“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.” ~Ephesians 2:1-2 (The Message)
It is quite possible that by the time you get to read this edition of Freedom Fighters it will have been 14 years ago to the day when I heard a quiet, still voice say, “This has to stop.” After a 27-year run with an addictive lifestyle that took me too far, held me too long and cost me too much The Most High God let me know it was time for a change. Now for many of my kind (yeah, I went there) we are offered a few things when this lifestyle has rule in our lives. We can die (yeah, I went there too), we can end up incarcerated, we can constantly live a life that spins outta control then lose it all OR you let God intervene and it gets betterer than you deserve. As for me, I chose intervention.
The end result of that intervention is something we find ourselves reading in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I gotta say that the only way this passage has any power in your existence will come from a simple process known as surrender. Once you have surrendered (or maybe exchanged is a better word) your will over for His will the newness of Christ will be in you and you will be “In Christ”. And with that you’ll find that the benefits are many but since I am limited on word count and you may be limited on reading time let’s just hit the top five on the list.
First you are redeemed. Romans 3:24 says, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, now we need to understand that this redemption happened through the shed blood of Christ. Secondly you are made alive. Romans 6:11 says, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Your relationship to sin is exactly the same of Christ’s. It goes like this, in His death the connection that Christ bore on The Cross was broken, forever. Those of us who are united with Christ share in the same broken connection. “Go, and sin no more.”
Thirdly you are richly supplied. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The whole earth is full of God’s riches but here we receive according to the riches of His grace. Fourthly there is no condemnation. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Hopefully after you get outs the spin cycle of Romans 7:14-23 and then cry out,
“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) you can find comfort in knowing the combat is over and you can rest on the solid foundation of spiritual peace and joy that is found…In Christ!!
Lastly you become justified by faith. Galatians 2:16 says, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Hmmm…where to go from here you may ask? How about Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ya see, if you did the work I guarantee it would be sloppy in an area or two. Why? Because you don’t have the blueprints. Who has them? Dumb question but here’s the answer, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
On May 9th, 2003, all my plans fell by the wayside and there was nothing left of the “me” I once knew. It was time for a change and boy oh boy did I get one…”No Turning Back, No Turning Back.” If there is anything I can you with today it is this, “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6:8) If you have questions, I’ll be at Keswick, walking around the lake this Saturday.
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “The Bible-instructed man knows that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and that men are saved by Christ alone altogether apart from any works of merit.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 2 Corinthians 7:9