The other day a lady asked me how to get started living a life that is new in Christ; lucky for me people always ask easy questions…
…well it isn’t exactly easy, but at least it isn’t complicated!
Life as a Christian is an interesting concept, for it involves a great deal more than just fogging a mirror, in fact it goes on after we can’t do that any more. It involves life, death, and life again, and is simple in spite of first appearances.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross; this is the first lesson in living a new life in Christ. Jesus arose from the grave in resurrection and invited us to enter into covenant with Him. We enter covenant with Him through the waters of baptism, where we put to death the old life of sin and death. When we emerge from the water in newness of life, everything changes; this is the theology of the Christian life in its simplest form.
The new Christian as far as God is concerned has a clean slate, and is no longer subject to sin and death. The problem is that he or she still has old bad habits, and it may seem as though nothing much has changed… but change has come. Consider today’s text, the complete text being Romans 6:1-14. It is quite clear that sin no longer has a hold on us: We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (v. 2b)
If we have died to sin, why do we insist on holding on to it?
Ah, now that is the real question of the old life being gone and the new life being here! It is also an important one for us to understand. At this point we must make a decision: Do we believe God or not? If we don’t believe Him, then we will let sin reign in our lives, even though it isn’t necessary. If we do believe Him, then we will take steps…
The steps we take are not complicated:
1. Focus on our relationship with Jesus Christ, by setting aside a time for daily prayer and Bible reading.
2. Become a student of the Bible; we need to know God’s Word and let it become a part of who we are.
3. Serve others.
4. Be quick to forgive others.
5. Be willing to forgive yourself when you mess up.
The old way of living for the Christian is all about bad habits in the way we think and act. (I’m not including things that would be considered medical issues here). Like any other bad habit, it takes time and practice to change them… but they can be changed. These steps will get any new (or not so new) Christian started down the right path, particularly number 1, please follow the link for more information.
It is definitely a fact that the old is gone and the new is here; all we need to do is start down the life-long path of following Jesus Christ every day, and we will grow by leaps and bounds in our faith.