Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
Over the past three months, we have considered how accountability facilitates repentance that leads to reconciliation. The fruit of this restoration process is new life in Jesus as confirmed by His rising from the grave. As Paul reminds us, the resurrected Christ has transformed us into new creatures that no longer live for ourselves but for him who has set us free from the bondage of sin and has resultantly made us the righteousness of God:
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come… For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17, 21 ESV
Being grateful for this incredible sacrifice of Christ’s very own life, Paul marvels at what the resurrection now means for all of us who entrust ourselves to Jesus. Paul tells his reading audience that we are invited to participate in the Son’s resurrected life here and now. His Spirit will lead us to a place of death to our egocentric selves and make room for a robust, Christ-centered life that takes pleasure in pleasing the Father and the Son. But while the transaction is complete through his death and resurrection, the process takes time. Just as we see new growth in nature encounter setbacks from inclement weather and predators, so our new lives will take time to strengthen and flourish in a world that hates him and his followers (John 15:16 – 16:4). Thankfully, Jesus promised his disciples that he would send a helper in the Holy Sprit to ensure that the Saints would persevere in living out this new life “in” and “for” the Son (John 16:5-15). Our part is simply to cooperate with the Holy Spirit who will teach us and develop within us a sacred rhythm of dying to self and rising to new life in Christ—truly a priceless gift!
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