A Whole New You
My whole life I'd struggled to defeat the power of sin—with no success. But after I began studying Romans 6-8 with a couple friends, all that changed.
Some of it was old news. You know—Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, rose from the dead three days later, and then went back to heaven. When I was growing up, I'd rehearsed the story every Sunday at the communion table.
But I'd never connected the dots. I'd never understood how these facts about Jesus applied to me—how they changed everything about me.
It wasn't just Jesus who died—I died with Him. It wasn't just Jesus who was buried—my old self, packed with sin, was buried with Him, too. And when Jesus burst out of that tomb with brand-new resurrection life, I, too, was given new life! Galatians 2:20 sums it up well:
"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."
For the first time, I understood Jesus didn't die to forgive me of my sin and leave me in it. He died to forgive and to free me from the power of sin! Suddenly I realized I didn't have to be jealous of that beautiful woman. I didn't have to hate that person for excluding me. I wasn't powerless anymore.
"We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. . . . So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:6–11).
My New Identity
I realized that I had a new identity now: Dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). My only job? Believing it to be so and living in light of that truth.
From that point on, I saw God begin to change not only my outward behavior but even the hidden desires of my heart. Whether I actually became a Christian at this time or not, I can't say. I asked Jesus to save me as a young child, but this was the first time I really understood why the Good News was such good news! This was the beginning of my whole new life.
Your Whole New Life
How about you? Are you "in Christ"? If all your trust is in His righteousness and not yours, the answer is "yes!" Now it's up to you to remember, believe, and personalize these truths.
The old you is dead and buried; you've been raised brand-new in Christ! Believe it. Live in light of it.
What about you? Are you looking within, or are you looking to Christ?
By Paula Hendricks