Summary: Why would one want to become a Christian if they see no difference in the ways of a Christian than themselves? Do you call yourself a Christian?... Are you living like a Christian?
What is the Christian Life?: 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Introduction: I would like to suggest that one of the major reasons for lack of new converts to Christianity is because there are so many “so called Christians” that do not understand the commitment they have made and therefore are not living a Christian life. Many non-Christians look at and carefully watch “so called Christians,” to try and figure out what the Christian has or does that is so different than what the non-Christians have or do.
Application: Why would one want to become a Christian if they see no difference in the ways of a Christian than themselves? Do you call yourself a Christian?... Are you living like a Christian?
I have derived 4 different principals in which a Christian should be living daily, per the Bible!
1. A New Creation. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a result of this new birth, you will experience “Christ living in you.” Thousands of years ago, before Christ was even born, devout Jewish parents would practice three rituals or customs when having a child. The first of the customs was that the child be circumcised; the cutting of the skin. This symbolized that you were a part of the family of God.
- Take a moment to think about what are some evidences in your life that new things have come, and old things have passed away? Have you been spiritually circumcised? Have you cut the sinful nature out of your life?
a. The Bible compares this experience with that of physical birth. Jesus said, “…truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). It is a marvelous study to meditate on the similarities between a physical birth and a spiritual birth.
b. Man’s attempt to reach God is the opposite way of God’s way of reaching down to man. Mere religion is like taking a corpse, washing and dressing it, then claiming that it is acceptable. The result is that the corpse goes right on decaying; there is no sign of life. God, on the other hand, does not “make over” our sinful nature. He gives us a new birth.
c. The way to inherit this wonderful gift of a “new birth” is to believe in the Son, receive Him, and then you are born into the will of God (John 3:16, 1:12-13). According to Ephesians 2:8-9, we can do nothing to merit this gift. All we can do is receive it as a gift. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of your selves, but is the gift of God, not of works, so that no man can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
2. A New Relationship with God. God’s Word tells us that we have the right or authority to call ourselves members of His family. The second custom that a devout Jewish parent would practice is what they called “the practice of redemption.” They would sacrifice a lamb, or for more impoverished families they were able to offer two turtle doves or pigeons. This was a ritual that they believed redeemed them to God. It made them right with God. Today, God does not require us to practice animal sacrifice to be redeemed. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice that redeems us. It is no longer about what we can offer as a sacrifice or what we can do; it is about what He has done.
- As newborn Christians, we are called “babies” and just like a physical baby, we must immediately receive nourishment. Therefore, as soon as we receive Christ, it is essential that we immediately begin studying the Word of God and fellowship with other members of the family of God in church or others Christian groups.
- 1 Peter 2:2 says, “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” This tells us that we should long for and desire the Word of God as new Christians just as a newborn baby longs for it’s mothers pure milk.
- 1 Peter 1:4 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God…” This clarifies that we are children of God. You are His child. Long for the pure milk of His Word.
- Once we become a child of God, you become a partaker of “the divine nature.” This means that He will make you more Godly. God imparts His nature to us immediately at our spiritual birth. Now, the evidence of His nature is more apparent in some than others, but if we give Him our all, He can accomplish more quickly what He wills for us. This requires a total surrender of our lives to God