New Life in Christ
New life in Christ is not merely the extinguishing of the old self—it is the replacing of the old self with the new self.
When we come to Christ, we are not immediately made perfect. We still wrestle with old sinful habits and thought patterns, which can pull us down. But this is not ultimately who we are, because Christ has set us free. When He returns again, we will no longer have to struggle with the flesh, our old self. We will experience the fullness of our identity in Him.
Exchanged Life Spirituality
Exchanged life spirituality looks at the reality of our new identity in Christ and how that can progressively shape the way we live. In other words, it examines the new self that Paul writes about in Ephesians 4:22–24.
When we consider the exchanged life, we need to remember that Christ has given us new life in Him—we are not the same as we once were. This new life comes through our identification with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
As a result of our new identity, we have been set free from sin by the Holy Spirit. Whereas Christ paid the penalty for our sin, the Spirit overcomes the power of sin in our lives. We will still wrestle with sin in this life, but it not longer enslaves us and does not ultimately define us. We may not feel like this is true; but the truth transcends our feelings.
Because of what Christ has done for us, we obey Him and live out of our identity in Him. This is not in our own power; it comes from letting Him work in us through the power of the Spirit.
The New Life
Part of living out our new identity is having a regenerated conscience.
Romans 2:15 tells us that everyone has a conscience; however, without the light of Christ it is corrupt. We can deny and defile our consciences so that we ultimately end up calling evil, good and good, evil (Isaiah 5:20). When this happens, we feel as though we are standing up for what is right and good, but that feeling is based on a falsehood.
Even once we have a regenerated conscience, it can be tempting to fall back into old ways and old lies. For this reason, Paul urges us to speak the truth to one another in love. We need to hold one another accountable, having a foundation of truth instead of a subjective opinion.
New Life in Christ
This content on the reliability of the Bible was originally printed in Decision Magazine. False Impressions “I don’t want to take a bath—I’m clean enough!” My impassioned protests as a six-year-old at bedtime were quickly rebuffed by this powerful tool from my parents’ arsenal of guilt-inducing mottoes: “The Bible says that cleanliness is next to godliness!” […]