How do we think we can be in Christ and do the things we want to do? Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away and behold all things are become new, II Corinthians 5:17. Who better to preach and teach reconciliation to the born believers in II Corinthians than Paul? Paulís main objective in writing this was to vindicate his apostolic authority especially as the Church in Corinth had been invaded by false apostles who were seeking to undermine his authority. They were trying to lead the people away from the gospel which they had received from this Holy Ghost filled, fire baptized true repentant man of God. He writes them as their spiritual father who loves them and yearns that they should reciprocate his love and remained faithful to the truth he has imparted in them.
Paul had to be real with the people; often times he made reference to his own wretched life before Christ to remind them that they are to be different and make a difference in the world as newborn Christians. He appealed to their personal and intimate knowledge of him and his character. He reminded them of the great sufferings and hardships he had endured in order to bring the message of Salvation to them. He did this with transparent humility and sincerity and indeed with embarrassment. Paul was filled with dignity, devotion, serene faith, and had a passionate dedication to the cause in which he now believed. He was real!
Letís be real Saints, since we have been born again has our hearts changed? Paulís did! Just as today when the Preacher preaches Jesus Christ many hearts is unresponsive. Paul set himself before the people as one who in himself are utterly weak and worthless, but through his weakness Christ is made strong. Through his weakness Godís grace and power are magnified. We cannot have self-esteem and self-interest if we are to be real in Christ for it is and should be our interest to bring glory and honor to God. As a newborn believer we need to realize that itís all about God and not us. No man or woman that draws us to them is real with God. We should never love no one more than God. We should put no one before Him or make them equal to Him. We are to honor our parents, not lie or steal. We are not to defraud our neighbors or mistreat anyone. If we are to be new creatures in Christ we must be real about it.
Godís grace is sufficient for us and our strength is made perfect in weakness. We are reconciled to God through Christ. As Christ has suffered in the flesh so will we suffer (I Peter 4:1) but it will carry us to the throne of glory. We must be real in our renewed vision when we come to know the risen Christ. Coming to know Christ sparks a vitality in us that makes us run out and tell others that yet walks in spiritual darkness while they yet live. Letís be real when we give our lives to Christ and progress in the Word of God our conversation changes. Our rejoicing now is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world and more abundantly to you-ward (II Cor. 1:12).
The conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus is one of the turning points in history. Jesus Himself stopped this victorious persecution. The persecutor of Jesus Christ became the biggest spokesman for Christ. Paul knew Christ had come in his life and changed it forever and he was just real about it. We to must know that Christ has come in our lives and the way we take today proves that we are in Christ redeemed, born again and changed. We cannot walk in Christ after the flesh; the flesh must be denied its wants and desires. Paul didnít waver about his conversion; he remained steadfast with his confession. He believed and accepted Christ and no one could make him deny it. They couldnít beat it out of Jesus either; Jesus held fast to God. Letís be real Saints, we are so watered down today anything goes and we donít address the issue. Either God is God or He isnít. If we are to stay on the post, itís time we act like the new creatures we are called to be.
If any man; why if? Either we are or we are not saved born again Christians. Either we are hot or cold; not lukewarm. There are many that have been called but a few chosen for the cause of Christ. In the many called we will find many that will not speak up, find many that will lie, curse, and deny Christ on occasion to save their own life. In the many that just went we will find false prophets, ravening wolves, and satanic worship. But in the chosen we will find stability in Christ but they are so few. Letís be real thatís why Paul said if any man be in Christ. Everybody that says they are in Christ in fact is not. No man can say he is in Christ and still do the same things he did before Christ. Is not Christ come to deliver us from the sin that once held us bound? How can we have a new way and walk the same old ways? It doesnít happen in Christ.
We are new creatures! It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Paul to Christianity. At once after Paul was converted to Christianity the persecution collapsed. The Gospel took on new power at every turn and Paul was soon to be the foremost spokesman for Christ in the Roman Empire where everything was game. There was and had to be a readjustment period for Paul. He was no longer what or who he used to be. He surrendered to Christ on the spot where Jesus challenged his path. Paul had a period of darkness where Paul had been blinded and could not see. He was put away for a time to learn of Christ; he didnít just get up and go preach. Three years and some months it took for Christ to be perfected in him where he wouldnít stumble at the Word. It takes time to make us Christ worthy. Paul received the opening of his eyes, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and baptism.
To be the new creature that has some strength to endure we must not only seek for the Holy Ghost but receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost where He comes in and dwell. It is the Holy Ghost that cooperated with God in the creation of the world and in bringing order out of chaos (Gen. 1:2). He guided the prophets in making known the Will of God to us (II Pet. 1:2). He speaks by our mouth (Acts 1:6). He speaks to us and is in our tongue (II Sam. 23:1-2). It is the Holy Ghost that helps us, lead us and guide us in giving quality of mind and body needed to execute the will of God. He helped Jesus, he helped Paul and now he helps us today. He hears from God and speaks to us. He wills and has knowledge and will teach us if we will submit to Him. He makes intercessions for us and keeps us from going in the wrong direction. In being a new creature in Christ we need the Holy Ghost!
If we are to be new creatures in Christ we need the Holy Ghost. I Corinthians 3:16 know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? He is our communion with God, not the cracker and juice we celebrate each month. We have this fellowship with Christ and one another because we have been born again, fire baptized, as well as being Spirit filled, Spirit Led and Spirit controlled. We have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God because of this spiritual connection. If we sow to the Spirit we shall of the Spirit reap everlasting life. A new creature seeks the Holy Ghost if they understand that Godís wisdom and knowledge is in Him. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. We canít speak without the Holy Ghost as it is he that was breathed in us and we became living souls. Adam in the Garden lost the Holy Spirit through disobedience but Jesus died restoring the gift of the Holy Spirit to us once again. He makes us new.
John 14:16-17 I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither know him but ye know him; for he dwell with you and shall be in you. Jesus himself was teaching and he promised the disciples, the people and all of us today that hear that the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in his name would teach us all things. If we are new creatures in Christ then we should seek for and want all that He has for us. If we are new creatures in Christ the old way of life we should no longer desire. If we are new creatures in Christ we should not talk the same talk or walk the same walk we did in our ignorance. God will put his Spirit in us and cause us to walk in his statutes and we will keep his judgments and do them. We can do nothing in our own strength and should not try. We should totally lean and depend on Godís Spirit and Word to lead and guide us through the terrains of life for it is not by might, nor by power but by his Spirit.
Letís be real; some things are going to change when we come to Christ with a truly repentant heart. We donít just speak words where it appear to man that we accept, believe, and confess Christ but our new life changed to comply with the Word of God. We obey Godís Word, respect authority, and donít meddle with people that are given to change; confess and say one thing but live another. I Peter 2:13-17 submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lordís sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. We have a responsibility to have a pure heart toward God and man.
If we will seek to be new creatures in Christ Jesus we will put away the old man of the past and seek the new path. If we seek to be new creatures in Christ Jesus we wonít live after the manner of the world where we are delivered to die a sinful death. We should be accused of loving Christ and not the world if we are to be accused. When Jesus walked the earth Satan accused him of wanting to be a king but when he died even he had to confess that Jesus was surely the King. His kingdom is now that of Christ; the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers that began is this life and is perfected in the life to come. We are the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; Christians that should seek to be taught the Word, Will and Way of God. Remember if anyone suffers as a Christian, donít feel ashamed, but in the name of Jesus let us glorify God. Letís be real; are we ready to plunge forward and be the people God expects? We can!
Paul did, preaching with so much power they sought to kill him. Even the disciples eyed him, knowing it was something different about Paul. They had been with Jesus but Jesus was with Paul. Itís a difference! Paul was a new creature that they too had to learn from. Do you want to learn of God today? Come and letís be real; letís become new creatures today. Deny the ungodly lusts of this world. Come and receive Christ and gain a heavenly mind. Letís fix our hearts on him today. If we are new creatures then all things become new. We donít walk or talk the same anymore; people will say we have lost our minds. In essence we do lose our minds and take on the mind of Christ. This walk is a walk unlike any other. We walk it as if we are walking on a tightrope. Itís crucial to our salvation. We must walk as if we will die today; for everyday is a day of death. We die daily to sin. Letís be real!
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