The new you… a true belief; part 3
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Paul – Galatians 2:20 NLT)
We have been talking about what it means to truly believe – and how it is essential to our relationship with God.
Two days ago, our focus was on how true belief is in a Person. The call to salvation (and to enter into the Kingdom of God) is a call to embrace the Person of Jesus – not just the facts about Him or what He did for us. Knowing Jesus is far more important (and beneficial) than to know about Him.
Yesterday, we talked about how true belief is resting in God’s care. The fallacy is that we have to work up enough faith for God to even notice us – and if we want things from God, we have to work up “enough” faith. But true faith is not about our efforts, or our diligence – true faith simply accepts what God has promised and rests in the hopeful expectation of God’s faithfulness.
Today’s thoughts flow from this particular characteristic of belief…
3) True belief is more about what God has done, than about what He will do. In hanging out with Christians, I often hear many of them talking about what God is going to do for them. Their focus is cast into the future – and the expectation of God doing something for them in their coming days. While this is certainly a legitimate expression of faith – it is often the only expression I hear. There is much more to belief than trusting God for our future concerns.
In our passage today, the apostle Paul is giving us the summary of his key to successful Christian living. He talks about how his old self died with Christ – and about how he lives life now. He lives by the new self! The new self has Christ dwelling inside of him; and he lives life by daily trusting (belief, in action) in Jesus.
What I find fascinating is the reason the apostle gives for trusting Jesus. The verse says: Jesus 1) “loved me;” and 2) “gave Himself for me.” Both expressions are PAST tense. They are looking backward in time. The apostle did not say: “Jesus loves me and has promised to give me good things in the future.” This is a bit surprising.
This tells us that the foundation for the apostle’s belief was resting on what Jesus had accomplished for him (and for us all!) – through His death, burial, and resurrection.
Why is this distinction so important? Because of WHAT Jesus has made available to everyone who believes in Him. Jesus did not only secure the forgiveness for our sins. His work, on our behalf, completely secured our: 1) deliverance from the power of sin; 2) freedom from our addictions; 3) complete healing (body, soul, and spirit – “by His wounds we ARE healed…”); 4) adoption into God’s Own Family; 5) restoration to our original purpose (why we were created in the first place) 6) a new creation (the new you, to understand and live in God’s ways); 7) holiness (right standing before God); 8) righteousness (a way to hear His Voice, and walk in His ways)…
All these things are God’s provision for every soul that comes to trust in Jesus. We do not have to wait for any of it! ALL that we need for “life and godliness” has already been done. It is already provided. It is already ours! We just have to rest our faith in God’s provision for us.
This is why the apostle set his focus on what Jesus had done for him, in the past.
As for us, this means that the Source for all we could ever need has already been provided for us through what Jesus did for us – through the timeless events of His death, burial, and resurrection.
True belief flows from God’s work – accomplished completely through His Son.
Prayer focus: God, help me to focus my faith on all that has already been provided for me.