One night when I asked my daughters to get ready for bed, my youngest returned with her nightgown on. The problem was, she just put it on top of the outfit she had worn all day. She didn't need another layer of clothes—she needed a new, fresh outfit! Throwing her nightgown on top of dirty clothes was pointless. The same is true when you commit your life to Jesus— it's not just a layer of clean that you put on top of the dirty. It's a new set of clothing, a new outfit that is different from what you have been wearing your whole life. There is a verse in 2 Corinthians that says, "Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The moment you decided to follow Jesus, you received the gift of eternal life. That means you have been saved by grace, and there is nothing you can do that will separate you from the love of God (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 8:38-39). Jesus came to this earth with the purpose of dying, so that you and I might have a full, abundant life. His life's goal was to sacrifice his life for each of us, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Isn't it amazing to think that as Jesus hung on the cross, you were on his mind? What a Savior!
And the greatest news isn't that Jesus died on the cross for you and me —it's that he rose again! He's not dead, but alive! He moved from death to life, and the same process happens for you and me as we grow in our relationship with Jesus. The old things will fade, and God will do something new in your life.
As you begin this new journey with Jesus, maybe you're not sure if you're doing this thing right. Maybe you're still struggling with the same problems and issues Maybe life doesn't look any different for you. And you might wonder, "What does it really mean to be a new creation?"
Being a "new creation" means two things. First, the process of moving from old to new is a life-long process. As we journey with Jesus, there will always be an invitation to let him make us new — new in our thinking, new in our habits, new in how we treat others, and new in how we see God as a good Father and the King of our hearts. It's up to us to say "yes" to that invitation and, if we do, the amount of transformation and growth that can happen is beyond our imagination!
Second, there is a spiritual world that is real, with spiritual enemies (demons) that have no interest in you living a redeemed life. When you allowed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, your spiritual eyes were opened. You see life differently now. When you were dead in your sin, you weren't on the enemy's radar because what kind of threat is a spiritually dead person? But now that you're alive in Christ, there is a real battle for your soul. So it's possible that you feel this tension — like an inner battle between the old life you knew so well and the new life that's offered to you.
While that can sound scary, the great news is that Jesus has conquered sin, death, and the grave. That means the battle is won and we have victory in Christ. We are actually fighting from victory, not for victory. The Bible says that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me and you. So we can believe that truth, pray with authority and confidence, and continue to guard our hearts against anything that would cause us to doubt that we are in the careful hands of a very loving God.
An outward expression of this wonderful internal transformation that is happening is water baptism. It is a public declaration that says the old is gone, and your new life has begun. It's a way for you to identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. If you want to learn more or if you'd like to register for an upcoming baptism, click here.