God Transforms Us Into New Creations - First15 - March 27, 2018

God Transforms Us Into New Creations

Weekly Overview:

We serve a God of powerful transformations. All throughout Scripture God takes those whom the world deemed the lowest, the hopeless, and the helpless and uses them to change the world. You are not beyond transformation. God longs to break off that which inhibits you from experiencing fullness of life. He longs to heal you, deliver you, and set you free. May your life be forever changed as we spend time discovering God’s heart for transformation.

Scripture:“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Devotional:    

One of the greatest lies told to those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus relates to our old and new natures. So many believers live under the oppression of the lie that God in his grace may see us as clean, but at our core we're truly not. We live as if redemption in Jesus is like clean clothes covering up the dirt and filth that will always remain, and as if redemption is our get-to-heaven-free card. We hold fast to a belief that salvation was more of an illusion of redemption than an actual transformation. And those lies act like weights dragging us back to the ways and sins of our former selves.

Scripture could not speak more clearly of the opposite. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says:

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. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

If you are in Christ today—if you are saved—then you are a new creation. The old hasn’t stuck around until you die; “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” You see, the fact that you have been transformed into a new creation doesn’t have anything to do with your sins, failures, and beliefs. Transformation in Jesus is based on his power, not yours. Truth is based on his sacrifice, not your actions. You are a new creation totally and completely by the grace of God, apart from any of your works—as righteous or sinful as they may be. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Don’t live today with your experience as your truth. Don’t see yourself based on your works but rather on the truth of what Scripture says about you. If you will begin to believe that God truly has already transformed you into a new creation and reconciled you to himself simply by grace, then you will live and act on a foundation that births freedom and righteousness. But, if you set your mind on the things of the flesh, which is in opposition to the reality of transformation already worked in you at the cross, then you will live chained to the ways of your former self (Romans 8:6).

Take time today to reflect on your new nature in Jesus. Allow Scripture and the Holy Spirit to help you see yourself as one transformed and set free by grace. Commit yourself to live with grace as your source rather than your own strength. And experience freedom today that comes from living with a renewed mind.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on your new nature in Christ. Allow Scripture to be your foundation for truth, not your experience.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

2. Where does your life not line up with the truth that you are a new creation? What is entangling you to the things of the world? Where are you not experiencing the life of the Spirit?

“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4

3. Confess any sin to God and ask for his help in living by the Spirit. Ask the Spirit for a revelation of what it looks like to live with him as your source rather than your own strength. Ask him for a heart-level revelation of your new nature.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Foundational to living a life that lines up with truth of who God says you are is living by grace. In our own strength we can accomplish nothing. We have no power over sin in and of ourselves. We have no power to live free from the ways of the world when we try to live based on our works. That’s why Romans 8:3 says, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” He fulfilled the requirement of the law that we might live by grace. He set us free from living in our own strength by filling us with the Holy Spirit, our great Helper. Stop living in your own strength and learn to live by grace. Learn to feel, think, and act on the foundation of grace. Your heavenly Father who loves you has given you all you need to live as a new creation. He has done it all. So take hold of who you are in Jesus and experience a life transformed by the reality of God’s power and love. 

Extended Reading: Romans 8

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