“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17
There is something truly special about welcoming a new baby into the world. Holding a precious life that has just been birthed, with all of the wonder and promise of a long and blessed life that awaits, literally takes your breath away.
My brother and sister in law have just welcomed their latest addition, a beautiful baby girl, into their gorgeous family. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she was just a few days old and to know we are about to welcome our own little one very soon added extra emotion to it all.
And with the welcome season of spring, new life in all its glorious forms, appears to be surrounding me. Baby birds have been spotted high up in trees, the blooming of wildflowers and swarms of bees and butterflies abound.
New Creations in Christ
I love the promise of new life that Jesus gives when we say yes to Him. Our old lives are gone and we are totally new creations! We don’t have to be defined by our past; the sins we may have committed and the shame, guilt or failures associated with them. This is a promise of salvation.
“When you send your spirit, new life is born to replenish all the living of the earth.” Psalm 104 verse 30
To be filled with the spirit, we need to die to our old selves. My bible commentary says this new life isn’t grasped or possessed but rather it is “birthed”.
And just like natural birth isn’t easy, you literally feel like you are going to die, the spiritual dying-to-self requires a laying down of your old life so the new life can emerge. Romans 12 talks of being a living and holy sacrifice to God. Verse two says, “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by the renewing of your mind.
Dying to self
So how do we die to self? I believe it will look different for each person but some “behaviours of this world” will have common threads many of us can relate to. They may include; selfish ambition, pridefulness, addictions, sexual immorality, self-centredness, fighting and jealousy.
Our old lives may be comfortable, familiar and give us a false sense of security but if we don’t shed this ‘old skin’ the new, fresh and radiant life cannot emerge.
The Holy Spirit is Holy and can only dwell in a pure and clean vessel that has been broken and totally surrendered to Him (see 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 21).
Is it worth it?
Is this whole dying-to-self thing worth it? It sounds hard and it can be at times, but if we let God help us I believe he will continue to transform us so much we will barely recognise ourselves! I don’t want to be stuck living in my old ways, but rather I desire to be fully alive in Him, in the new Spirit life he has for me.
Postscript- “She will emerge” – by Jo Fuller
The old life is comfortable, predictable and gives a false sense of safety,
it’s actually dark, suffocating and debilitating.
Her new life awaits- colourful, exciting, fresh and liberating,
She will emerge.
But the shedding of her old self requires a new-birth,
a dying to all things carnal, holding her back.
Just as birth pains are excruciating and takes all of your will power,
so too does the internal death require.
A close heart examination of what’s keeping you stuck,
stuck in that old, familiar place.
But you desire this new life more than anything else,
you just need a seed of faith that your new life awaits.
But the spirit will come and You will emerge.
Jo Fuller is a primary school teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband and young son and they are soon to welcome baby number two!
Jo Fuller archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.presserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html