What does this New Man Look Like?

Colossians 3:9-11
9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

We have been talking about what this new man, who we are in Christ, is. What does this “new man” look like? Well, we know that this new man who is being renewed in the image of Christ is what we generally term a “Christian” or a “born again believer”. If you went out on the street or to different parts of the world and took a poll of random people, what do you think they would say a Christian should look like? No doubt we would get multiple answers and opinions. Some might say it can only be a certain race people, or only males can be Christians, or only certain religions or denominations can be Christians. What does the Word say a Christian is? It says it is a person that “is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” In other words it is one that looks in their behavior to be like Christ. It is one who doesn’t think like the world thinks, but is aligning their thoughts, goals and lifestyle with the Word and the will of God. It plainly says here that there is no outward distinction or discrimination of sex, color, race or creed that defines you as a “new man or person in Christ”. The transformation is within and is expressed without. The defining factor is that Christ is all and is in all. In the Christian’s mind and heart this should be at the forefront of all of our thinking, all of our plans, all of our goals and in all that we are. Is Christ everything? If He is everything in you and I, then what are we going to look like, what are we going to reflect, emulate, and express? What is going to be our nature and character? It is Christ for He is all and in all. He is what our life is all about. He should now define who we are.
Now being honest for just a moment, how many of us can say that is totally where we are at in our thinking, in our lifestyles and in our behavior? What we have to grasp and get a hold of is that Christ wants Christians who are wholly identified with Him. In other words He is to become our identity. What does Christian mean? It means “little Christs”. In the Old Testament to be one of God’s people you had to be one of the circumcision, that defined you as set apart for God. The New Testament tells us in Philippians 3:3, “3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— ” Natural circumcision could only apply to males, but spiritual circumcision, which is the removal of our fleshly heart and attitude, giving place to the headship of Christ in our lives, knows no gender, but is applicable to all. This new garment we are putting on is a spiritual garment that is in the likeness of Him who created us. That is our purpose and our reason for being. We are to be the expression of Christ in the earth. It is Him living through us. Is that what our world is seeing in the majority of Christianity today? Do they really see anything that looks much different than them except in name only? Are they able to see the difference in our behavior, our integrity, our divorce rate or family life? The truth we face is that most all of us are missing the mark. Christ really isn’t our all in all, He is only part of our all. We must all come to the place of prayerfully, honestly, and with a broken and contrite heart defining who we really are. Maybe we are somewhere between dirty underwear and blue jeans and a clean shirt, but we haven’t fully put off the old man with his former deeds. There is a tremendous work of transformation that needs to take place in most of us. God can only work in us, as we are willing to relinquish our will to His. James says, “a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” How many of us are abiding in that place of only being lukewarm for God? He is not our everything; He has become our occasional, our “when I feel like it”, if it is convenient, and when it is acceptable in my circle of friends. What is Christ to us? Is He the garment that we put on every morning and wear everyday or has He become something much less? God has called us and provided for us to be so much more than we have been. It is time for us to rise up and answer the trumpet that is sounding and calling us back to our faith, our full commitment and confidence in Christ. He must be our all and who is in all. Christ in us, is our hope of glory.

Blessings,
kent

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The Greatest Gift

December 24, 2012

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The Greatest Gift

If we do the research we find that Christmas isn’t really a biblical institution as much as it is a religious one. One could get as religious about dispelling it as one could get trying to defend it.
Hopefully for most it hasn’t become just an obligation of giving, of materialism, of fantasy, gluttony and wanton revelry. It’s one good and primary focus should be to help us prioritize those things that are most important to us in life, God and family. With all of the busyness of life this is one of those Holidays that should get our focus off of ourselves and on to others. It is a time to re-prioritize our family and loved ones. It is a time to exercise God’s grace and forgiveness toward our family and others. It should be a time of reconciliation, healing, and letting old things go. Life is too short, for us to continue to hold offenses, anger, hatred, bitterness and resentment. Our humanly love, will at best , put up pretenses and false gestures while maintaining our grudge or dislike. God’s love in us will enable us to resign our feelings to be able to love, forgive and accept even those who have wronged us or hurt us.
The Holidays can pull us into all that men have made it about, but for us, as believers, it should be a time to remember and proclaim to the world God’s greatest gift of all to mankind. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Out of the abundance and fruit of that gift, which we now hold in our hearts, should come the greatest expression of His love through us. People need to see through our lives, not just at Christmas, but in all seasons, the unconditional love and gift of giving we have living in us.
Perhaps at this time of the year some non-believers are more open and tolerant to hearing and receiving about Christ than at any other time. Our strongest message may not be in what we say, but in the actions with which we say it. This is our exceptional opportunity to be a blessing and to show Christ though the way we touch the lives and needs of others.
More than a tradition, Christmas should just be an exclamation mark of who we are in Christ and who He is in us. Christ is truly the reason for all seasons.

Blessings,
kent

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