Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Christian Behavior: Identity in Christ - Walking in Newness
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
May God bless you all!
Kress, J. (2021).
On Being a Disciple - Seven Principles.
- Romans 6:4
As we start this series of study, I thought it prudent in this first article to remind you of the seven disciples' principles that we should remember and observe (as in guard, hold important). To review, look back at the
of the discipleship series.
Seven Principles Recap:
1) We must always strive to be like Him and understand that we can never be better than Him
2) Always remember that Christ is our Master - others may be teachers or counselors, or brethren, but He is our Master
3) The Master is coming back and will ask for an accounting
4) Hold fast to the truth, don't stray, avoid the gray areas
5) Disciples serve one another - as our Master gave example
6) Stay in the Master's Book
7) Be a vessel of honor
Where Do We Walk in Life?
You accepted Christ as your Savior. You repented of your sins. That means that with God's help, you have turned away from the sinful life you were leading and are now attempting to walk in the light that God gives us. But it can be a real struggle. Sometimes, I really don't know what I am doing, and frankly, I don't always
The problem is that feelings are deceptive and one of the worse ways to judge your relationship in Christ. God made a promise that He would save you if you believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
Christians are just like every other human, they want to feel good. We don't like pain, we want to be loved, we want to succeed, we want friends, etc. But the Christian walk is not like the walk we have in the world because it is a spiritual walk, and Christians are members of a heavenly kingdom that is called in the Bible both the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. I will admit to you that, at times, it is hard to see ourselves walking in this spiritual kingdom - we seem to be so planted here on earth in the world.
So we walk by faith and not by sight. We, as believers, recognize that we can't trust our feelings, but instead, must stand on the many promises of God as found in the Bible. So as we enter into this set of articles, we will start with a very important but basic truth:
You Are a New Creature!
"Therefore if any man
a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor
2 Corinthians 5:17:
uncircumcision, but a new creature."
Notice these two verses. The old man is passed away, and the new man is now here. The old man trusted in fleshly systems (circumcision) and walked by sight/feelings. But the new man understands that the fleshly systems are no longer controlling him and cannot be trusted, that he/she is now a new creature who dwells in a new realm.
How did you become a new creature, and what does it mean that I am a new creature?
Look at the verse this article started with - Romans 6:4:
"Therefore we are buried with
him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were also baptized in Christ and spiritually with Christ. Just as Jesus died on the cross, we joined Him and died as well (to the old man). Just as Christ was raised from the dead in His glorified body, so we also with Him have been raised up a new creature (the new man). The old man had no power to confront sin in his life; the new man is no longer controlled by sin but now has the power to defeat sin.
Don't feel like it yet?
That is the trouble. We are looking for feelings to validate the truth that we are new creatures. Feelings cannot validate our new status in the Kingdom of Heaven, nor can it validate that we are a new creature. God's truth is the validation we need to stand upon, not feelings. Feelings come and go. God's truth stands forever.
It's not about feelings, but Truth - God's Truth
As a new creature in Christ, you are now able to do what other humans without Christ cannot do - walk by faith in newness of life. It is not a "feelings" issue, but a truth issue. We, as new creatures, need to learn to walk in the truth even when we don't feel like it. God declared it so, and therefore, it is so. Look at some of these verses that declare the truth of your new creature status:
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in
the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Some key truth points from this passage about your new life in Christ:
"For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
(And that fullness is
part of the new life we have in Christ to walk in God's light and truth. For we are . . . complete in Him!)
"And ye are complete in him,"
(you lack nothing to walk in this new creature
"[W]hich is the head of all principality and power:"
(Jesus is in absolute authority
and power and rules in the Kingdom of Heaven where we have our new life).
"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:"
may not have "felt" that circumcision take place, but it did. The body of sins was removed, and they have no power over you now - unless you let it.).
"Buried with him in baptism,"
(this truth is hard to grasp for some. We are
partakers of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ which is why sin has no dominion over us now - it was buried with our old man).
"[W]herein also ye are risen with
through the faith of the operation of God
longer a slave to sin. You "walk" in newness of life if you choose daily to do so. Unfortunately, so many believers quickly fall back into old sin habits and their old ways because they don't "feel" different - once again trapped by the old feelings problem instead of walking on God's truth that we no longer need to walk in that old life style.)
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:"
received Him by faith, now learn to walk by faith).
"Rooted and built up in him,"
(here is a key - we need to be thoroughly grounded
in Christ, His words, His principles, His commandments, and His will. As we do this daily, we will grow stronger in the Lord and that will make that new walk easier as we mature in Christ.)
"[A]nd established in the faith, as ye have been taught,"
(which is the goal, isn't
it? To be so established in Christ that what swirls around us in this present and evil world does not shake us or our faith or our walk with Christ).
"[A]bounding therein with thanksgiving."
(Not a "feeling" of thanksgiving, or
abounding in thanksgiving; but a solid knowledge that Christ is in charge, you are His child, and all things will work out for us who believe.)
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
words, do not go by feelings. Do not live by the lies and deceit of the world. Stay grounded in the truth of Christ and what He has done and is doing for you.)
Romans 6:6: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
1 Corinthians 12:27:
"Now you are the body of Christ, and members in
You can't walk in this truth by feelings or by sight. It must be understood and lived by faith. We live a parallel existence. We live on the earth in a fleshly body, but we also live a spiritual existence with a new life. They are often opposed to each other. One goes by what feels good, the other walks by truth which is good! You are now a member of the Body of Christ also called the church. Walk in that truth.
Galatians 3:27-28 (emphasis added):
"For as many of you as have been
baptized into Christ
have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
I wish we could all "see" the truth that this verse describes. I am clothed with Christ. I wear His mantle. I look at me down here, and I still wear the same old clothes of the earth. But in the heavens I appear as a different person clothed in a mantle of righteousness. Let me be a little crazy here a moment. As I look at the label inside my finest suits, I might see "XYZ Company", or "XYZ Clothes", or some such name. But in the heavens, my garment's labels says, "Righteousness by Jesus Christ". I assume it to be a glorious garments. Clean, white, without wrinkle, spotless - looking brand new. Wearing it allows me entrance into the very throne room of God and allows me to make petitions of Him. It allows me to be seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father. You can't buy this garment - you can't earn it. It must be given to you when and only when you accept Christ as your Savior and repent of your sins. It is part of the newness-in-Christ package you get when you become a new child of God.
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ,
our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with
him in glory."
Christ is our life - we can't walk in this newness without Him
When He appears, we will be with Him as He promised
Once again, we are reminded that our old man is dead and now our life is hid (mantled) in Christ
Therefore - stop setting our desires, plans, pleasures, wishes, etc. on the things of this corrupt world but turn your affections, desires, etc. towards things above - things heavenly, things of Christ. Walk by faith in this new life that we have.
"If ye be risen with Christ . . . ." Well, that's the point, isn't it. Are you a believer in Christ? Are you saved? If you are saved, then you are risen with Him - no if, ands, and buts. Once again, therefore, set you eyes, focus, and goals on the things above and not on earthly treasures or rewards.
Notice the phrase in verse 4 "who is our life"? He is indeed our life. Without Him we cannot walk in newness of life. We can't walk in His righteousness. We can't have victory over sin. We must abide in Him as new creatures.
A few more verses without comment:
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new
, which is renewed
in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond
all, and in all.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19:
Therefore if any man
a new creature: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new. And all things
of God, who hath
reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old
man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
You don't go by feelings? That's great. But consider American Christians today. We are into "Christian music" because it "lifts our spirit". Does it? Or does it speak more to our flesh like marching music does to a marching band? We see believers "get into" praise and worship music by waving their hands, eyes closed, jumping up and down in mosh pits, looking for that "ecstatic feeling" that will validate that we have just had a spiritual experience, and that we have touched God with our praise. Nothing wrong with praise, but if we are in it for getting good feelings, we totally miss the point.
who hath raised him from the dead."
(You were "raised" a new creature, no