Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Creation: Faith Expressing Itself Through Love

Friday was difficult.  I made some poor choices and found myself feeling guilty, ashamed, and childish.  As I talked to God about it I found myself asking, "What are you doing Lord?  I've tried everything to fix myself.  I've tried changing my environment; I've tried changing my thoughts; I've tried changing my habits; but I just keep finding myself making stupid choices.  What does it mean that you've created me anew, because let me tell you, I sure don't feel like I am.  And how do I live as this new creation?  What does it look like?"
When Paul says in Romans 7 that he does what he does not want to do he ends with "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  But what about when we're stuck in the wretchedness of the flesh and deliverance seems nowhere to be found?  What do we do?  How do we walk?  What does it mean, in that moment, that we are a new creature?  These are the questions I was asking God.  And I came right out and said, "I've come to the end of myself.  I just don't know how to continue walking this walk.  It seems like everything I try fails."  And I left it at that in His hands.
And the funny thing is, if there's one thing I've learned about God over my life it is that when you honestly ask a question He answers.  And so the topic of our sermon this morning was new creation.  And as we looked at Galatians 6:15 which reads (in the 1984 NIV) "The only thing that counts is new creation" my eye was drawn back to chapter 5 verse 6 which says "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

Now these verses are not referencing each other and I don't think we can take it as a direct comparison statement in which Paul is specifically stating that new creation and faith expressing itself through love are equivalents, but at the same time, as I looked these verses over, I felt that in a very real sense we can understand and describe the new creation in this way.  What does it mean that we have been created anew?  It means that we have faith in God, we have faith that He is redeeming us, we have faith that he has and is delivering us from this body of death, even when it doesn't look like it.  And because of this faith, we are able to live out of love, we are able to leave guilt and shame behind and instead operate out of the grace and beauty that we have received in Christ.

And I sat there amazed at how quickly and concisely God chose to answer my direct question to Him.  We serve a great God who "is delivering" us.  Trust Him.

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