New Creatures Must Have New Features
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It is impossible to be in the Lord Jesus Christ without also being a new creature. To put it another way; it is impossible to be a new creature without being in Christ. Thus, whatever puts one into Christ also makes that one a new creature. Paul plainly teaches that salvation is in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10). It is simply impossible to be saved outside of Christ! It is equally impossible for one to be a new creature if that one is still outside of Christ. Entrance into Christ is therefore, a matter of supreme and eternal importance.
How does one enter into Christ and become a new creature?
"For as many of you as have been baptized INTO Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized INTO Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in NEWNESS of life." (Rom. 6:3,4)
The Scriptures clearly teach that baptism preceded by faith, repentance and confession puts one into Christ. When one is raised from the watery grave of baptism he is raised as a new creature to walk in newness of life. He has crossed over from spiritual death into spiritual life (John 5:24).
Baptism may complete the conversation of a lost sinner into a saved sinner, but in many senses the conversion process from old creature to new creature has really just begun. NEW CREATURES MUST EXHIBIT NEW FEATURES! It is not enough to merely claim to be a new creature. A change must be evident. When Saul of Tarsus was converted he exhibited the features of a new creature. The old man had died and had been buried never to be resurrected again. This did not mean that Saul would never sin again; it simply meant that he was no longer enslaved in service to sin. Thus, Saul, who became Paul, knew better than anyone what being a new creature was all about. Paul wrote to the new creatures at Colassae and instructed them to put off the features of their old creature and put on the features of a new creature in Christ (Colossians 3:1-17). A new creature must work toward being clothed with the features and the characteristics of Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14).
Are you a new creature in Christ? More importantly, are you exhibiting the features of a new creature in Christ?
Highs & Lows
If all the world were broad and flat
How dull the scene would be!
We'd wish instead for hills and vales
With changing views to see.
If all of life were free from care,
Devoid of tears and pain,
There'd be no failure or success --
No summits to attain.
But life is filled with ups and downs,
With happiness and woe.
Our joys are like the mountaintops;
Our sorrows lie below.
The Lord who made the lofty peaks
Designed the valleys too.
And He is there at every turn
To guide our passage through.
Amy Clarke Ellis