As those who profess to be followers of Christ how do we live our lives? What do we show to those around us? Are we truly reflecting the love and grace that Christ has shown us or are we proclaiming Christ with our mouth while our actions speak to the contrary?
Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians, “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) To be in Christ we must die to our flesh and we must become a new creation in Christ. When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night this concept was puzzling. He asked Jesus in John 3:4, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
This is how we are to be a new creation. It is not a 2nd earthly birth of the flesh but a birth of the Spirit, as God’s spirit comes to walk and live with us. It is important to understand what it says in Titus 3:5, “5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” There is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to become this new creation. It is only accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. What does it look like to be a new creation?
Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 7:17, “7 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” If we are a new creation in Christ, then people will be able to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. This doesn’t mean we won’t have times that we stumble or that we fall flat and fail miserably but even Proverbs says in Proverbs 24:16, “16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” I can guarantee you that we will all fall and fail at some point but as someone that is a new creation in Christ and that is covered with the righteousness of Christ we don’t stay on the ground in the muddy pit of failure but we rise up and we continue pushing forward to demonstrate the fruits of the spirit given to us in Galatians 5:22-23, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Let us be known by the fruits of God’s Spirit at work and evident in our lives.