When we accept God’s redemption through the lordship of Christ, we receive a new and much better life. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 succinctly states this new life.
For the love of Christ controls [constrains or compels] us, having concluded this, that one [Jesus] died for all, therefore all died [the old you];
and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf…. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
“Creation” means to bring something into existence that did not exist before. We are a new creation in Christ, although some things remain the same such as our history, memory, appearance and so on. Yet, within our core, we are brand new with Christ within us, and as such, many changes occurred. We have a new and much better life.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
To appreciate this new life, acknowledging God’s perspective of our now old life is important. His description of humanity before Christ is unquestionably dreadful.
There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace have they not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
God sees things the way they really are, while man is blinded and oblivious to his own terrible reality. The normal way of thinking, as twisted as it may be, is all that is visible to us until God by His grace and mercy shows us a better way. Until then, our way is the only way we know and therefore our normal. You have heard the first step for the obsessive gambler, alcoholic, sex addict, or drug addict is to acknowledge they have a problem for until then they will not seek change. The same principle is true with every person regarding his or her sinful nature. Ephesians 2:1-3 summarizes the human predicament well.
You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Every Christian comes from the same shameful and humiliating beginning, that is dead in trespasses and sins. Even those who are raised by believer parents own this sinful nature until they mature and choose to have Christ as their Lord. Some among us lived a flamboyant lifestyle with outward rebellion demonstrated with crimes, violence, drunkenness, drug abuse, or sexual decadence while others were good and law-abiding citizens; however, we were all equally dead in sin. The transformation with the new birth for each one of us is just as abundant and extreme.
We have been changed from the inside out in a supernatural way. No human program or institution with the best behavior modification technology in the world could bring about such a momentous meaningful change. We have a new and much better life. With this newness of life, we can enjoy a new perspective on the world around you. The world does not change, but our relationship to it radically changes. What once was all-important becomes insignificant. Values, morals, and desires change; therefore, so does our activity.
Humans by our inherent nature are vulnerable to ugly emotions such as hatred for our fellow man. Such ill will can be provoked by the actions of others or just formed within our minds without provocation. After Christ, valuing, liking, and understanding others purge these dreadful emotions. God’s love replaces hate. No longer do we experience envy because we enjoy the peace of contentment that comes with the realization that Almighty God is your Father who loves and provides for you. Benevolence, goodwill, and gratitude occupy our thoughts in place of envy. The animosity and bitterness that normally accompany hatred and envy also disappear with a newfound, Christ-like compassion that is part of this new life.
The transformation with our new and better life is extensive and touches on many common human character imperfections. Lust and greed are exchanged with godly love and generosity, harshness with gentleness, indifference with genuine concern and warm-heartedness, controlling with acceptance, criticism with blessings, discrediting and degrading with respect and exaltation. The new life cleans up all the horrid, obnoxious elements that mold and ruin the lives of all people. Freedom is ours, and as these negative, burdensome emotions are lifted from us, we are truly born again with a new and much, much better life.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We do have a great story to tell to those who do not know.