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 had the joy and privilege of speaking to a Celebrate Recovery group last night and, as always, came away blessed. What a group of Jesus-lovers! I believe one of the main reasons for that is that they live out the truth of Jesus’ words about those who have been forgiven much also loving much.
These people know about the power of walking in newness of life. We talk about that a lot in the church, but do we really understand or practice it? When I first became a Christian, I was so full of joy—and it showed! No one accused me of having been baptized in vinegar, I guarantee you! But as time went on, I found myself getting caught up in an ever growing to-do list. You know the drill: memorize more scripture verses; attend more Sunday school classes and Bible studies; volunteer for more ministries; above all, learn and utilize the language of “Christianeze” (i.e., “anointing,” “unction,” “rapture,” etc.)
Nothing wrong with any of these things, of course; in fact, I highly recommend them (though I’d go easy on the Christianeze if I were you!). The problem is that I began to substitute the true newness of life that had initially given me so much joy with activities that sapped that joy and damaged my testimony. Can anyone relate?
When God says that we’re “new creations,” He means it. We don’t have to find ways to “act” new; we simply have to “be” who God has already declared us to be. And that, of course, only happens in His presence because as new creations we are now living His eternal life, not our own temporal ones. We now choose to walk as He walked, which included lots of time spent with the Father.
Do you want to be assured that your joy will remain full to overflowing? Do you want to exhibit that new life that God has already given you? Spend time with the Father. Cultivate your love relationship with Him. That’s the only real “activity” that is required of us as new creations. And remember, when God says that “old things” have passed away and “all things’ have become new, He means it. We don’t have to work or strive to earn newness of life—we received it when we received Jesus as Savior. And that’s a truth that enables us to rest and rejoice, no matter what trials or circumstances come our way.