As I was reading my bible this morning I heard the bell on our gate ring, it was my neighbour, he said “Have you been calling out for a ginger cat?” (we had been as our cat “Diesel” went outside and didn’t come back in last night) “Because there is one in our front garden, I am really sorry but he’s been hit by a car!” That was one of the worst sights that I have ever had to deal with, and I pray I don’t have to do it again! I had already planned to blog about “new life” but I didn’t expect that I would have to deal with a death this morning!
In 2 Corinthians 5 verses 14 -21 it says
We are ruled by the love of Christ, now that we recognize that one man died for everyone, which means that they all share in his death. He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake.
No longer, then, do we judge anyone by human standards. Even if at one time we judged Christ according to human standards, we no longer do so. Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also. Our message is that God was making all human beings his friends through Christ. God did not keep an account of their sins, and he has given us the message which tells how he makes them his friends.
Here we are, then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends!21 Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.
The term “born again Christian” is bandied about quite a bit, and I have a feeling that when most people hear it they either think “What does that mean?” or “O no, not one of them!” I think it may have lost some of its real meaning. It’s pretty obvious that it doesn’t mean re-entering the womb and re-emerging as a follower of Christ as that is physically impossible, and incredibly gross to even think about!
My favourite passage is Isaiah 53 verses 4-6
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
It’s quite graphic and if you have seen the Passion of Christ you can easily imagine Jesus’ “stripes“, “wounds” and “bruises” which were borne for us. Christ died to take away our sin, so that the pure and Holy God could have a direct relationship with us again, no more priests, no more animal sacrifices, the curtain separating the holy of holies was torn in two! But how do we respond?
- “Thanks, but right now I want to do what pleases me!“
- “I didn’t ask him to do that!“
- “His death & sacrifice is important to me but I find it hard to live everyday remembering it!”
All he asks us to do is die to our old selves, but what does that mean? He is saying your old habits, your sins, the things which you wouldn’t like other people to know about you, were the things which God would have to punish you for but Jesus went on the cross to remove your punishment. So we need to leave all of that at the cross, and in the baptismal water (when we are baptised). We should not return to them otherwise we would be like David picking up Goliath’s arm and laying down under it saying “Oh help! Goliath is winning!” That is ridiculous, isn’t it? David defeated Goliath, He killed him! So why would he go back and act as if he didn’t? But we do! It’s human nature to be weak, to give into temptation etc..
Last week I blogged about addictions, we all have things that we struggle with, things we want to change about ourselves. Each and every one of those “burdens“, Jesus wants to take from you, so you can truly live and not feel constantly guilty and self-pitying! I had a vision a few months ago as I was sitting in church, where I had a conversation with Jesus that went as follows:-
“Ok, look at my life as a house, is there a room that I am not letting you in?”
“Listen Phil, I don’t want you to live in that house any more, its derelict with self-doubt and other things I don’t want you to have! Come and live in my father’s house where there are many rooms!”
I just feel that now is the time for us to have a serious look at what we are doing in life, are we 100% living as if Christ died for us or are we at times living a “ungodly” life, as if he doesnt even exist and has no influence on our lives? Do people know God/Jesus is part of our lives by the way that we live and talk?
I recently heard this song and It somes up what I am trying to say, enjoy!!