Did you ever dream of living a different life, and what that would be like? I have been reflecting on the Scripture verses about living a new life for several weeks. I have been challenged to think differently, speak differently, and react differently. By differently, I mean think as Christ thinks, speak as Christ would speak, and respond with love like Christ. So why don’t I live like Jesus Christ, who lived a life of love?
How do we get a new life?
Our new life begins by changing wrong thinking and belief patterns to reflect the love of God. We also need to put off self-centered pride, that only thinks about ourselves. The same miracle that raised Jesus from the dead also raises us from the deadness of our sin so we can live a new life. Romans 8:11 states, “If the Spirit of him [God] who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Also, 1John 4:13 &15 states, “By this we know that we abide in him [God] and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” Verse 15: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” The Holy Spirit of God not only gives us life but helps us to live a new life, but we first must choose to walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-17 explain, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
The Apostle Paul explains in 2Corinthians 5:17 the following, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The new life we are to live can only be lived through Jesus Christ, as explained in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” – 2Corinthians 5:15. Think for a moment about what a day in your life would look like if you lived through Christ Jesus? 1John 4:9 states, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”
How should Christ’s death and resurrection change us?
Remember, you can only change yourself; you can’t change anyone else. How would your life look different because of what Jesus did for you on the cross? Colossians 2:13-15 states, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” The work of the devil in our lives has been disarmed and we are free from the devil’s control through our sinful flesh. 1John 3:8 states, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” But we need to always humbly submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:6-7).
Read and ponder each passage below and think about how you can apply the passage to your life.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. –Romans 6:4
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. –Romans 7:4
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. –Colossians 2:11-12
Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. –Romans 4:25
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. –Colossians 3:1
Before we knew Christ Jesus, we were dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), but when we believe and seek His forgiveness, we are set free from the control of sin (Rom. 6:22-23). Our sinful nature should not control our new life. We will struggle with unhealthy beliefs and wanting things our way, so we need to consider ourselves dead to self-centered pride and seek to love others as God loves. As you want others to love you, so you should love others in the same way.
How do we live through Christ?
Here is how you know you are living through Jesus Christ and not through your sinful flesh. I still struggle with my sinful flesh, but as I submit to God, I have the victory. 1Peter 3:8-9 tells us, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
- Do you have unity of mind with those you live with and fellowship at church with?
- Are you sympathetic to those around you?
- Do you have brotherly love for those who are hard to love?
- Do you have a tender heart towards those who are struggling?
- Are you humble and do not insist on your way as the only or best way?
- Do you bless those who irritate you or make you angry? Or do you return an insult from the offense you feel? We can bless people by being patient, gentle, kind, peaceful, and so on.
- Are you servant-minded like Jesus? Philippians 2:3-8 explains:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
As long as we are in our bodies, we will battle our sinful desires to please our self-centered, prideful flesh. We need to remind ourselves of our new life in Christ and decide to live by the Spirit in us, not our old sinful flesh. Romans 8:5-6 states, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” You can’t do this in your strength, which is why we need to put on Jesus Christ and keep Him on. Romans 13:14 tells us to “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” We also need to consider ourselves as dead to sin. Romans 6:11 tells us, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” My online book explains how a person can live a new life and have a new destiny.
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