The new you… a new identity
“…you have put off the old self… and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.” (from Colossians 3:9-10)
At the very core of new life in Jesus is an understanding…
We are no longer what we were… we are completely new, in Him.
The New Testament is full of descriptive words that tell us what we are NOW, because of the great exchange (our sin, for His righteousness).
We just spent quite a bit of time reviewing the beatitudes. In short, the beatitudes are describing our new identity – what we ARE now, because we have said “Yes!” to God’s offer of exchange, through Jesus. The beatitudes ARE the characteristic qualities of the new you!
It is so easy to look at the beatitudes and conclude that we have a lot of work to do. We end up thinking about our shortcomings and our failings in all those areas – and find ourselves continually asking God to help us to become what we need to be.
But we are missing the whole point of the great exchange.
When we said “Yes!” to Jesus, we traded the old for the new. We traded what we were (everything we were) for the new (everything He is). We traded our shortcomings for His perfection. We traded all of our sin and mistakes for His righteousness. We traded all the things that others had done to us, for everything He has done for us.
We have emphasized this before, but it bears repeating… We are NOT becoming new creations – the Bible says that we ARE new creations.
Now, we must surrender everything that is attached to the old “you” and put on the new. The new you does what God desires, because the new you is restored to His image. We are called to simply “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24) God has already supplied what is needed. It is all that is necessary to do what He desires of us. We just have to take off the old and put on the new!
If all this sounds strange to us, it is because we are so accustomed to living by the old self, that living as the new self seems more like a fantasy… or pipe dream.
But that is the role of faith in our lives. The writer of Hebrews was inspired to describe faith this way: “Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.” (11:1) What is so hard for us to see is how we, as mere mortal (and flawed) human beings, can ever live and walk like Jesus.
But faith sees this as a certainty. Why? Because God said it. Because God did what was necessary for it to BE. It is not dependent upon any of our efforts!
What we ARE in Jesus, produces what pleases God – because who we ARE will always lead to producing what we do.
And we ARE new creations – God-pleasing creations – because of Jesus!
Prayer focus: God, allow me to really see who I really AM in You — and to live as a new creation every day!