Yesterday, we concluded by saying that the only way to get beyond who we are, is to become somebody else.
But wait… if that is the solution, then, it is just not possible. There is no earthly way to stop being one person… and become another.
We would have to die… and come back to life as someone else (which may be the thought process behind reincarnation?!) – with an entirely different identity.
But, though this is promising, in theory – it is not very practical. We can do the dying part… but the coming back to life?? Not so much.
So we are stuck with who and what we are. Prone to all the flaws and faults that come with the whole package of… us. We’re just going to have to make the best of it. We often turn to God for help (well, at least for forgiveness of all our sins) – until that dying part actually comes… and we can finally escape the prison that has been our earthly identity.
And that is how most Christians are trained to think.
We accept a gospel of grace to help us… but not to completely heal us. We accept that we are just going to have to struggle here in this life – because to be human is to struggle. But someday, we will shed this “mortal coil” and embrace a new identity – a new name. One that is not encumbered by sin and enslaved by our sinful nature.
But, if we will accept it, there is tremendous news for every one of us.
The gospel of grace is not just about forgiving us our sins. It is not just about how a God of love is eager to help us in our struggles. The gospel of grace is all about how God made a way for each of us to die… and return to this life as the same person, only NEW!
That new name, that new identity, is available right now. God’s message to us is that we do not have to live one more second in our old identity, deformed by our old name. We can be new. We can die… and be resurrected to a new kind of life.
That’s what Jesus came to do. Not only to pay the price for our sins – but to make the way possible for each of us to BE new people. In this life!
How is this even possible? Because what Jesus came to do was not just something He did for us – He came to enable us to be an active participant in what He did on our behalf. He came to make it possible for us to share in (personally experience) what He did for us.
That is the whole point of the apostle’s words to us, in Romans 6… “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
Here’s the summary… The “old me” (plagued by sin, the sin nature, and a dreadful identity) needed to die. Through Jesus, God made a way for that to happen. But… we also needed to be resurrected from death, and come back as somebody new and different (someone NOT plagued by sin, the sin nature, and that dreadful identity). Through Jesus, God made a way for that to happen, also.
This is why Jesus is the only way to God – He is the only provision to give us what we all really need… a cure for what keeps us enslaved to the dominion and devastation of our old lives.
Prayer focus: God, I choose to embrace the “new me” and live in the fullness of Your grace for my new life.
This is a link to a song by Jason Gray (it really reinforces our word for the day)…