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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The New Man

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

With nearly everyone in the nation focused and concentrated upon the political landscape, energized by the thought of yet another round of change, placing their hopes once more in men who will eventually fail them, I thought I would write about something more lasting than a midterm election today, something more relevant than the endless politicking, word twisting, and empty promises that have been center stage among believers and nonbelievers alike for the better part of two months. Today I want to discuss the new man, the new creation of which Paul speaks, and discover what his attributes are as shown to us in the Bible. Seeing that for many the old things have not passed away, and that we still cling to them with bloodied fingers and waning strength, this post might seem irrelevant. Why speak of a new kingdom when we want to restore this present kingdom? Why speak of a new creation when a little spackle and a nice spit shine will make the old man presentable enough to pass a cursory inspection by our fellow men?

I guess because I’m stubborn, I haven’t learned my lesson, I still cling to my Bible as though it were a life preserver in rough seas, and being compliant or going along just to get along is not in my nature. Once again the world and the enemy have managed to take our eyes off Jesus, to cause us to hope in something other than God, and what is most shameful is that we put ten times the energy and resources into politicking than we ever did in the service of Christ.

‘But that’s okay, because when all the change takes place it will have been worth it, and we will be on a new trajectory, and values and such will be restored.’

Will they? Really? Change happened two years ago, and four years before that, and eight years before that, and nothing really ever changed did it? It is because we never go down to the root, because we try to mask the symptoms and not dig deeper to discover the disease that we are in an endless cycle of hope and disappointment, thinking that maybe the next one will keep their word, maybe the next one won’t turn out to be a user, a liar, or a fraud.

So having become a new creation, having watched as the old things passed away, what are the attributes of this new man, this new creation in God?

The first attribute of the new man, or the new creation, is that he has a new life. We begin as babes in Christ, reborn in Him, knowing that we are in possession of a new life, a life that is without end, a life that does not wither, and a life that is filled with the singular purpose of growing in Him on a daily basis. This new life is not our own, we’ve done nothing to earn it, we’ve done nothing to deserve it, it is God’s gift to mankind made possible through the advent of Christ Jesus.

The second attribute of the new creation or the new man is that he is now part of a new kingdom. This is a kingdom, to which we were called, a kingdom which we have inherited, and as Paul puts it in Ephesians, a kingdom in which we were made to sit with Christ. We are no longer citizens of any particular nation on this earth, but rather we are now citizens of heaven, our citizenship is there, and we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to return and take us home. We await His return, wherein He will transform our lowly bodies, and conform them to His glorious body, that we may be with Him in His kingdom for all eternity.

The third attribute of the new creation or the new man is that he is now under a new law. When one is in Christ, and becomes a new creation, he is under the law of life, the law of love and the law of liberty. We do not serve, or seek after righteousness because we are constrained by law, but because we are compelled by love. We do not seek after God just so He sees us and maybe throws a blessing our way, but because our earnest desire is to know Him and have fellowship with Him. When we begin adopting the mentality that we are believers so God would show us favor, we’ve missed the boat completely as to why we ought to be followers of Christ, and soldiers of the cross. It is because I love Him, it is because I worship Him, it is because I desire to know more of Him that I am a follower of Christ, not because perhaps, somewhere down the line He will do a great thing for me, give me a new car, or send someone to paint my apartment.

The fourth attribute of the new creation or the new man is that he has a new purpose. When we are reborn into Christ, we are not called to sit by and watch the sun set over the horizon night after night, we are not called to be spectators, but rather we are called to labor, to preach the gospel of Christ, to share the love of Christ until His return, and do so knowing it is our duty as His servants.

Whether basking in the afterglow of victory, or choking down the bitter taste of defeat, whatever side of the political isle you happen to be on, know that this will soon pass, as all things do, but the paramount necessity of refocusing our eyes and setting our gaze upon Christ, will remain real and present in perpetuity.

There is one question that keeps bouncing around in my head, one that I want to leave you with today, and that is ‘will we ever realize that only Christ can bring about true, lasting, and worthwhile change, or will we continue to deceive ourselves every two years only to suffer disappointment time and time again?’

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

2 comments:

Mrs. Pugh said...

Ouch.
Even though I firmly agree with you when you say, "We are no longer citizens of any particular nation on this earth, but rather we are now citizens of heaven, our citizenship is there, and we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to return and take us home.", and have often said it myself, I have to admit I have been caught up in the hope of some restoration on an earthly level. And yet, you are absolutely correct. There is no hope but the hope of Christ Jesus. Amen and amen.
Thank you for pointing out my foolishness. (Nothing like a timely reminder.)

Mrs. Pugh

Anonymous said...

"'will we ever realize that only Christ can bring about true, lasting, and worthwhile change, or will we continue to deceive ourselves every two years only to suffer disappointment time and time again?’"

Is this a rhetorical question?