March 11, 2024

Andra Cole
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

Because Jesus was such a thought-provoking teacher, I sometimes need to read scripture backwards. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it seems like a very simple concept until I begin applying it to my life.

If you start at the end of the verse, I believe everyone desires a “new” life, one filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, and self-control. But, I can only begin the process of becoming new when I understand and surrender my life to Jesus. I have to remain in Him knowing that everything I do or say comes from recognizing my identity in Him. I have to trust Him. But, just like Jesus had to come to terms with going to the cross, I have to surrender myself so He can transform what is not of Him.

I believe there are two types of sanctification — one occurred immediately when I declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but there’s also a daily sanctification where He is whittling away anything that is not of Him. I have the daily choice to allow Him to whittle.

I know I will be in heaven because I believe in Jesus, but every day, I have to choose to allow Him to transform me. What I get to experience on this side of heaven is a deep loving relationship with God the Creator. I get to witness the character of God and His love for me, and I get to become His creation — holy and righteous.

The second part of the end of the verse is the “old” – and I have a lot of baggage that I could continue to hold onto and identify with, but when I surrender to Him, I get to walk in His freedom. And, freedom is my identity. I am His – never to be forsaken or forgotten.

Once I surrender and allow Him to take away the things that do not honor Him, then only can I be a new person in Him. This is the part where all I need to do is believe that Jesus is who He says He is. When I believe this truth, I walk a little taller, understand His peace, and know who I belong to.

My hope is that what Jesus is doing inside of me because I surrender to Him daily reflects in the way I live my life. I have a new life — love, joy, peace, gentleness, and self-control because I know my Father’s heart, and He declares me His daughter of the Most High.