That washed feeling. I loved it. When I began my apprenticeship as a 16 year old, working for a water authority, I had plenty of filthy equipment to work on. The very dry red dirt used to make my hands dry and get under my nails. I could barely wait to get my hands clean—but, I soon got used to it. The fact remains, however, we have situations all the time that make us feel mentally, emotionally and spiritually dirty; things we want to become “clean” from.
The title of this article is a fact for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. No matter what happened yesterday, today is new and holds no threats unless we let it. It is a fresh reality the moment someone is “saved,” as it is a fresh reality any time thereafter they choose.
Paul said in his manifesto on God’s Ministry of Reconciliation:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” –2 Corinthians 5:17 (TNIV).
There are some unique chunks of wisdom and truth in this pithy verse. The Greek ei tis (“if any”) opens the statement up that anyone can have the forgiveness of God, in Christ, and experience God’s life-transforming grace—even a previously “grievously deceived persecutor” as Paul was—Paul was actually the ideal witness as the former chief hater of Christ haters.
En Christo (Greek) i.e. “in Christ,” means “belonging by commitment of faith and repentance to the crucified but risen Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.” We are, when committed in faith via repentance in Christ, new—each day. We make it a habit. God causes us to become aware of our sin. And we are thankful for the truth. We repent of our sins, and cleansed of conscience, we go out minds and hearts free into the new day. God’s gracefulness, indeed, swims over me!
Kainē ktisis (Greek) means “new creation”—we are redeemed for all time by God in one foul swoop. But, equally, we can be redeemed afresh and re-commit, in a myriad of ways, anytime we feel like it—anytime we feel the Spiritual Presence of God gently pressing into us. This is never condemning; only affirming—as to who we are. We are sons and daughters of the Most High, God.
We are being transformed:
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” –2 Corinthians 3:18 (TNIV).
This constant process of transformation is an exhilarating idea—we leave behind the presence of “bad” in us, forgiven as we are, as we allow God to transform us. We go on in glory, from glory to glory, as we experience God’s touch in this process. We suddenly are capable like never before to live life free of the burden of guilt and shame. We can suddenly do the previously impossible (for us).
Who’d ever want to live and not experience this majesty of God’s all-pervading grace?
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.