2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (NKJV): Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Let me ask you, who are you? I don’t mean what’s your name. I don’t mean what job you hold. I don’t mean what talents you have. I mean, who are you?
Let’s take a look at today’s passage. We see here that Paul, in talking to the Corinthian church, which, also includes us as the Body of Christ, is saying that who we used to be before Jesus became Lord of our lives, is not who we are now. Who we used to be in the flesh is most certainly not who God would allow into Heaven. In fact, He would not want to be near, because, God, cannot be near sin since He is Holy and Righteous.
Let’s take a look at another spot where Paul talks about what we used to be:
1 Corinthians 6:7-11 (NKJV): Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
In this passage, Paul addresses most people’s sin(s). He tells the Church that because you are now followers of Christ, you should be no longer stuck in the sins of old. In both of these passages, we are being exhorted to turn from our old natures and pursue a new life in Christ.
Something else we need to pick up here is that God is in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Do you realize what that means? It means that His desire is that we are to be a part of His Family. It means that He went through great lengths to provide a way for us to return to Him.
In Isaiah 53, we learn that God would provide a way through a Messiah who would “cleanse us” from our impurities. That Messiah is Jesus. That means that through a commitment to Jesus, we have a “clean slate” to start from. All things from the past are no longer, essentially, they are erased from our “record”.
Does that mean we have the right to sin again? Absolutely not.
2 John 2:1-2 (NKJV): My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
We are told that we are taught things so that we do not fall into sin. however, the good news is that when we find out we messed up, we have an opportunity to change it. We have a chance to seek forgiveness from Our Lord.
Here’s where people fall short the most, they continue to beat themselves up over things they did in the past. Do you realize that you are sinning when you do this? How, you may ask? By denying the Work of Jesus in your life. Essentially, when you continue to focus of the things of old, after you have said you have Jesus in your heart and professed from your mouth, as we see in Romans 10:8-13, you are saying that He really didn’t give you a new slate to work from.
My question to you today, are you going to live in the Victory we have in Jesus or are you going to keep denying the work He has done?
Call out to Him and seek his Love and Forgiveness. It really is as hard or easy as you make it.
We should look to Him daily to seek a relationship with Him. I want to encourage you to seek Him today, if you haven’t already. If you need help, have questions or need direction in this regard, please, feel free to let me know.
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Any scripture referenced here is taken from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted