Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
READ 2 COR. 5
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17)
Every person has struggled with sin, missed the mark, and has a few chapters of their life story they may want to erase. But there is good news! The story does not have to end there. Jesus, the uncreated Author and Finisher of your Faith, the One who is loved by the Father and loves you that same way (John 15:9), died on the cross to redeem you and restore you to the Father. He made you a "new creation" if you are in Christ (2 Corin. 5:17). Why? Because He has the desire (God first loved us; John 3:16) and power (the Word and the Spirit) to make you a new creation in Christ.
Imagine a little child, abandoned, hungry, sleeping in the cold streets, and fending for her life continually. Then one day, she wakes up to a commotion around her. The President of the United States, with a large fleet of secret service agents, comes unannounced to this child's makeshift shelter of boxes. The President approaches the child, picks her up, and places her in his car. He says, “Today is the best day of your life. I am giving you 100 billion dollars. All you have to do is take this check down to the bank and cash it.” In a moment, she is a new creation.
But her struggle does not end there. She still has to access the money. Until she goes to the bank and cashes the check, she is just a 12-year-old girl with the chance to become a billionaire.
This girl has spent 12 years of her life living on the streets, so she acts like a person from the streets. She will have to change on the inside so that she can live like a billionaire. She will go from sleeping on the streets to the best of homes. She will move from eating out of the trash to eating in the finest restaurants. She will go from living with friends from the streets to interacting with friends of wealth. She must go to the bank and become a new creation so that she can enjoy the benefits of a billionaire.
So how does she access the 100 billion dollars? Or more importantly, how do you become a new creation? You must turn from your sins and call out to Jesus, the Redeemer—then you are restored to God the Father in Christ the Son. All who are in Christ receive a new position, new power, new desires, new insights and new destiny in God—the free gift of God is righteousness in Christ.
Simplifying the free gift of righteousness.
I summarize God’s righteousness in three stages:
A. Justification: your legal position—past tense, focused on my spirit
(I have been saved).
B. Sanctification: your living condition—present tense, focused on your soul
(I am being saved).
C. Glorification: your eternal exaltation—future tense, focused on your body
(I will be saved).
Instantly at your new birth, you are justified (“just-as-if-you-never-sinned”), receiving God’s righteousness freely and fully (100%). This happens when you ask Jesus to be Lord over your life. You are being sanctified as God’s resurrection power conforms you to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. His GRACE takes you further on the journey to be holy just as God the Father is holy. You will be glorified as you rule and reign with God forever.
(NOTE) Resurrection Power: The Father raised Christ from the dead. This same power will raise you from the dead; in Christ, you are a new creation that walks holy in the grace of God. Your water baptism is union with Christ. When you go under water, your sins are dead, and you come up “sin-free” and alive. Paul says, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5). When Jesus came out of the baptismal water, He was made alive; so you are made alive at your baptism. The Father raised Jesus from the dead—Resurrection Power. In the same way, when you are baptized, He imparts “new (newness of) life” to believers. Day-by-day, we walk in a “newness (a new kind) of life.” This shows outwardly that the believer has received new life (2 Cor. 5:17). The same power that raised Christ from the dead is here for you to walk holy today. God’s resurrection power in you will help you overcome sin and sickness.
Your standing with God as a new creation is not based on what you do. Instead, it is based on what Jesus did, and how you are able to cooperate with God’s plan. God did His part. And you must do yours.
What is His part? He died on the cross to take away the debt of your sin, and He gives us His resurrection power to walk in the newness of life. What is your part? An excellent question, and one that could change the very course of your life. You must cooperate with GRACE. How much you cooperate with the grace of God, in the ways that Scripture teaches, will determine how holy you become (this is the process of “being sanctified”).
As you receive the free gift of righteousness, you will be affected in three areas: (1) legal, (2) emotional, and (3) spiritual. First, you receive a new legal position with the free gift of righteousness. (Remember, you are justified.) As a child of God, you stand in the Father’s presence with confidence that you are fully accepted, enjoyed and loved. He is not secretly thinking about what you once did, nor is He thinking about your future shortcomings. No! Jesus made a way for you to live righteously before God the Father. How is this possible? Your new position is based on a historical event—Jesus’ death on the cross. A heavenly, holy, legal transaction occurred in God’s court. Jesus paid the debt of your sin that was required to satisfy the claims of God’s justice. (God’s wrath is poured out on sin; the debt of your sin leads to death.) Thus, Jesus’ righteousness was credited to your account or imputed to you (Rom. 4:6, 11, 23-24). Everything (and I mean every little thing) that could disqualify you from receiving a new relationship with God was removed at the cross. When the Father looks upon you, He sees you through the eyes of the finished work of the cross—bright shining and righteous, without spot or wrinkle.
Second, God redeems your emotional position with His free gift of righteousness. All who receive the gift of righteousness are freely enjoyed and delighted in by God from the moment you are born again. Right away, despite what you have done, you can begin to feel His affection for you. The Cross of Christ opens wide the door for you to love God, and to receive His Love. Once you were miles away from God, but now you are face to face. The Kindest Man Alive, King Jesus, delights in you!
Last, the free gift of righteousness renews your spiritual position. You have a new nature. The old is gone and the new is here. In a moment, you are transferred from satan's kingdom, where he viciously hates you, to the Father’s strong and protective arms where you are cradled, like a newborn baby. Your spirit is made righteous and indwelt by the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). You should encourage your friends on a near daily basis, reminding them that they are new creations in Christ Jesus if, in fact, they are in Christ. Remember, you are responsible for each other: to grow in the first commandment, and to enter into the fullness of God’s destiny for each other. You are called to be your brother’s and sister's keeper.
Ok, if I am a “new creation,” then why do I still feel bad and have the urge to sin? Now, when you are righteous before God, you no longer live under the reign of sin. During the reign of sin, you were held in condemnation (judgment) before God, and you were powerless before sin (at the heart level), sickness, and satanic attacks. You had no ability within your strength to change things. You had no power to resist the sinful temptations in your heart (fear, anger, pride, anxiety, bitterness, lust, envy, etc.). You were in darkness without the ability to understand God and His Word or to receive divine direction for your life. Also, you were destitute and without a lasting purpose or vision of hope and a future in God.
Now as a new creation in Christ, no longer under the reign of sin, you are free from the power of sin. However, you may still feel to urge to sin because your old man (old patterns of thought) still tries to control your will. Each one of these “old patterns” must come under the will of God. This is where you are being sanctified. Remember, you’re justified before God in heaven, but you’re being sanctified, and you will be glorified.
What changes when you are a NEW CREATION, ALIVE IN GOD? In the reign of grace, you instantly receive a new position (before God in Heaven), new power (to use the Name of Jesus), new desires (love God and be loved by Him, while loving your neighbor), and new insights (divine revelation of God’s word). Remember, you just have to access the 100 billion dollar check. This position is referred to as being “alive to God” (Rom. 6:11, 13; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13; 1 Pet. 3:18). Immediately, you have God’s divine acceptance with tender affection. He enjoys and delights in relating to you as a child of God and the Bride of Christ. There is no condemnation or rejection from God (Rom. 8:1).
In the reign of grace, you have the power of the Holy Spirit, which gives you new power with new desires and insights so that you may know God, His Word, and His will. You received supernatural power to resist sin and satan. You received a new nature when your spirit was born again and made righteous. Also, in the reign of grace, you were given the authority to speak the name of Jesus to release the works of God and destroy the works of Satan in your life and circumstances, as well as in others’.
In the reign of grace, you are able to have hope and see your divine destiny. You have a good future in God as a son or daughter who will forever reign with Him. Every day is relevant! What you do today affects your eternal life before Him—for He gives you eternal rewards for your faithfulness, even faithfulness in the small things (Lk. 19:17).
Remember, our 12-year-old (in the above story) has to leave the reign of sin and turn to the reign of grace. She has to approach the bank with the 100 billion dollar check in hand and tell them "who she is." Imagine if a homeless girl went to the bank and said, “Give me 100 billion dollars.” She would be laughed out of the bank! But what if the president went with her? What if they both stood in the bank and he said, “I endorse this check. She has a new position, new power, new desires, and new insights.” The bank would then allow her to have the funds. In the same way, Jesus, at the cross, justified you by taking your sin away so that you no longer live in the reign of sin—He empowered you to enter into the reign of grace.
In summary, understanding who we are as a new creation “in Christ” involves the following truths.
1. First, you have a new Heavenly legal position that you received in Christ, which is the gift of righteousness and the indwelling Spirit. You are bright and shiny before God in Heaven. The old is gone. The new is here.
2. Next, your earthly daily living condition is renewed as you believe. This is a lifestyle of righteousness. Day by day, your countenance, your heart, your thoughts, your eyes, your hands, your work ethic, what you watch, what you listen to, what you think in your mind, how you interact with family and coworkers—this all changes for the best.
3. Also, you are revived in your affectionate relationship as God’s beloved, standing as the Father’s child and Jesus’ Bride. Your heart will grow in love with God.
4. Lastly, you grow in anointed partnership as you are a coworker with Jesus, using your authority in Christ to "GO" and make disciples, and building up the church into the head, which is Christ (Col. 1:18).
In Conclusion: The Process of Grace
Therefore, you must understand the process of GRACE and believe in His words, while following the Holy Spirit. This means you are at war! Yes, even you. This is true because the one lying to you, that deceiver, “LIE”CIFER, hates you and wants to destroy you. He is at war with you, and God is at war with him.
Also, you are at war with your sinful flesh, evil thoughts, and the corrupted day-to-day earthly living conditions, all of which try to draw your mind and actions away from God. Today, believe the words of Paul, and believe that the resurrection power of God is stronger than the sin that binds you and the recurring thoughts that attack you. “As sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through…Jesus…. How shall we who died to sin [permanently freed from the reign of sin] live any longer in it?” (Rom. 5:21-6:2). God's power over sin is greater than your ability to bring freedom to you