You Are a Brand New Person
Insights from Joe and Cheryl Palechek, SFM Students
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” RSV
When we look at Matthew 5:16 in the light of putting on the new man, it is clear that we should wear the new man in such a way as to bring glory to God. Not as a costume for playing the part of a Christian, but in all honesty. If we can’t live with this newness inside, we should not display it outside.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” RSV
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” RSV
- This passage speaks of how the things we can see, touch, and handle are all things that are short-lived. The permanent things are those, which are by faith.
- Slight momentary affliction (pressure) comes from; relationships, work, physical and mental health, the trials preparing us for eternity. When we are passing through a time of affliction, or pain it is usually due to a passing away or loss of some part of our life in this world.
- If we choose to lessen our affection for the things of the world, the loss of any part will be less of an affliction. According to Romans 6:6, our old flesh is crucified with Christ to be freed from sin. If we take all things of this life to the cross, what afflictions would be left?
- There is hope! When we renew our spirit and mind we are able to correct our character to become more like Christ, so that our soul is content and our actions and attitudes shine as light in this physical world.
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” RSV
- Do not be conformed to the things of this world. If we fail to be transformed we will allow this world to resurrect the things pertaining to this life. We are no longer able to move through this world without a possibility of affliction.
- I would argue that the fear of affliction makes us shrink back from proclaiming the things of God.
- As we strive to become more Christ-like in our character, the things we have “put away” will try to resurrect themselves, the world will pressure you to conform, and make you busy with life-stuff. Busy causes stress, stress causes loss of patience, loss of patience causes anger, etc.
- In 2 Peter 1:5 we are taught to “add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love.”
- Unfortunately, our worldly attitudes, when resurrected, build layer upon layer of affliction and can change our direction quickly. That’s why it is so important to be in God’s word daily, to be so intertwined with what His Word says that your life is on solid ground. We must put on the characteristics of Christ to stop the tainted layers of sinful self from building.
- In conclusion, we are commanded to let our light shine before men. This is the act of wearing Christ inside and out. This means proclaiming the things of God. Before we can do this effectively we need to come to a place where there is no fear of the cost of our proclamation. When we come to the point where we have put the things of this life to death and are able to count all things a loss, we will proclaim Truth without fear.
- The world, the flesh, and the powers of hell will try and resurrect the things of this life to generate the fear of affliction and loss to silence the proclamation of the things of God. We must pursue godly transformation by the constant renewal of our mind. To do this requires daily time with God in both the study of His word and in prayer.
- We can stand on solid ground knowing that God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
2 Peter 1:3-11
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” RSV
Realize that those who are born-again begin a new walk of faith as a child of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”
Furthermore, starting off as a new believer can be very difficult. However there are many people that can help them within the body of Christ.
The goal at this point for the new believer is to make sure they are taught the Word of God accurately and effectively. This will prevent the new believer from being chained up with false teachings. (Read 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)
Pastor Vince Marino