Created new by God the Son
'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.'
2 Corinthians 5v17-19 (NIV)
Creating your own identity, being who you want to be sounds very enticing.
It promises value, status and worth - but the problem is it’s a lie. We are not really free to live as we want. On the one hand our culture says:‘Don’t let anyone tell you how to live.' Yet on the other hand it says to us: 'Unless you look like this, unless you have this, unless you live like this you have not achieved it.' You must become what society demands of you. In our search for our identity we are not really free. The pressures from our culture and from ourselves crush us and break us. There is however good news. Rather than strive for an identity, we receive our true identity: 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!' Being 'in' Christ, is to identify with Christ. Through faith we are united to Christ, he takes my old life and he gives me his new life. I now have a new status and a new purpose.
First, I receive a new status: 'If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.'
This new status radically changes my life. It's turning your back on the old and embracing the new. The 'old' way is trying to achieve your identity by conforming to the pressures around us and within us. The 'new' way is receiving your true identity by accepting what God has done for you in Christ. Through the Son we become a brand new person - a new creation! How can I experience this true identity? In two ways:
(i) We need to let go of our search for an identity. The Bible calls this repentance. Turning from my selfish self-absorbed life.
(ii) We need to trust who God says we are. The Bible calls this faith. Believing that I am who God says I am, regardless of how I feel or what others may think.
Put together, it means asking God to forgive you for creating your own identity and thanking him for giving you your true identity.
Second, I receive a new purpose: We have been given 'the ministry of reconciliation.' To 'reconcile' is to restore a relationship that has been broken. It means to bring peace and harmony where there is hostility and fear. In this context it's our restored relationship with God. In other words, being reconciled to God is to enjoy our new God given status, a 'new creation.' God did this for us 'in Christ, not counting people's sins against them.' Now that we are reconciled to God we have a new purpose, to announce this good news to all. God's desire is that all would turn from our old life and embrace the new life. Rather than trying to achieve your identity, receive the identity that God created you for. Live out your new purpose.
We are so easily controlled and shaped by what our own hearts tell us and by what others say about us. We can't trust either. Instead we are to listen to what our creator says about us and what our saviour has done for us. Only by turning to Christ will we truly understand who we are.
Father, thank you that in Christ we have been reconciled to God and given a new status and a new purpose. Forgive me for listening to and being conformed by my surrounding culture. Help me to listen clearly to your word and what you say about me.