Seeking the new creation
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again …
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:14–15, 17 (NIV)
When Jesus prayed for those of us who would come to faith through the words of the first apostles, he prayed that we would all be joined together as one, just as he and the Father are joined together as one. He prayed that we might become one with them — that as the Father was in him and he in the Father, that believers would also be in them. When we come and acknowledge our sin and seek his forgiveness, this prayer is answered, for it is in that action that we become enfolded into Christ and are indeed an entirely new creation who will one day see his full glory.
Ponder on Mark 1:14,15; Acts 20:20–21
Repentance is never just a ‘one off’ act — for a believer, it is a way of life. A believer’s life is characterised by constantly seeking to turn away from our old way of living and instead set our face towards the Son. Someone once called it ‘Keeping short accounts with God’. In other words, it means recognising when we have done as Paul says, either the things that we should have or the things that we should not have. And when we recognise these things, we seek his forgiveness. And then we need to repent — to turn back — and follow him with all our heart and mind and soul and strength.
Meditate on John 17:20-24
How should the fact that Jesus prayed for us affect the way we choose to live? How should Jesus’ prayer affect our own prayer lives? Are we thankful for a love so great that on the night before he died, he thought not of himself but of us as he looked down the tunnel of time? Is our prayer that we will be ‘one’ even as he and the Father are one? Is our prayer for a deeper unity with him and the Father so that our lives will reflect their glory — so that the world will know him and that he came to save the lost? So that our lives will bring him glory?
Be challenged by Romans 12: 9–21
Do people see us an ‘an entirely new creation’? Has the ‘old order’ really been banished from our lives? Are we really walking in a way where all is ‘fresh and new’? There are 12 imperatives in the first four verses of Paul’s description of how we should live now that we are ‘in Christ.’ How many more do you see? Our prayer needs to be that the Holy Spirit will work in us to transform us daily into the image of Jesus as we seek to make this new way of life the way we naturally live.
Think about Galatians 3:26-28
A life lived ‘in Christ’ should drive us to pray for all those who are also in him for they are now our ‘forever family.’ Jesus set us the example by praying for us and Paul followed in his footsteps. In every letter he wrote he spoke of praying for those who would read it. Let us not be slow in following their example.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Vice-President Prayer, NMB