"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
The old me is dead.
What a statement! In those five words is a whole new outlook and purpose for life. This week at Crosspointe Church in Ada, OK Pastor Shawn Wiebers helped to shed some new light on this simple but profound statement.
When Christ died on the cross he took all of my sin and sinful nature with him. As I become more like Christ I get further from my old self. This is a process known as sanctification. It basically means to be set apart from something. As I endeavor to become more like Christ I am separated from my old selfish nature and begin living more in the life that Christ has called me too.
My old self nature is selfish; always wanting, wanting, wanting. That is the core of all sin...selfishness. Wanting what I don't have so I steal. Wanting to show that I can earn my salvation, so I become religious and judemental. Wanting my own gratification, so I lust. Want, want, want...
But that old nature is dead, I just need to remind him that he is dead and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) It is like a professional wrestling match. The whole thing is scripted. Before the fight ever begins the winner and loser have already been determined. But that doesn't mean that it won't be one of the most physical battles these two people have every been in. And sometimes, the guy who is supposed to lose forgets that and needs to be reminded.
The same thing happens with me. Everyday, when I have to wake up I have to remind my old self (which seems to creep up really well when I haven't had my coffee yet) that he is dead. (Romans 6:11) It is a battle, everyday and I have to be man enough to take responsiblity for my actions and discipline myself (1 Corinthians 9:27)
The good news is that my old self IS dead. And I am now counted as alive in Christ. He is constantly working on me, making me into an exact copy of himself. I haven't arrived yet and still need a lot of work, but the One who has started this work in me is faithful to complete it. (Philipians 1:6)