II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Horizon North County
July 17th, 2013
Crossing the Finish Line
“‘I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles…Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.’” – Isaiah 42:6,9
“What was the first Bible verse that really impacted you? For me, it was the verse that says, ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’
“We all like new things, and especially the idea of becoming new, but what exactly does this mean? I mean, I’m new, but it’s still me here. How have they become new? How have things now become what they never were before?
“I think actually this is where a lot of people get tripped up on this whole thing called Christianity—telling me you’re new. ‘But you’re still losing your hair. You’re telling me that you’re new but I still see that you lose your temper. What type of new are you talking about?’
“Well, look at our verses today. You can claim that personally. He’s saying, ‘Yes, I made the first call. I called out to you. I called you in righteousness.’
“Maybe you’re reading this today and, just to be totally honest with the Lord, you’re like, ‘Well, You called me, but I’m not righteous.’
“But He’s called you in righteousness. In other words, He sees you new. He doesn’t see you as you see yourself when you look in the mirror. He sees you finished. I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this before, or maybe they have and they meant it in a negative way, but I mean it in the most positive ways of what Christ has done for you: You’re finished.
“’Well, I need to prop this up and this up and this up. I need to work on this and go to the gym.’
“No, you’re finished. Can you just relax and enjoy the fact that because of Christ, you’re done? You’re finished. You’re complete. When He sees you, He sees the finished work. He says, ‘I called you in righteousness.’ It’s not something that you can earn, okay? That’s only something you can receive. He calls you in righteousness.
“If that’s not enough then realize this: In the beginning, God’s words created everything that now is. And now, by His grace and mercy, even when we weren’t righteous, He called us righteous, declaring new things before they yet existed.
If God said it, it’s true, and He calls you righteous. Receive that from His hand today.
“Prayer - Father God, thank You for calling me righteous! I could be righteous unless You just transform me, and I receive the truth today that You have made me righteous. I’m finished! The old is gone and the new really has come! Amen”
When I first really surrendered my life to Christ in August of 1981, I thought this meant that I didn’t have to face anything that had happened in my past – that I could just keep a lid on all of that “stuff,” and move on into a new life with Christ. And I tried – I really did – but over time I realized that I was dragging a dead man behind me – that while GOD saw me as righteous and new, I needed to see myself that way. I couldn’t do that carrying around all that dead weight. I had to start facing that “stuff” – and allow the Lord to wash away the filth, grime and pain that had been accumulating in my soul for years. As I did that – as I gave Him full access to my heart – and my hurt – I was freed up more and more to walk in that newness of life He had already given me at my conversion. And – He’s still in that process! Although I’ve done a lot of work, there are still times when I snap – when I don’t act like that “new person” He says I am - and I need to repent and start over. The difference for me is that now I don’t beat myself up when I mess up – I confess – repent – and move on, KNOWING that I AM a new creature in Christ – that He has forgiven me, and that He always will! SO – if there are issues in your life that have been slowing you down – holding you back – preventing you from experiencing that “newness” He’s promised, maybe it’s time to see who/what you’re dragging around behind you. Let it go. Get help if necessary. Learn new ways of moving on “in Christ.” Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself – “I AM a new creature in Christ!”