2 Corinthians 5:17/ “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
1 Peter 1:3-4/ “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
Romans 6:3-7/ “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his, For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
I apologize for using so much scripture but this gold God has given me today is too awesome to just be backed up by one verse. So I’ve had some exciting news lately that’s brought up this thought of “New Life.” My brother, Justin and his wife, Ali have given birth to their second stud dawg, a little fella named Finn! (Pic above) I’ve been really struggling to find words for it but I’m just jacked up to be the uncle to not just one, but now TWO of the coolest dudes I know. After going through this process of new life once with my little buddy Lincoln Cash, it hit me the first time but I guess being a couple of years older this time with Finn hit me a whole lot harder. Once I got to see the chunky little guy I was kind of overwhelmed and I know where babies come from and all that jazz but I was thinking, “he was just in there, now he’s out here.” I guess this little piece of new life and how that’s even possible just got me. God sure is creative working that one together.
The part that was the realest though was seeing this new life that was brought into the world and realizing my role as an uncle. I have two little fellas around me that are going to watch every move I make and act out of my example. Sounds pretty scary to be honest because I’m not all that great. The exciting part though when I kept thinking of new life and how my life has played out, if it was up to me I’d be the worst example not only for Finn and Linc but for everyone around me. Thank God it doesn’t have to be up to me because just life the new life taking place all around me, Jesus has given me new life. From the first day I believed and came to know Him as my personal savior at 22 years old, He renews me everyday. Because of Christ, the death he took for me and raising from the grave, I don’t have to live in what I got or in the old life I fight to keep back everyday. I have died to myself and been resurrected with Christ so now I can live in “great expectation” of what He’s going to do through me to those around me.
I’ve honestly never thought about “new life” at this level before. After reading these verses and learning some eye opening truths from a book I’m reading, it kind of clicked with me. I pray that this makes sense and that you too can see this new life with Christ as awesome as it really is. Whether you already know Christ or not, I pray this helps!
Before I started this journey with Christ I was living in a downward spiral. Chasing everything and anything this world had to offer to give me that peace and joy I was looking for but nothing ever seemed to fill that empty void. Until the Lord opened up my eyes to see that He had been there the whole time carrying me and bringing me closer to His open, loving arms. I lived with the Christian title all through my younger years but my lifestyle was far from Christ-like. When I began to follow Christ and had that personal relationship with Him, it’s been the hardest two years of my life. What??? Yeah I said hardest but it’s also been by far the best years of my life. The hard part has been going from a lifestyle of doing what I wanted, chasing my desires and instead putting all that down to walk in His ways.
What’s made it so hard for me has honestly been my view of the gospel and getting myself out of the way. My life with Christ immediately brought some big changes, took me away from people and places I used to be around, He literally flipped my world upside down. I knew I had new life with Him, I could feel it and see it but believing and living it has been the hardest part of the battle. The more you learn about Christ and grow with Him, the more your eyes are opened to see every single imperfection of your sinful self so everyday is a constant battle to get away from the restraints and sin you’ve carried with you all your life. Since my view has been so wrong I’ve tried and I’ve fought but at the end of the day I’d always come up short, feeling defeated and depressed thinking I’m not good enough.
Here’s where things started clicking, I’ve been trying to do something to live in this freedom Christ gives. It’s not about me or what I do, it’s about what Christ has already done. This whole time I’ve been fighting a battle that’s already been won. I’ve tried everything to get into this new life and push away the old one when Christ has already brought me here. I was trying to earn the love from Jesus that I can never earn. By me being so sinful and deserving of all the punishment God could give, Jesus loved me so much He took all the worlds sin on the cross past, present, and future. Bearing the death we all deserve out of pure love for us. He did that to give us another way, a life of freedom, a NEW LIFE.
I spent so much time trying to figure this life with Christ out and work hard enough to rid myself of sin and my imperfections. I did that so I could feel worthy to stand before God. The truth that has been so big for me is when we have a relationship with Christ we are one with Christ. When Christ died on the cross we died with Him, our old sinful lives gone away. When Christ raised from death, we raised with Him into this new life of freedom and great expectations. I kept labeling myself as a sinner and living defeated but these verses from Romans say “anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” We are dead to sin. Even though we don’t feel dead to sin, look dead to sin, or act dead to sin, God says we are. It doesn’t matter what you think or what anyone else thinks, God, the holiest of holies, the creator of everything, He says we are dead to that old life of sin and defeat.
It’s not who we think we are, basing that off the sins of yesterday, failures we’ve had. It’s not about what the world says you are. Know who you are in Christ! Know what God’s Word says about you! You are a child of God, you are one with the Son of God. God says you are loved by Him no matter what, God says you are free from sin and all the things that make you feel defeated. God says you don’t have to do anything, just have faith in who He is, see this life in His eyes. I’ve walked so many days thinking I wasn’t good enough and the truth is we’re not but with our lives and faith in Christ, God says we are! It’s not about us, it’s all about Christ. Finally seeing what happened on the cross and at the grave in the reality of it, my beliefs and my view of who I am has once again been renewed. It’s a daily process to learn these truths and grow in Christ but don’t make the mistake I made and get so caught up in it all you lose sight of the foundation. Keep the truth of the gospel close, enjoy this new life you have with Christ and embrace the freedom He’s given us. Who does God say you are? That’s all that matters. Believe it and you’ll live in it.