New Life in Christ

MEMORY VERSE: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” —Galatians 2:20


“IF ANY man be in Christ., he is a new creature,” Paul wrote. To be in Christ means to be a member of his body through the acceptance of his headship in our lives. (I Cor. 11:3) Since the head of Christ is God, the acceptance of his headship implies a full surrender of our lives to God and to the doing of his will. This thought is represented in the Bible as an immersion, or burial into Christ.—Rom. 6:3,4

Paul explains that for these new creatures in Christ Jesus “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Then he explains what these new “things” are—“all things are of God.” It is a simple matter. We dedicate ourselves to do God’s will, which means that we give up our own plans and ways in life, and accept his.

What are these “all things” which are of God? Paul explains that having been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, he has now given unto us “the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” In other words, being “in Christ” implies much more than merely living a righteous life. It means being in the service of God, as partners with Jesus Christ in the reconciliation of the world.

To this Paul adds, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” The purpose of God in sending Jesus Christ into the world was that through him the world of mankind might be reconciled to him. To accomplish this Jesus laid the foundation for reconciliation in giving himself as a “ransom” to provide redemption from sin.

But a knowledge of this provision has to be passed on to those it is designed to benefit, and it is in this that new creatures in Christ Jesus have the opportunity of sharing. Paul speaks of these as “ambassadors for Christ.” These inform those who have a hearing ear that upon conditions of repentance and demonstrated faith they may be reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The number who respond to this message of Christ’s ambassadors in the present age is very small. However, these, if faithful now, will be associated with Jesus in his millennial kingdom, and will, together with him, assure that a true knowledge of his redeeming blood will be “testified to all.” That will be one of the great works of the kingdom age, and all then who accept God’s loving provision through Christ, and obey the laws of the kingdom, will be reconciled to God and restored to human perfection to live on the earth forever.

Being ambassadors for Christ in this age involves the laying down of our lives in sacrifice. It is this that is called to our attention in the memory verse. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ.” Crucifixion is a symbol of death. Very few of Jesus’ faithful followers have been literally crucified, but symbolically they have all been “crucified” with him.

The Beatitudes outlined by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount present us with a comprehensive understanding of what the character of a true Christian should be. They are “poor in spirit,” recognizing their need of God and of his blessings. They mourn sympathetically for their fellow men, and do all they can to bless and comfort them. They are meek, teachable, willing to be led by the Lord and his Word.

These also have a genuine thirst for righteousness—they want to know and please God. They are merciful toward those who err, knowing that they also are members of a fallen and dying race. They are pure in heart. Their purity is not merely an outward show of righteousness. They are peacemakers, radiating peace wherever they go, rather than strife. They are ambassadors of reconciliation.

To these will be given a part in the ruling phase of Messiah’s kingdom; they are comforted, even now; they shall inherit the earth and restore it to mankind in due time; they shall obtain mercy; they shall see God, and be called the children of God.


What is the Christian’s new vocation?

What are some of the characteristics of a true Christian?

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |