“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I love the drive from Alabama to the mountains of North Carolina. It takes about six hours, leaving plenty of time for reflection. This time always provides me with an opportunity to think, not only about things that are going well, but also areas of personal failure and regret. I’m not talking about regrets with respect to goals I set as it relates to my profession or any other matter. I’m talking about sin, those moments when I had the opportunity to glorify God but didn’t.
I imagine you have these sorts of opportunities to reflect as well. When you do, perhaps you also find failures and regrets. They may be of a different type, but the type we still call sin. It’s easy for us to get trapped in those moments and fail to live the joy salvation brings. It’s not to make light of sin. God has called us to be holy and through the practice of spiritual disciplines we should be growing in holiness. But we must also realize that there will always be those moments where we fail to glorify God, as every part of our being is touched by sin. So, as Christians, how do we reconcile what has happened behind us and look forward to what lies ahead?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” To be in Christ or in union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ. John Murray says that our union with Christ is “the central theme of the whole doctrine of salvation”. In Romans 6, the apostle Paul explains this union in the context of understanding the proper response to God’s grace as it relates to remaining in sin. The natural desire of a recipient of God’s grace is obedience to God’s will. God’s will is the desire of the believer’s heart.
As a minister of the New Covenant, Paul taught that it was only through Christ that one could be reconciled to God. The Old Covenant (Mosaic Law) was incapable of saving, but Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant could. A few verses later, Paul expressed how that reconciliation occurs, how we are justified before God. It is because of Jesus, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). That’s the power of the cross. Paul’s focus in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is on the significance of the believers union with the Savior.
I guess sin will always be somewhat of a companion in this life. But for those who believe; what Jesus accomplished on the cross has reconciled us to God and broken the power of sin in our lives. Be thankful for God’s mercies, they are new every morning. Be thankful for Christ because on the day He saved you, He didn’t just make you a better you, He made you brand new!
Father, on that cross You gave Your Son for my sins. Thank You! I know every part of who I am is touched by sin, but sin is not what my heart desires. The only appropriate response to Your grace is to live a life centered on Jesus Christ. By the power of Your Holy Spirit help me to look to Jesus each day and obey His will for my life; all for his glory and not for my own. Amen!