A New Creation in Christ Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV

“For the love of Christ controls us because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

How does the love of Christ control us? Well, for one, if we have died with Christ to sin, and if we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then we have surrendered control of our lives over to God. We are now his possession, and he owns us, and he is now the one who is to be leading and guiding us in the way that we should go, and not ourselves. So, Christ’s love for us is the irresistible power that moves us to follow (obey) him.

For if we have indeed been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and so now we are no longer living as slaves to sin but as slaves to God and to his righteousness, then we are fulfilling God’s purpose in dying on that cross for our sins. For Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for our Lord who for our sake died and was raised from the dead. And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (see 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14).

2 Corinthians 5:16-19 ESV

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

Now I want to begin here by defining “reconciliation.” For it means that I change from who and what I was before to now follow the Lord Jesus Christ in his ways according to the will of God. I don’t remain like I was before, living in sin, but now I am walking (in conduct, in purpose, in practice) according to the Spirit of God and not according to the flesh. And this goes along with the word “redeem” which is about Jesus buying us back for God with his blood out of our lives of sin to now walk as servants of righteousness in honoring God with our lives.

So, if we have truly been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and so we have died with him to sin and we are now living to him and to his righteousness, we are to no longer be regarded according to the flesh, for now we walk by the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For if we truly are in Christ Jesus, by genuine God-given faith in him, we have been made new creations in Christ Jesus and our old lives of living in sin have been put to death so we can now live new lives in Christ Jesus in holiness and righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, in practice.

And all this is from God and not from ourselves. For even the faith to believe in Jesus Christ comes from God and is gifted to us by God/Christ, and it is not of our own doing. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of (turn from) our sins to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands under the New Covenant (Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 6:44).

And because Jesus Christ is the author and the perfecter of our faith, and our faith is gifted to us by God, and we can’t even believe in Jesus unless God persuades us to, then we don’t get to define what that faith looks like. God and his Scriptures are the ones to define faith for us and they define faith as obedience to our Lord. And disobedience is defined as unbelief. But that obedience includes the forsaking of (dying to) sin, not just once, but daily (consistently) and us living godly lives in the power of God.

For, again, reconciliation has to do with us changing from who we were, lost in sin, living for sinful pleasures, to now living to honor Jesus Christ with our lives. For this is the purpose of why Jesus Christ gave himself up for us on that cross, which was to put our sins to death with him so that we can die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength. But all the glory goes to God for it all comes from him, but this doesn’t mean he does everything and we do nothing. We still have to obey him or we do not have eternal life in him.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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