Dear Friends of the New Creation in Christ!
The apostle Paul was still a man after he was converted to Jesus Christ. He was still subject to the same kinds of fears, anxieties, frustrations, temptations, failures, and doubts that all men experience. But he was a “new creation”. What does this mean?
In simple terms it means that when someone is born from above there is a spiritual change that affects every part of his/her being. There is a change in how we think, and how we feel, and how we know. The change was so dramatic for the apostle Paul that he could say that it was no longer he who lived (Galatians 2:20). His view of himself, Jesus Christ, the world around him, and the world within him was forever transformed.
All who are in Christ have been altered from within and no longer view the world with the same eyes as before. There is a real re-ordering of understanding and conforming actions that take place in all who are born from above. There is a marked re-orientation and a progressive growth in spiritual maturity that is part and parcel of everyone’s salvation experience.
The pace of maturity, expertise in navigating life in Christ, and the swiftness of bringing every thought obedient to Christ vary in each individual. But one thing that all Christians have in common is a changed life. Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone the new has come (2Corinthians 5:17).
The obvious question that arises in light of the above is, “how does one get in Christ?” It is surely by God’s doing that we are in Christ. But by what means? The means from heaven is grace. The means from earth is faith alone. We are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ by grace through faith alone. To be in Christ is eternal life. To get in Christ is by the grace of God. The response to efficacious grace is faith alone. Hence even our faith is a gift of God. Faith alone in Christ alone puts us in Christ. In Christ we live, we move, and we have our being (Acts 17:28)!
With this said it becomes apparent that any kind of gospel that suggests a different means to be in Christ, or a different outcome in the life of anyone who claims to be in Christ, is illegitimate. This month I am on my way to Austin, Texas to do two more videos. One will be on those who deny that good deeds flow from true faith. The other two videos will be in examination of John MacArthur’s new book Strange Fire. As always we take you with us when we go.
Stand firm! Rob Zins, Apologist, Founder of CWRC
(P.S. Faith alone means just that. Faith plus anything else is another gospel)