fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

The New Creation

CB064038The New Creation by Julie McAllen

I have spent a lot of my Christian life misled by the small details. Believers divide themselves on the minor issues and proclaim their ultimate saving truth based on their interpretation of peripheral topics in the Bible. I love the peripherals, don’t get me wrong. I think God gives the extra pages of the Bible for those of us fascinated with puzzles! But through my walk with Jesus, I’ve learned that the…THE… most important truth is the death and resurrection of Christ. I echo Paul’s words at 1 Cor 2:2

2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

This is the foundational truth by which I stand: I died, and am a new creation in Christ.

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We 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. (Romans 6:3, 4)

Because of the deception of the false prophet that I lived and served under, I am very careful to test every spirit (1 John 4:1) and bring every teaching back to that cross. It is of FIRST importance (1 Cor 15:3)
With that in mind, I proceed to answer some questions about how I interpret the Word of Life.

What is our ultimate hope? My immediate thought is that it is not a retirement plan in heaven. It is this:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

I know God did not save me just to live happily ever after in heaven. He is doing a work in me now. A work that is impossible for me to do of my own will. A work that is impossible if I’m only looking at Jesus as a good teacher or attempt to follow a set of religious moral laws. He wants to conform me into the likeness of his Son. That is my hope and His work. This is not possible without His indwelling Spirit. This is the new creation!

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)

We must not forget that mankind was created in God’s image. God is Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, it was God’s intention all along to give us a spiritual body as well as an earthly body. He created us to be flesh and spirit. Adam was formed from the dust and given the opportunity to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, he could partake of that other tree mentioned, the tree of life (Gen 2:9). He did not get that chance. After the sin, the tree of life was blocked to humankind with these words.

22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen 3:22-24)

We learn that Adam, the man of dust, was not meant to live forever, he had to eat from the tree of life to receive the gift of everlasting life. Mankind’s search has been to get to that guarded tree of life. Without it, he is only dust and to dust he will return.

45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (1 Cor 15:45)

This is the role of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to bring us to life, for if we remain in Adam only, we remain dead. We do not attain everlasting life by law or dutifully following the scriptures. The scriptures intent is to lead us to Christ himself who IS life.

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)

7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Rev 2:7)

Jesus claims that he IS life, we must come to him. What are we doing when we take communion then? Are we not eating his flesh and drinking his blood as we proclaim his death? We were made in God’s image and through Christ we can now participate in the divine nature which Adam could not attain (2 Pe 1:4). The way to the tree of life is unblocked. Jesus is the way. Partake!

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53)

We were all born dead, under condemnation, and as enemies of God.

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, (Col 2:13)

17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:17-19)

21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—(Col 1:21)

If we were dead, condemned, and enemies already then we NEEDED a savior. So when do the dead come to life?

21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Cor 15:21-23)

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)

11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13)

Because I am a new creation in Christ, born of His Spirit, and no longer condemned, I know I have already been resurrected. Flesh gives birth to flesh and Spirit gives birth to Spirit (John 3:6). If that is the case, then I believe 1 Corinthians 15 is applicable to all those who partake in the divine nature now having been born-again.

42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
(1 Cor 15:42-49)

Yes, our flesh is here on the earth, but we are seated in heaven already (Eph 2:6). We have the victory over the king of death as we have been transferred into the kingdom of light (Col 1:12-13). Yet we groan in these bodies as we await ALL of creation to be liberated by the Spirit’s work that they too enjoy the blessing and freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:18-27)

So that brings us to a very important second question. How does our ultimate hope impact the present?
When we grasp WHY God chose to birth us through His Spirit, it’s EVERYTHING!!! Our bodies are not our own. My time, my resources, my very life belongs to Christ. Otherwise, I’m just as dead as Adam. He has made us a holy priesthood to intercede on behalf of that creation subjected to frustration (1 Pe 2:9; Ro 8:20). So where do I serve?

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:8-10)

I see in this that my salvation was completely in His hands. I have to remind myself of this often when frustrated with those not yet in Christ. It is by His grace, not my efforts (Romans 9:16). And He decided the work He had in mind for me even before He called me to Himself. We do not decide where to serve, He does. When we died to ourselves there at the cross, and were resurrected in Christ, our bodies became the temple in which he dwells. He moves us to serve where He already decided. And that changes EVERYTHING!!

To the glory of the Father, let the Son shine in us all. May discussions about the New Creation not distract us, but always bring us back to the cross, the place of our new birth through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie


May 13, 2009 - Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions

1 Comment

  1. Julie,
    Thank you for sharing such a powerful message with us. The death and resurrection of Christ was a truth I understood on the surface, but later gained a deeper understanding of this; like you, it’s also the foundational truth by which I stand, too. For many years, I understood that scriptures such as Romans 6:3, 4 didn’t apply to me and I also didn’t understand of the significance of being baptized into Christ. But God, in his mercy, opened my eyes of understanding and gave me a “new creation” in Christ. I appreciate your enlightenment on this theme because I totally understand where you’re coming from and that we are made new through the blood of Christ.

    God bless you and your ministry!

    Comment by Linda | May 13, 2009

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