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Old and New

Posted by Paul Kemp on

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:9-10)

The moment we came to faith in Christ, everything changed.  We did far more than embrace a new belief system or adopt a new life style, we entered an entirely new realm.  Paul captures the idea beautifully in his letter to the Corinthians, “If anyone is in Christ the new creation has come.”  Christ has already begun in us, what he will one day do with all of creation—“make all things new.”  The created order is a mere shadow of what God intended it to be.  To be sure there are many vestiges of its original grace and beauty, but it is a beauty that is deeply scarred by blight and decay.

Once we come to Christ, he begins to restore all that we have lost to the ravages of sin.  Outwardly the blight and decay are still evident, we grow old and eventually die, but inwardly Paul tells us we are “being renewed day by day.”

Some of the things that were once true of us are no longer true.  We are no longer what we once were.  In our Old Humanity (far better translation than “Old Man” or “Old Self”) we lived in complete solidarity with Adam. We were rebels at heart, reigning and ruling in our own lives, frantically trying to achieve our own righteousness, and living for our own renown and glory. In our New Humanity, we live in solidarity with Christ. We have been “rescued from the dominion of darkness and been brought into the glorious kingdom of the Son He loves.”  We are clothed in His righteousness rather than the filthy garments of self-justification we once proudly wore.  We have been adopted into His family and and have received an inheritance that is beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.

The problem with the “New Creation” is that it exists within the Old.  We are still surrounded by sin, blight and decay. We still embrace old habits. We still get caught up in the things of the world.  We still live as if our identity was tied up in our good looks, personal achievements and the number of people who think we are a big deal. We still sell ourselves in slavery to the things that once owned us and robbed us of all dignity, hope and joy.

Paul tells us we need to take decisive action against the vestiges of what we once were, and clothe ourselves with the heart and character that is consistent with who we are in Christ.

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