Life in the New Creation
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This is true for everyone who has been rescued by Jesus from sin. If you have repented and believed in Jesus, you now have a new relationship with him. This relationship is made possible by the presence of the Spirit of God who now lives within you:
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ . . .
The Holy Spirit gives you power to follow Christ, grants you access into God’s presence through prayer, and enables you to understand the Scriptures.
This, in turn, leads you to a new relationship with the Scriptures: “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” The Bible should be to you what milk is to a newborn baby. God’s word is spiritual food, your source of both nourishment and delight. As you read and meditate on the Bible, you will become spiritually healthy and strong. As you treasure up God’s word in your heart, you will keep yourself from sin. As someone once said, “Either this Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.” Regular reading and study of the Scriptures is crucial for your wellbeing.
A third evidence of your new life is a new relationship with the saints–other followers of Jesus:
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
When God rescued you from sin through Jesus Christ, he made you part of a new family. God became your Father, you became his child, and other believers in Jesus become your brothers and sisters. This new relationship with others offers special privileges and responsibilities such as worshiping God together, encouraging one another, and learning from his Word. It is your responsibility to meet with others regularly for both encouragement and help in your walk with God:
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
It should be a high priority for a new believer to become a part of a larger group of people committed to following Jesus.
The Story Isn’t Over
The story of God’s glory isn’t over yet. Jesus has accomplished the decisive work in God’s plan to rescue the world from sin and death, but there is more to come.
Jesus will return again. When he does, our salvation will be complete. The New Testament reminds us that: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.”
God will also restore the world. The entire Universe will be reordered under the lordship of Jesus Christ and God his Father.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’
In the intervening time, believers have a mission from Jesus to complete:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
This task is not yet finished. It is our great joy and privilege to complete it, as we share the good news of what Jesus Christ has done with others. And some day soon,
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.