In this sermon, we are going to look at what it means if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.
So may God help us, through this sermon, to understand how we should become and remain a new creature in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.2 Corinthians 5:17.
How to become a New Creature in Christ.
The one and only way for a human being to become a new creature in Christ is through the living word of God.
And this living word must start by uncovering the mortal and immortal parts that makes up a human being.
The creation of man.
The scripture helps us to understand that God formed man from the dust of the ground; and afterwards blew the breathe of life into his nostrils and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7).
Dust of the ground here is our physical body, as the scripture says in genesis 1:27; that God created man in his own image and in the image of God He created him, both male and female.
While the breathe of life is the Spirit as the scripture helps us to understand in John 4:24 that God is a Spirit; and those who wants to worship Him must do so in Spirit and in truth.
In the above scripture, the call for human beings to worship God in Spirit and in truth gives full proof that we surely have the image and likeness of God as one of the two parts that makes up us.
This living word of God goes on to analyze the fact that we can become a new creature through God’s breath of life. While the dust of the ground i.e. the old creation, is doomed to perish. (1 Peter 1:23-24)
Thus, it is clear and certain that the two parts that makes up a human being; must surely disengage one day according to Ecclesiastes 12:7.
How the living word of God is revealed if any man be in Christ.
Now this living word of God, Who only holds the promise of immortality; is revealed nowhere else but in the gospel message handed down by Jesus Christ to his apostles as one of them, St Paul, noted to his co-worker Titus 1:1-3.
And as Christ Himself predicted in Mathew 24:15; this gospel of the kingdom of God must be preached in the whole world as a witness before the end comes.
Those who are chosen and send forth, from generation to generation; must carry on this tradition of revealing the truth hidden in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And being one amongst these kinds in my own generation, permit me to guide you into this wonderful mystery of how you can become a new creature through the gospel of Christ Jesus and in so doing attain immortality.
It all begins from where the scripture begins:
In the beginning God created then heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “let there be light”; there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.(Genesis 1:1-4).
If any man be in Christ.
In order to understand what happens if any man be in Christ; let us analyze the beginning of the creation story, that is Genesis 1:1-4.
Analogy of Genesis 1:1-4.
1. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”.
Now the earth which was without form and void and covered in darkness; symbolizes the mortal part of the human being which as we saw earlier was made from the dust of the ground.
(If you have ever come in contact with a human corpse, you will be in a better position to perfectly visualize the nature of the human being immediately after God finishes forming it from the dust of the ground).
Since the human corpse has no breath of life in it. His eyes, where the light of his body comes from, cannot behold it’s form.
Because it is void and covered in darkness; and at such the corpse is unconscious of whatever transpires around his immediate environment or anywhere else.
And this reality portrays exactly how the life of anyone, who is living according to the dust of the ground, is, i.e. the sinners who are caught up or entangled in the lustful desires and passions of the earth from whence their mortal part came from.
But meanwhile the Spirit of God, which is now hovering above him; waits for him to submit to God’s next step of commanding Her to enter his mortal body.
And if he adheres and receives this Spirit, he instantly springs up as a new creature.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.(Romans 8:5-6)
Everything on earth will come to an end.
Beloved, it is very plain to see that all the desires, lusts and pleasures which abounds here on earth soon comes to an end or perish.
For instance, all the good food and snacks, expensive wines and assorted drinks that we take into our bodies; are passed out in a short while as faeces.
And eventhough they end up nourishing our bodies and leaves us looking healthy and strong; they can never prevent our bodies from an inevitable end.
And it is that end that will cause it to perish in the ground of which it came one day.
In another instance, unmarried couples, who through lust of the flesh engage in sexual pleasure, will discover that no matter how long they last in bed, they will soon become tired and bring their sinful act to an end.
On the other hand, those who abide by God’s Word will discover that nothing He says ever comes to an end.
For instance, married couples who kept God’s Word in Genesis chapter 2 verse 24 which says: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Will understand that sexual pleasure was meant to fulfill God’s Word in Genesis chapter 1 verse 22 which says: Be fruitful and multiply.
And will therefore use it as a means of bringing to life and raising godly children who will in turn help to multiply the eternal kingdom of God after they pass away from this earth.
But the unmarried couples will immediately terminate their unwanted pregnancies because they can never help God’s word to endure forever, and because of that there is no way they too can endure forever.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.(Mathew 24:35).
2. “Then God said, “let there be light”; and there was light.”
Therefore, for the corpse i.e. the sinner to start living, he must become like the light above and obey God’s command or word, because it is in the word that life came forth and became light which overpowers darkness for mankind.
In John 1:1-5 the scripture shows us that the word was in the beginning with God and the word was God; and that it was through Him that God created everything.
In verse 3 it points out that there is nothing that was created that wasn’t created by the word.
It concludes in verse 4 that this word became the light that shines in darkness for all men.
And Who else could the Word, the life, and the light be than Christ Himself as the scripture reveals in John 1:14.
Jesus Himself said in John 8:12 that He is the light of the world, and those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
The reason He came down to earth was to bring the understanding of how human beings can attain immortality, also called eternal life as revealed in 1 John 5:20.
3. “And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”
After obeying the gospel message and receiving the light, God will now see that the sinner is good, and so divides or separates him from the old lifestyle that he used to live.
And this division or separation is instituted so that the sinner no longer continues to do those bad or evil things he used to, while he was living in the dark as an old creation.
This means that, if such a one was an adulterer or fornicator he must not adulterate or fornicate again; if he was always overcame with anger he must henceforth not be angry again; if he was a drunkard he must never be found with a bottle of alcohol again etc. etc.
And once the sinner achieves this aim, he will become physically dead to sin.
And thus resurrect to the image and likeness of God; which we now understand to be the breath of life He blew into our nostrils. Or simply the Spirit which gives life.
How to escape the flesh.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not His.
And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:9-10)
For those who refuse to obey God’s word and come to life, they will still remain like the human corpse, which when buried, finally lacks form and is void while it lies in absolute darkness as the earth was before the beginning.
Such a person is forever cut off from God.
Because his spirit will never be received by Him; after it disengages with the body. since it was unable to please God by hearkening to His word and come to life (Romans 8:7-8).
How those who obey God will live through his spirit.
We must here never forget that: for those who obey God and come to life through His Spirit; it is only their mortal body, already doomed to perish, that will return to the dust of the ground.
While their Spirit, which now attains immortality, goes back to the giver of life.
Even as the Lord Jesus revealed to Martha shortly before He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead: Jesus said to her “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (John 11:25)
Thus, it is time for us sinners who have come to the understanding of this wonderful mystery; to obey God’s living word.
As the light did, and come out from our old creation, i.e. the darkness, which symbolises our sinful ways, and resolve never to go back to them.
Especially those of us who call ourselves born again Christians; but still continue to do those bad and wrong things we used to do; before we started to claim accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.
For as the apostle Peter exhorted us that as obedient children; we must not conform ourselves to the former lusts.
Like those times when we were ignorant, but as He Who called us is holy; we also must be holy in all our conduct, because it is written, “be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
And since it is only the pure milk of God’s word, such as the one revealed in this sermon; that can lead us to true holiness.
Let us, especially those who claim born again Christians, again hearken to the words of the apostle Peter:
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as new born babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.(1 Peter 2:1-3)
Conforming our lives to God’s image and likeness.
Hence, since God is immortal and we have His image and likeness as a part of us; let us endeavor to make our lives conform to His image and likeness.
So that we can attain immortality when we must have delivered our mortal part to the dust of the ground from whence it was taken.
Such is the mystery uncovered by the true gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Who Himself came down to lay an example for us, thus I finally co-join with St Paul and,
…urge you in the sight of God Who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus Who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He Who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see.(1 Timothy 6:15-16).
You might chose to ignore this message and continue in your sinful ways, dismissing it as a fairy-tale or myth.
But I assure you that ‘had I known’; will be your phrase of sorrow on the day you die and this truth is presented before you.