For many years we have read the Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) "17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new". Recently I began to ask other Believers what it meant to be "in Christ". I only had a few who would really offer an answer and the ones I did get were ... well let's say only one person was confident of their answer. If you read the book of Romans, you will find a number of terms that are used over and over again. Go to Romans and look for the terms: crucified with Christ, buried with Him, raised with Him, etc. If you do an intensive verse by verse study I believe you will discover that your old nature, carnal nature, Adamic nature, flesh or fallen nature, whichever phrase you use from your religious upbringing was crucified, died, and buried with Jesus Christ. That nature went into the tomb with the body of Christ. What came out of the tomb was a resurrected Savior and your new Man, not a new Adam because Jesus was the last Adam. That tomb was the womb where God brought forth a new Man in the same way that the flood was a womb where God brought forth a new earth.
What is apparent to me is that a lot of folks have at one time or another gone to a church and answered an Altar Call where they repeated a Sinner's Prayer. After they are declared to be a new Christian upon finishing the prayer, they are typically sent home with the five finger illustration as their discipleship instruction. You remember the one, read your Bible every day, pray every day, tell someone about Jesus, go to Church every service and don't forget to give in the offering. Now don't misunderstand where I am coming from - these are all good and needful things. The problem is the subliminal message is that being a Christian is all about what you do and not about the relationship you just entered into or the eternal person you became as you were birthed from heaven. They are sent home knowing their sins are forgiven but not knowing who they are. Too many Christians are carrying around the dead man of their old nature and wanting to know why their new Man is unclean. But they are going to church and reading their Bible if we gave them one.
There is not time in a single blog entry to go where we need in this teaching but let me say this. Our doing flows out of our being so it is always more important to concentrate on who the new Believer has become than on what he does. As a Believer discovers who he is "in Christ" his doing will take care of itself. When new converts figure out they are not the old man just forgiven of past sins but a new Man completely set free from the old nature there is a freedom to live for God that one cannot imagine until he experiences it. The fruit of the Spirit, the character of Christ should flow freely out of us because of the new nature in us. A pear tree does not struggle to produce pears instead of poison berries it just produces in fruit what is inside of it. Read and meditate on John 14:20.
I want to challenge you today to begin to study the book of Romans and see how your old nature was crucified, died, and buried in a tomb and how resurrection life now flows in you because of an incorruptible seed (I Peter 1:23). Then set yourself to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" so that your whole being comes into alignment with what God has already done. Enjoy freedom from every bondage when you discover the joy of being "in Him"!