WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 10, 2023
TOPIC: LIVING YOUR NEW LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Romans 6:13 New Living Translation).
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, came to Jesus by night during which Jesus told him that he must be born again (John 3:3). He didn’t understand what Jesus meant and He had to explain it to him.
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6 New King James Version).
To be born again means to be born anew. It means to receive new life, which is the gift of God in Christ Jesus. The natural life is the old life; the new life comes when one is born anew, or born a second time, which is the spiritual birth. “Your old self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory” (Colossians 3:3-4 Easy-to-Read Version).
2 Corinthians 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, they have become new. In other words, the old life ceases to exist; the new life begins.
It is important to understand some truths about God’s gift of new life in Christ Jesus. This helps the believer to live according to his new identity. Most of the scriptures for this message are taken from the New Living Translation.
10 Truths about the new life
1. You cannot receive new life in Jesus Christ without being born again. You must receive Jesus Christ into your life.
As you have read earlier, Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Verse 7, also refers to this. Jesus says the same thing to everyone today – everyone must be born again. The Apostle Peter built on this teaching of Jesus thus: “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God” (1 Peter 1:23 New Living Translation).
Only those who are born again or have surrendered their lives to Jesus, accepting Him as their Lord and Saviour, receive God’s gift of new life.
2. God gives those who believe in Jesus Christ new life through the Holy Spirit. In John 3:6, Jesus says humans can reproduce only human life but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. In other words, flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to spirit
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Titus, says, “But—‘When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit’” (Titus 3:4-5 New Living Translation).
The role of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of sinners cannot be ignored. Without the Holy Spirit, no one will receive new life in Christ Jesus. As 1 Corinthians 12:3b says, no one is able to say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
3. The law cannot give anyone new life. The Bible says, “If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:21b-22 New Living Translation).
Jesus wouldn’t have come to die to save humanity if the law was adequate. No man can be made right with God by obeying the law. Those who come to Jesus are saved by grace through faith, and not of themselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). Titus 3:5 says we are not saved by the works of righteousness, which we have done, but He saved us according to His mercy.
4. When you receive Jesus Christ into your life, the old life passes away and you receive new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17, in the New Living Translation, says, “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” In other words, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
5. The new life of the believers in Christ is His new life which they share. It is a life of victory over sin, which water baptism is a symbol of. Paul, in Colossians 2:12, points out the relationship between baptism and new life in Christ Jesus: “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead” (New Living Translation).
Furthermore, Paul says, “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share His new life” (Romans 6:5-8 New Living Translation). This refers to the present life but is not limited to it. We have been raised from the dead, having died to sin, and now alive to God in Christ. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:22, just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. Christians have this new life now.
6. Living new life in Jesus Christ requires that the followers of Christ fill their thoughts with heaven and not be dominated by thoughts of the things of this world.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:1-4, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory” (New Living Translation).
According to the Apostle John, Christians should not love the world or the things in the world, for if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15). Corinthians 7:31 says rather than being engrossed with the things of this world, those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them because this world and all it contains will pass away.
7. Living new life in Christ Jesus means that believers must not yield any part of their bodies to sin. Jesus died to save the world from sin. In Christ Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).
However, we cannot continue in sin so that grace may abound or increase, or so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness (Romans 6:1). Therefore, the Bible warns: “Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Romans 6:13 New Living Translation).
Also, Colossians 3:5-10 points out the difference between the old life and the new life in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live to please themselves but to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
8. Living new life in Christ Jesus is only possible with the help of and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (New King James Version). The Good News Translation puts it thus: “What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.” You cannot live your new life in Christ Jesus without dependence on and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
9. You must daily study and meditate on the Word of God for the renewing of your mind so that you will not be influenced by the world’s sinful values. Human beings, including Christians, are being bombarded daily by the world’s values through the news, music, literature, etc. The heart cannot be empty; it must be filled with something. It’s either the values of the world or the values of the kingdom of God.
Christians must not allow the world’s values to fill their hearts; they must fill their hearts with the Word of God. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 New King James Version).
Don’t let the Word of God depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. Then you will make your way prosperous and have good success (Joshua 1:8).
10. Race, tribe, status, and other things are not important in the new life but Christ Jesus. Nobody is superior to another and no one is inferior. The Apostle Paul puts it this way: “In this new life one’s nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all” (Colossians 3:11 New Living Translation).
In the new life in Christ Jesus, Christians should love one another irrespective of nationality, race, tribe, status, and so on. Colossians 3:14 says to Christians: “the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14-15 Easy-to-Read Version).
Live your new life in Christ Jesus, knowing who you are in Him, obeying the Word of God, and depending on the Holy Spirit.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I have been raised to new life with Christ, I shall live according to my new life in the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, I receive Your help to use my whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. No part of my body shall become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sin in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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