“But God… made us alive together with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:5)
Scripture tells us that we WERE all “dead” in our trespasses and sins. Each and every one of us. Separated from God (and His life) as our natural state.
But Jesus came to change all that – His death brought us the possibility of life.
But this happens in a way we had not expected. Those of us who have received Jesus (and what He came to do for us) experience a life-giving death! Scripture declares that we died with Christ (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:2-8).
This means that everything connected with us (and our old lives) died with Jesus. All our sin and shame. All our failings and weaknesses. All our self-serving tendencies. All our addictions and character issues – died with Jesus.
If it was connected with our past (everything in our past), Jesus carried it to the cross and it died when He died.
But Jesus did all that, to do something else. He didn’t just end us… He did all He did to make us anew.
He made us new.
When life returned to Jesus’ lifeless body, we shared in His resurrection. When He bolted out of that tomb… we bolted with Him. Resurrected. With a new kind of power at work in us. Resurrection power! (Eph. 1:19-20)
“God made us ALIVE together with Christ.” NOT just Christ alone. We were along for the ride. We were included in the miracle. When we said “Yes,” to Jesus – we said “Yes,” to everything He accomplished for us! We got to share in that same power that brings dead people to life.
And now, we get to LIVE in that power – each and every moment of our lives.
Power to live just as Jesus lived. Power to do just as Jesus did (see John 14:12).
But here’s the significant problem… Everything that Jesus did for us only applies to us as we live AS new creations. And we apply what Jesus did for us only by our faith.
No one put it better than the apostle Paul:
Paul’s experience is the same experience Christ offers to each of us. Death to the old self (crucified with Christ). A new life to live NOW by faith in Jesus (and what He did in giving “Himself for me.”)
For every Christian, the person you were is dead and gone… crucified and buried with Jesus. But a new person has emerged from the grave – NOW full of life, full of new opportunities, full of love relationship with our Creator and Redeemer.
It is this contrast between old and new that becomes the arena of our faith.
IS our faith being applied to the hope that God is going to fix us, change us, and empower us – through the course of our Christian lives?
OR is our faith being applied to the fact that God has made provision for the death of that old person that struggled with sin and failure – to bring a new person alive from within us?
Many Christians are placing their faith in the former, without understanding that true Christianity is the latter.
Truth is: Many Christians are “trusting God” for a process of renewal and rejuvenation that the New Testament teaches is ALREADY done!
The person that we were… is dead. Gone. And everything connected with that person is dead. Gone. There is no reason to fix, change, or empower dead things.
But the amazing work of our Savior did not leave us dead and gone – He made us alive, new, and complete. He came to this earth to complete a work to make us all new creations – living, breathing testimonies of ALL that His gift of salvation brings to us!