that we have accepted him, but we fail to be changed, preferring to live as we have always lived. Maybe I am reading a different Bible than everyone else but mine tells me that encountering Jesus causes a very big change; so big we are now referred to as a "new creation".

That is the part we seem to lack understanding in, that God did a new work through his Son Jesus. He created a new being because the old was flawed. It isn't that Jesus came to give us a new morality, a new set of laws by which to live. God was not interested in trying to conform us to a better behaviour. God set out to create a new creation through Jesus Christ, that he would be the first born of something new, something better, something transformed from the useless material we had become.

So here we are a new creation acting like the old, operating like the old. We fail to understand that in order to pour the new wine in God had to create a new wineskin:

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins. (Mark 2:21-22)

Our problem is that our bodies will be the last to be transformed and that will happen when we are called home. In the mean time we have to keep our bodies submitted to the Spirit and allow our spirit to be dominant. We have to live and operate in the Spirit and when our body complains or tries to rebel, we have to put it in its place. An athlete does not always feel like training, forcing his body to do what he is willing it to do, but he knows that he must force his body if he hopes to win the prize. The Apostle Paul told us that this also needs to be our attitude toward our flesh that still wants to respond to sinful desires.

We are a new creation which means that we are no longer subject to the rules of nature. Trusting that this is true, by placing our faith in this relationship we have with the Father through Jesus, we are able to live by God's promises. When we ask, things happen. We are healers, workers of miracles because nature must respond to the authority we have in Jesus. Demons must flee and evil must back away. Even our own bodies must respond to this authority. When our bodies, this flesh that would keep us subjected to sin, refuses to respond, we must force it to submit to the leadership of our Spirit.

We live as if there has been no change. We still allow our flesh to dictate to us. We fail to understand the authority we have. When we look to what fills our churches we see no difference to what fills the world. We are a people failing to walk in the strength and the authority we have been born into as a new creation. Someone has convinced the brothers and sisters of the King of kings, that they are nobodies, just common people who have to scratch out a meager living in this world. Someone has been lying to us and it is time to throw off that lie. We are not common, and we are not subject to the darkness of this world. We belong to the Light and the Light has authority over all things. We are more than just creatures rescued from the light. In that rescue we were changed so that we no longer belong to the darkness, we don't fit in there, we can't even stand the thought of that place because we have been changed.

Come on people! Is this the reason why Jesus wondered if he would find any faith in this world on his return? Aren't you tired of living lies? Aren't you tired of feeling sick, weak, useless, with no purpose. How can the blind lead the blind? How do you expect to lead others out of darkness when you find no hope in yourself? You must be strong in order to be a rescuer and you are, if you would only realize it. Stop letting your flesh lie to you and making you weak and oppressed. Rise up in the power of the new creation that you are. Jesus told us this simple truth:

“Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

Do you live as if this is true? Do you live as the new creation you are? Do you walk in the authority that has been given to you? Do you still speak in "ifs"? Do you still look for a way to cover yourself "if" it doesn't "work"? You are no new creation then. You are the old creation clothed in a desire to be more; a mere "wannabe" who has not permitted the encounter with Jesus to transform you. Spend some time in Romans 6, Galatians 5, 1 Corinthians 15 and see what I am talking about. The world is looking at us but they are not seeing a Holy Spirit filled, Christ-centered people, filled with the power and authority that God has promised. Considering that God is a keeper of his promises, the problem must rest with us. Open yourself to the Spirit and read this:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:1-17)

Be transformed my friends not conformed.


Andrew said...

Thanks for the encouragement... I will live like I am supposed to as a believer... No condemnation or oppression allowed... I will live in the power of the Holy Spirit...

Your tweets are very meaningful to me!!!

Pastor Paul said...

Amen to that!