We recently bought a new (i.e. gently used) vehicle. As we cleaned out the old vehicle, I remembered when it was new to us. Now, it will move on and become new for someone else, stained seats and all.
If you watch any of the trendy decorating shows on television (see HGTV for examples), the word “repurpose” comes up a lot. This refers to taking a household item and finding a new use for it.
These examples illustrate that we are surrounded with the old becoming new again, and we are active participants in that process.
Scripture talks about the old becoming new again in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Through Christ, Christians have been “made new” and become “ambassadors for Christ.”
What are the characteristics of someone who has been “made new” for Christ?
- Controlled by the love of Christ. In the old life, the flesh controlled. In this new life, the love of Christ now motivates. With new motivation comes new attitudes, actions and words that please Him.
- Live to please Christ. Our motivations change from pleasing self to pleasing God. What we say and do and the way that we say and do them now focus on glorifying Him and not ourselves.
- No longer evaluate others and Christ through the world’s eyes. Instead of looking at Christ and other people from a worldly point of view, we can look at them through the eyes of Scripture. Only in this way can we see others with grace, mercy and hope and know that He is the source of those things.
- Have the task of reconciling people to Him. Since we are now new creations in Christ, we have the task of encouraging others toward being made new in Him too.
- Speak to others about the Gospel. Encouraging others toward being repurposed or made new requires telling them about the Gospel.
Being repurposed as a Christian does not mean just being changed into something else. It means literally being re-created. It means beginning a brand new life in Christ. It means all the past sins are gone and completely under the blood of Christ.
Being made new in Christ requires letting go of the old life and stepping into the new one He has created for us through His death and resurrection. All the old stuff from our past (that means our sins) cease to exist in His eyes.
Unfortunately, I sometimes become a hoarder who for some reason finds herself unable to part with pretty much anything. Her house becomes impassable from being packed with items collected over years and years of hoarding. My hoarding involves holding on to old attitudes, actions and words that don’t reflect my being a new creation in Christ.
Christ calls us to let go of that which entangles or weighs us down and to “throw off [the] old evil nature and former way of life” and to instead allow for a “spiritual renewal of thoughts and attitudes” that shows itself in our attitudes, actions and words (Ephesians 4:20-24). In other words, we can’t be hoarders of our old way of life. Once we become Christians, we must allow ourselves to be transformed into new people. In this process, we get to be a part of the greatest victory ever achieved.
DISCUSSION: Ephesians 4:25-32 gives some very specific suggestions for transforming our old selves into new creatures. What suggestions can you begin to apply today?