A New Person for Christ

MEMORY VERSE: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” —Galatians 2:20

JOHN 15:1-11

TO BE a new person in Christ it is necessary that the old person be dead. (Rom. 6:3-5) That is why in our memory verse the Apostle Paul says that he is “crucified with Christ.” This does not mean that the Christian is literally crucified, but rather that he has determined no longer to live to satisfy the interests of the flesh, but to live unto the spirit. And as was emphasized in our last lesson, this redirecting of our interests and thoughts involves the renewing or renovating of our minds.—Rom. 12:1,2; Col. 3:1-4

Jesus, when speaking to the rich young ruler who had expressed the desire to have life and to be a disciple of the Lord, said, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”—Mark 10:21

Here Jesus indicates that the first condition to becoming a footstep follower is to divest oneself of all earthly interests, aims, and desires, and take up the cross and follow him; that is, to lay one’s life down in the way that Jesus laid his down—in the service of God, the truth, and the brethren. From God’s viewpoint the footstep follower of Jesus is dead as a son of Adam and is begotten to a new life, a spiritual life. This begettal will result in birth to a spiritual life in the first resurrection if one is faithful.—II Cor. 5:17; II Pet. 1:3,4; Rev. 2:10; II Tim. 2:12; I Cor. 15:23; Rev. 20:6

Because the new person in Christ is begotten to a new spiritual nature, the Heavenly Father enlightens his mind to enable him to discern spiritual thoughts for the reason that, if he is to live, he must live by spiritual things, having renounced the things of the flesh. These thoughts, though recorded centuries ago, have been a mystery to those who have not been blessed with this enlightenment of mind.

In I Corinthians 2:6-8,10,12-14 the Apostle Paul states, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. … But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

And so the new person in Christ is given an insight into spiritual things for the very purpose that he might understand something of God’s thoughts and be instructed by him.

In our selected scripture text of John 15:1-11 Jesus speaks of the Christian’s development along spiritual lines as bearing fruit. In verses 7 and 8 we read, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

This development along spiritual lines is brought about by walking in the footsteps of Jesus; that is, by being obedient to the instructions in God’s Word, by suffering, and by laying our lives down in the service of the Lord, the truth, and the brethren.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22-25 what this fruit of the Spirit is, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. … And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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