Thursday, March 27, 2014
“Put On the New Man” Part 2
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It’s Thursday, March 27, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
[You] have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:10-11).
If you’re thinking, “I thought he already covered this verse” – you’re right! On Tuesday’s edition of The New You we discussed the change that Jesus brings about in a Christian’s life. Upon our baptism, Jesus cleansed us of our sinful past, and put to death that old man of sin. But if we stop there as Christians, we are stopping short! In addition to purging the old man of sin, the Christian must put on the new man. This new man is characterized by three important concepts. First, there is the new life that is brought about by a deep, personal knowledge of Christ. This is what we discussed on Tuesday. Today, we turn our attention to the final two characteristics of a Christian’s new life.
Here’s number 2: Now that I’m a Christian, Christ is my standard. Notice what he says: “the new man … is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col. 3:10). Special emphasis should be placed upon those two words “according to.” According to whom? Him who created this new man. That’s Christ! We are renewed according to the image of Christ. Christ is THE standard for all Christians to follow! Peter reminds us that we were called to follow Christ’s steps (1 Pet. 2:21). The new man is growing closer and closer to Jesus so that he may act, talk, and, yes, think like Jesus! Listen to these passages that bear this out for us:
Romans 8:29: For whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:49: And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man [Jesus].
Philippians 3:21: [Jesus] will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Christ is our standard. Now, remember that Christ was perfect (Heb. 4:15). He committed no sin (1 Pet. 2:22). God knows that we will make mistakes. God’s inspired Word reveals to us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). While God does not expect perfection, He certainly expects faithfulness (Rev. 2:10). When Jesus is the standard of your life, you will be on your way to heaven.
Third, now that I’m a Christian, Christ is my everything. Drop on down to Colossians 3:11 for this point. Paul says that, in Jesus, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” For those in Christ (that is, for Christians, those in Christ’s church), “Christ is all and in all.” In other words, Christ is absolutely everything.
In Christ, racial barriers are broken down. It’s no longer about Greek or Jew. The old song says, “red or yellow, black or white, they are precious in His sight.” That’s true.
In Christ, cultural barriers are broken down. The barbarians were those who did not speak Greek. The Scythians were considered by their culture to be the worst of the barbarians. Their culture claimed that they were little better than savages. Not so in Christ! The ground is level at the foot of the cross!
In Christ, social distinctions are broken down. It’s not longer about slave or free. If they were slaves, they were to be Christian slaves! If they were masters, they were to be Christian masters!
Truly, Christ is in all and He has changed everything! Christ has erased all differences! Life is about Christ. He is the foundation of the new kind of behavior found in those who are renewed by God according to Christ’s name.
Let’s wrap it up: Isn’t it amazing what Christ can do for us and to us? Let’s not short ourselves on the potential that we have with Christ’s power! For sure focus on putting off your sinful self, but then don’t forget to add righteousness in where the unrighteousness used to be.
Memory Verse: Speaking of the power of Christ, we see God’s power to save in the Gospel message! That’s what makes this week’s verse so important.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Sometime today: Read the fascinating sermon Paul gave on Mars Hill in Athens. That’s found in Acts 17:22-34. We’ll discuss that tomorrow.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I need your questions for the future of Q & A Saturday. Do you have a Bible question or thought? Send them to me for this week’s edition of Q & A Saturday! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.