This morning at church our message was on 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reads:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
The pastor made a few points that I wanted to share/discuss. First he stated that this verse is widely applicable as it states, "if anyone" implying that anyone is able to receive true life-changing transformation from Christ. He then stated the verse also covers a very narrow range as it states, "in Christ" meaning that only those who are in Christ can receive that transformation.
This is the area that he spent a bit more time and discussed who is truly in Christ and who is not. He stated that those who practice religion are not in Christ but those who have a deep relationship with Christ are those who are "in Christ." He continued to say that those who love the Lord like they love their spouse and know the Lord like they know their spouse, those are the people who are in Christ. I kinda struggled with this. I've always had a difficult time saying I love the Lord because it is very difficult for me to grasp who the Lord is; and to love Him and not just what He has done. I know He is good and merciful and majestic and so many things but to me, He is also so unfathomable that to say I know Him and love Him like I love and know Jarred is very difficult. So does that mean I'm not in Christ? Food for thought...
The pastor then went on to describe the life-changing transformation that occurs after a person encounters Christ. This also made me think just a smidgen. Praise the Lord, I was raised in the church. I don't have this huge, crazy conversion story and I really do feel like the Lord has just always been a part of my life. So, after making a confession of faith and being baptized, I don't feel like my life dramatically changed. So, what does, "The old has gone, the new is here!" look like for those of us who were raised in the church? The pastor only really spoke about those who were blatantly not following Christ and then experienced this insane conversion moment - but what about us who don't have that same testimony? I mean, yes, obviously I have had moments in life where I can clearly see that the Lord has changed my life; like in recovering from an eating disorder, in overcoming anxiety in the midst of an internship and a pregnancy, in meeting my husband through a manipulative sister-in-law... so many ways I have encountered Him. But those weren't moments that lead to my conversion... Any thoughts on this topic??
Please feel free to comment on the "being in Christ" and the "old is gone, new is come" for those who were raised in the church :-)