THE TWO CREATIONS OF GOD
If we are to make sense out of the gift of Life God has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ, we must also see that there is a New Creation in Christ. It is not a matter of your being repaired, polished and returned to the Garden. It is a matter of out pressing forward into the Kingdom of God.
Flesh and Blood will not inherit the Kingdom of God, and yet we are called to enter the Kingdom today. Jesus called us to a new life, when He said "He who keeps his life will lose it. He who loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will keep it."
Paul gives us a clearer picture of the transition in his language in Romans. "As many as are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death." "If we are buried together with Him in a death like His, we will also be raised up with Him in a resurrection like His." The wages of Sin is death; the free gift of God is eternal life."
Paul gives us the essence of the transition that Jesus gave to Nicodemus. You must be born again into a new creation because that is where you will see and enter the Kingdom. That is how we are brought into the New Creation of God. Jesus Christ is the first-born of God's New Creation. We follow Him, through His Cross, into the Kingdom.
The process is obviously not completed. When Paul writes the Corinthians, he points out that they are in Christ. They fall behind in no gift; but they are babes in Christ. They are carnal adults. The flesh coexists with the spirit within us, and we find ourselves hung on the horns of the Romans 7 dilemma, "The good that I would do I do not. The evil that I would not do is always at hand. Who will deliver me from this body of death?" "Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory in Jesus Christ!" When we see the nature of the two creations of which Paul speaks, it gives us a better grip on the reality of the present Kingdom of God.
THE NATURE OF THE TWO CREATIONS
The nature of the Old Creation is that is under the Law, and Satan has access to the entire scene. As a matter of fact he can tell Jesus that all of this authority has been given to him, and he can give it to whom he wills. That is the basis for the second temptation in Luke's Gospel.
We do not find Satan fallen but coming into the court of God in the opening of the Book of Job. Job 1:6ff We find God sending an evil spirit into Saul I Sam 16:14ff Later we find in God's court a spirit who suggests that he can solve the problem of Ahab's destruction by becoming a lying spirit in the mouths of his prophets. I Kings 22:22
God would seem to be in control, and seemed to be the author of both good and evil. It is in the New Testament that we find the fall of Satan from heaven and the establishment of an entirely new relationship that God has created for us.
The accompanying sign of Satan's fall in Luke was the casting out of spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was in response to that news that Jesus said, "Behold I saw Satan fall like lightening.
It is again in Revelation that John paints the picture of the war in heaven. Michael and Satan had a go at each other. Michael won, and Satan was cast down to earth, and is very angry because he knows that he has but a short time. That is the situation from which we hear, "...the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Rev 12:10
The Old Creation is left in his clutches. The new has begun as a Kingdom of love and of peace wherein there is no place found for deceit and temptation. The Law still reigns. When we are born into the Old Creation,. we are still born into the separation that brings death and issues in symptoms of Sin, the disease from which we all suffer at birth.
GOD HAS DEALT WITH SIN FOR US
Since we are not able to overcome Sin for ourselves, God has overcome it for us. The Cross is far more than God excusing us for doing bad things. The Cross is the doorway into the Kingdom. We pass through death into the new life of the Kingdom. We are drawn into the intimacy with God that He has intended for us from the foundation of the world.
Paul writes, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold all things are become new." II Cor 5:17 As he continues to write, he points out the our outer nature is wasting away. Out inner nature is being daily renewed. We are being prepared for an eternal weight of glory.
We will find that God's justice is fulfilled in our death, and His love is manifested in our resurrection into the New Creation. We collect the wages for our sin, and then we may receive the gift we do not deserve, when God gives to us the eternal life prepared for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Our freedom from oppression by Satan begins when we begin to enter that new life. It begins as we die to the Old Creation and are raised up into the New, out of Satan's reach. We give up the service of Sin to serve a living God. We cannot free ourselves, but God, who subjected the whole creation in hope, has set us free that through us, that hope might be revealed - that the whole creation might be set free from its bondage to walk in the glorious liberty of the children of God.
We are not delivered all at once. Though we lack none of the gifts we need, we are never the less not complete. Like the Corinthians, we are often babes in Christ and adults in the flesh I Cor 3:1 We must grow up into Jesus Christ. We must leave the world's temptations and live in the world, but not of the world. We will only find our freedom as we are willing to seek our life in the New Creation with Christ Jesus.
BEING MADE NEW IN CHRIST JESUS
When we are born, we begin to die. When we are baptized, we begin to live. We live out our lives in that state of which Paul speaks to the Corinthians, dying daily, and being raised up by God. When my fear is put to death as love comes to cast it out, I am not longer subject to the bondage to fear. I am beyond the reach of Satan in that area of my life. I am in the new creation from which He has fallen.
When despair has been shattered by the light of Christ which comes to dwell in me, I am no longer without hope, and I am not subject to the depression and heaviness that plague those who live dependent on the world.
When my anxiety has been brought to the altar of God and I have received His peace which passes understanding, I am set free from having to hold the world together and fix the people in it.
It follows that I can trade my bondage to the world for love, the bond that does not age. I become the field of God in which He grows the fruit of His Spirit; and brings me out of the Old Creation with its separation from Him, and I am able to commune with God, and come into that growing intimacy that we all seek in His presence.
I am set free from the access that Satan has to me, save for that potion of me which I have not yet brought to the Cross of Jesus to be crucified with Him, that I might also be raised up with Him.
Beyond death, we embrace His judgment and allow His love to purge us in preparation for our eternal life in the New Creation of His Kingdom. I have given up my kingdom of self for the Kingdom of God. It is no longer I that live, but Christ Jesus who lives within me. That journey is not yet complete, but He has opened the way, and He holds my hand as we walk out of the bondage to Sin and Satan, and into the love of God.To Fr Al's Main Page