A New Person in Christ

MEMORY SELECTION: “If any man be In Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” —II Corinthians 5:17

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-10

OUR memory text describes a person in Christ as “new creature,” for whom old things have passed away and all things have become new. The word “creature” is more properly translated “creation” in the Revised Version. This better describes the change that takes place in the mind of a Christian when he comes into Christ.

In Romans 8:1 the apostle describes this change as follows: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” There are two things, according to this text, that mark the new person in Christ. The first of these is that there is “therefore now no condemnation to them.” This does not mean that the new person in Christ suddenly becomes pious and righteous, but it means that from God’s standpoint the individual is right and just, because he is in Christ Jesus.

What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? In I Corinthians 12:12 we read, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” We are invited to this position by God himself. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. … It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh onto me.”—John 6:44,45

Having learned of God through his Word, we become aware of his love and how it is manifested toward all of humankind through his divine plan of the ages. We learn the very special way it is demonstrated toward those who desire to be new persons in Christ, and the called ones manifest their appreciation by a consecration of their lives and all that they possess to the Heavenly Father and his service. This decision to consecrate involves the use of worldly possessions, time, physical strength, and a willingness to lay down one’s very life in serving the Lord, the truth, and the brethren. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”—Matt. 16:24

The Apostle Paul then tells those who have consecrated: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom. 5:8,9) We now come back to our selected scripture: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” The new person in Christ has now been justified.

The second point in our selected scripture that we should consider is that those who are in Christ walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Having been justified, the new creature received an earnest of his inheritance, the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:12,13,18) The effect of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten the mind with respect to God’s plan, and especially as it relates to God’s will for the new creation. It is now that the new person in Christ really begins to understand the privileges and responsibilities of being a prospective member of the body of Christ.

One of the responsibilities is to be alienated from the world in thought, word, and deed, and to become spiritually oriented. The Apostle Paul expresses the matter in these words: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”—Rom. 12:2

The thought is that the whole life and conduct of the new creation is started in a new direction by the spiritual concepts that become a part of the new mind, as pointed out by the apostle in Romans 12:9-21: “Abhor that which is evil. … Be kindly affectioned one to another … fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; … patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. … Bless them which persecute you. … Be of the same mind one toward another. … Be not wise in your own conceits. … Live peaceably with all men.”

If these ways are followed, the new person will be pleasing to God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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