2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
On my walk with Christ, I have sought to understand how His example of how to live applies to my own life. In this seeking, I have encountered a couple passages of scripture that succinctly, and eloquently, capture the spirit of how Christ walked, and how He instructed us to follow in His example. To me, these scriptures illustrate the tension between walking with the Spirit and walking in the flesh. These are common differentiations, yet even in reading them, they highlight the very real distinction between two ways, and in many ways two worlds, that we all walk.
2 Peter 1 (NKJV)
Fruitful Growth in the Faith
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I think the most important thing about this passage is that as we walk with Christ, emulating His example, we must not backslide into our old way, lest we forget that we have been cleansed from our old sins. As new creations, we walk in Spirit, not in the flesh.
Galatians 5 (NKJV)
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Isn’t it amazing that the scriptures can show us the distinction between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh so clearly? These are certainly something to meditate on throughout our journeys.
Today I watched a testimony of a man who had been widely influential in the new age movement. His influence had brought him great wealth and prosperity, yet he was not happy, and in fact was deeply troubled. He had been led astray by seeking his own understanding. While he did not discard Jesus, he did not embrace Him fully either. After going through a period of trial and battle, he accepted the Lord. The testimony was powerful in that it showed how the Lord can gently guide us back to His path. I pray that those who are embattled with such strongholds seek the Lord, for His way is full of mercy and forgiveness.
In reading scripture after watching this testimony, I came across I Corinthians 2, which speaks of spiritual wisdom. The man giving his testimony in the video thought that he had great spiritual wisdom, and that it was a gift from God. Instead, he did not fully root himself in the ways of the Lord, and found out the hard way that it is not safe to do so. For in seeking the Truth, God will provide for us and reveal to us things that we should know.
1 Corinthians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
In receiving the Spirit of God, we receive the Holy Spirit, which guides us, teaches us, and helps us to walk with Christ. It’s important to know that these are all gifts from God that we must accept so that we can receive His wisdom.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Derrick Rhayn is a new Christian and seeks the will and Word of the Lord.
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.