I have some good news for you today!
If you believe in Jesus and have received Him as your Lord and Savior, you are brand new In Christ.
Brand spanking new means: utterly new, as new as possible!
You have literally been taken out of Adam and placed into Christ Jesus. You can now live your life through Christ and He will live His life through you but this won’t happen unless you really know that you ARE new and that you CAN live out of your union with Him! Understanding this is critical to our Christian walk because those who don’t understand it find themselves traveling down a path of perpetual anxiety.
Being new in Christ through salvation is huge, not only because you get to spend eternity in heaven with God (which is beyond words amazing), but also because there are a whole bunch of things that are true of you now as a new person in Christ that were not true of you before Christ came into your life.
Here’s one. You are now righteous in Christ, completely apart from anything you do or do not do. Your righteousness in Christ is a gift to you because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross which you accepted the moment you accepted Jesus. You don’t have to try to BE righteous. You ARE righteous in Him.
Just as you were born into sin because of Adam’s poor choice, you have now become righteous because of Jesus’ love for you that kept Him on that cross. On that cross is where Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the whole world. The moment you made a decision to accept His sacrifice on the cross, you accepted everything He did for you through His finished work, including trading your sin for His righteousness. The greatest exchange of all time!
Isn’t it hard to fathom that all you and I had to do was believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Savior and we entered into this brand spanking new life with a brand spanking new covenant, without having done anything to earn it? Wow! But it’s true!
Let’s look at what the Apostle Paul had to say about His union with Christ and this righteousness.
8 Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),
9 And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].
12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
Do you know that before I truly understood who I was in Christ I spent all my time trying to attain to some level of behavior, and good was never good enough for me, which is always the result when we are trying to live by a list of rules (the law) instead of through the power of grace.
Another way to say this is that we can live our lives through the power of Jesus because Jesus is God’s grace personified!
The majority of the time I was striving, struggling and very frustrated. Now, as a result of understanding what I have been given through salvation – a brand new life in Christ, I am living out these verses with my eyes on the prize. The prize not being a standard of behavior (although good behavior through Christ’s power is always a natural byproduct), but the prize being getting to know my wonderful Jesus more and more.
See here in verse 8 Paul is talking about the amazing privilege he has in having this relationship with Jesus. It means so much to him that he doesn’t care what he has lost as a result of this relationship because none of it means anything to him anymore compared to the privilege of knowing Christ.
Then in verse 9 Paul compared the low level of living that comes along with us trying to live by our own righteousness to our true new life in Christ and gift of righteousness that comes through faith in Christ.
In verse 10 Paul continues to talk about His union with Christ and I love that he says his determined purpose is to know Christ Jesus more. He wanted to get to know Him more deeply and Paul knew that from this union would come the power outflowing from Christ’s resurrection. Paul even counted it a privilege to share in Christ sufferings.
In verse 11 Paul talks about living in the resurrection power of Jesus that He believes will lift him out from among anything in his life that has death attached to it. We know sin would be in that list because the wages of sin is death.
In verse 12 Paul admits that he hasn’t arrived at perfection, but that he presses on in his relationship with Christ!
I LOVE how Paul focuses on what Jesus has done for him, his relationship with Jesus and how this relationship will translate into a spiritual and moral resurrection, a life lived above and beyond anything with death attached to it through Christ’s power working in and through him – which is what will always be produced in the person who relies on God’s grace.
We are all on a journey, and reading and studying this group of verses just sent me through the roof with joy because it reminded me once again that I am new, I need to live out of my newness and most importantly, the only way I will ever be able to do that is through my growing relationship with Jesus!
Here’s an example of how this practically plays out in our everyday life:
Yesterday Angel, Starr and I were at Red Robin restaurant and they were signing me up for their rewards card right at our table. An employee was typing in the info as I was giving it to her and she came to a question that I felt they didn’t need to be asking because it was personal.
I told her I don’t think I will sign up if I have to give that information. Then she started trying to convince me. I’m not a fan of people trying to convince me to change my mind once I’ve made a decision.
I don’t know if I got a little edgy or not, but I can have a strong personality at times, so maybe I did. I noticed she never came back to our table and someone else took over.
Everything ended up working out and we did get signed up for the rewards card because as I went through the registration process again I felt like I had over-reacted to the question and decided it wasn’t too personal after all.
Here is how I handled this situation now that I am living out of the security of my relationship with Christ. I knew I was going to apologize to the first employee who was trying to register me and tell her that I overreacted, but the fact that I sinned didn’t ruin my meal. I was still able to enjoy dinner with my girls, then afterwords I sincerely apologized and told her I realize I had overreacted. I could see relief on her face when I apologized. Maybe she even thought she had done something wrong and felt bad about it, but that was not the case. She was simply trying to do her job.
The best news of all is that I didn’t feel separated from God because I sinned and I didn’t feel that I suddenly became unrighteous because of it. I felt completely secure in who I was in Christ. I wasn’t in a state of anxiety over my sin like I had been so many times in the past. I believe it was the security that I knew I had in Christ that made it easy for me to talk with and apologize to the Red Robin employee openly, without making excuses, and without feeling condemned.
I then went into a time of thanking God. I thanked Him for His forgiveness, already provided for me because of Jesus’ finished work which secured my complete forgiveness forever according to Hebrews 10:11-19. I thanked God that I was still in right standing with Him because of the gift of righteousness He had given me according to Romans 3:20-24 and that I could always come boldly to His throne of grace according to Hebrews 4:16.
Now you know this kind of reaction on my part had to be giving the devil a nervous breakdown because he wanted me to feel guilty, unclean and separated from God, but instead my own sin just served to cause me to meditate on God’s goodness toward me.
The result that comes from meditating on God’s goodness and His grace in our lives is heart change. His grace gives us a deeper desire to live full force for Him and one of the main ways to do that is by walking in love with others.
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!