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.
The scriptures call on us to follow Jesus with unrelenting dedication, to seek Him and constantly be waiting for Him, and as a result to learn from Him. It is through this dedication that our hearts experience His Light, and that we are guided in our journeys to discover His truth, compassion, mercy, and teaching. We are better as a result, and come out of the darkness of sin and desires of the flesh, which only serve ourselves.
As a learner, I am always seeking to be better in my understanding of following Jesus. Reading scriptures is the best way to do that. In my reading over the past couple days, it became clear to me that the following Jesus puts a light within us that gives us confidence, insight, and understanding.
John 8 (NJKV)
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
As someone who has accepted Jesus as his personal savior, I delight in His light. In the very words I write here, I am guided by His light. I encourage anyone who reads this to embrace His light, to embrace His Truth, and to boldly claim your alignment with His light.
Luke 8 (NJKV)
The Parable of the Revealed Light
16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him morewill be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
It is incredibly important to understand and come into alignment with His light. By doing so, you are shown His ways, and He walks with you. This process of aligning with His light and walking with Him is continual. Through devotion, we find solace and are humbled to His ways. And, truly, we develop our ability to discern what is of His light and what is of this world.
Luke 11 (NJKV)
The Lamp of the Body
33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
When we develop our understanding through His light, and walk with Him, we receive His lessons, mercy, and gifts. Therefore, we must praise Him and share our knowledge of Him with the world. It is in doing so that we give others the opportunity to know Him through our alignment with His light. And, hence, we give others the opportunity to then glorify and praise Him as a result of knowing Him.
As a new Christian, I’m learning what God has in store for me every single day. What’s clearer by the day is that dedicating time to reading scriptures is the most useful tool for discerning God’s will for me. Today I turned to read Genesis, the beginning of creation, and made it through the first five chapters. Then God stirred in me and I seemed to recall that Jesus was referenced in the beginning of Genesis. I looked it up, and sure enough in Genesis 3 (NKJV), The Temptation and The Fall of Man, speaks about Jesus. It says:
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all
And more than every beast of
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
I found this important because then I asked for guidance for God’s will for me, and he showed me the following passage from Habakkuk 3 (NKJV):
12 You marched through the land
You trampled the nations
13 You went forth for the salvation
of Your people,
For salvation with Your
You struck the head from the
house of the wicked,
By laying bare from foundation,
God’s guidance for me today is to know certainly a few things.
First, He has a plan for me. As is written in these scriptures, His plans have been such from the beginning. By putting my trust in Him and in His plan for me, He will deliver me from sin into salvation. I trust this inherently.
Second, God knew from the beginning that He had to send Jesus to redeem us from sin. God says this in the very, very, very first instance of sin against Him. Think about that for a moment. This shows God’s omniscience, and His acknowledgement of the way of salvation as He knew what would happen as a result of the fall of man.
Third, God shows me that the Bible is a living document. He gave me insight, and showed me how these scriptures were tied together. These speak of Jesus coming, marching and trampling the enemy for his propagation of sin, and saving His people. It is with this insight that you can see why in Genesis 3 it says “And you shall bruise His heel.” It is because Jesus will march and trample the enemy.
Together these two scriptures give me insight into how God works, confidence that taking time every day to read scriptures will guide my life, and that God has a plan for everything. These lessons are important to me as I continue my journey with Jesus.
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.