Sermon for Saturday

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

How many times have you seen an out-of-bounds sign? Such signs remind us that there are some places where some people are not supposed to be. An ‘Employees Only’ sign reminds us of that, too. Once in a while, some people are allowed to enter a place where they have no right to be. I was allowed to enter such a place one time when developing some courses for a major technology firm. I was taken into a vast laboratory in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where hundreds of workers were developing and testing software and hardware products. I was given a first-hand view of some exciting projects, and was allowed to see some things that nobody outside of that company had ever seen. But my stay there was short, and my special pass to enter that laboratory quickly expired, and I was probably forever barred from entering there again. To regain access, I would have to become an employee of that company. That would be a major change in my status, although not as major a change as those mentioned in our text, who are described as being ‘in Christ’.

When you and I were saved, we truly became new creatures. The sentence of death was lifted from us, the shackles of sin were removed, and we entered into the glorious liberty of eternal life. We were translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. We rejoice every day at those things that became new to us. The presence and comfort of the Holy Spirit, the unfolding of the Word of God, and the fellowship of the Lord’s people are but a few of the things that are ours because of the great change that God has wrought in our experience. Even the dramatic example of a lowly caterpillar being transformed into a lovely butterfly becomes insignificant when compared to the transformation of a wretched hell-bound sinner into a child of God. But I think the apostle had more in mind when he penned these words.

The appreciation of our salvation is but one aspect of being ‘in Christ’. Our lives as believer can be transformed in a wonderful way when we discover the truth of being completely submitted to the will of Christ. This occurs as we – like John Baptist – allow Him to increase as we decrease. A wise teacher once observed that there are three stages to a believer submitting to the will of our Lord: learning God’s will, living God’s will, and loving God’s will. In each of these three stages, we undergo a transformation into something better than what we were before.

To be in Christ is to be a new creature. To have Christ filling each area of our lives is the greatest aspect of such a new creature. – Jim MacIntosh

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