Lent Day 12 — Don’t Panic. Stop. Take a deep breath and Pray.
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
We are new creations in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away and all things are become new. [2 Corinthians 5:17] So then, what does that mean for us? It means that we are no longer subject to the works and ways of our old natures. The sin debt for the works of our old natures has been paid through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The new nature that we have is now the nature of the sinless Christ our Lord.
Our new identity as new creatures on the earth is no longer limited to our outward appearance as male and female, bond or free, Jew or Greek or any national association of physical birth. We are a new breed, if you will, a never-before-existed creation in Christ. We are a new work of God. We are the body of Christ. That is our identity. We are Christ in the world today.
As born again believers in Jesus Christ when we look in the mirror what we see is Christ. Not the outward appearance, but the inner reality of life, His Life and the Father’s life and the Holy Spirit’s life dwelling in us.
There is much to be said about this, but here is just some of the Good News. Because we are not of the same old human nature, limited and bound by this world’s rule and authority which has been under a curse since the days of Adam’s rebellion. We are now free to live by the higher freedom and authority of God in the world by the power of the Holy Spirit that has been breathed into us through the miracle of salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Until Jesus came all creation breathed only the breath of sin and death. So in Adam we all died. But in Jesus we are all made alive by His blood. Our old sinful human nature was buried in baptism with Him and His new nature was imparted to us with His life coming to live in us with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Then, receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, His life breathes the breath of life that God first breathed into Adam when He became a living soul.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
With their presence in us Heaven and earth have come together. This was the symbolism of the Tabernacles of Moses and David; God abiding with men on the earth. Jesus said it. “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
In baptism we die to selfand are buried with Christ in death. When we die to selfwe die to what we didn’t have before the fall: fears, lusts, anger wrath, malice, pride arrogance, murmurings, complaining, cynicism, pessimism, criticism, negativism and such like.
Now God is Love. God does not have a need. Love does not have a need. The world’s Love is all about need which demands something of another to make it feel good or satisfy some longing or passion.
As new creations in Christ, our faith our trust our confidence is in God. And that faith, trust and confidence will not be disappointed. It will not fail because it is founded on love, and love, God’s love, never fails.
Love does not have a need. Love is not looking for someone or something to fulfill it. The world’s Love is about need which demands something to make it feel good. Our basic human nature loves what it needs to fulfill itself. When a husband or wife and any two (or more) people in a relationship only love one another for what the other can do for them, that is not love. It is need, desire, centered on the self. But God does not love us because He has a need. He loves us because we have a need and that is the difference Jesus makes in our lives when we by the Holy Spirit learn to love others for what they need, knowing that in Christ we are already complete.
The highest form of Love we can express toward God is to give Him all our heart, soul, mind and strength. When we do, we are never given over to fear and anxiety, because our hearts, created in our new nature are fixed trusting in the Lord. These may come but they may not linger in us.
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” Galatians 5:6
We are new creations with new natures, but we still live in our old bodies with our old minds. But we are commanded not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, to begin to seek to know God and to know who we are now as new creations in Him. All of that is GOOD NEWS. The discovery of our new identity is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, as new creations we don’t panic at hearing bad news. That’s just what’s in the world. It’s all around us. What we do when we hear it is with our renewed minds to take captive the natural tendency to fear and remember that we trust in the Lord and He will never fail us. So, we prayand cast all care on Him because He cares for us and we rest, without worry or fear, in His love, confident that He will meet all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.