“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” — Ephesians 2:1-3
It’s easy to hold on to who we once were, where we have been and what we have done in our past. However, when we accept Jesus and become believers, we are made new. We are forgiven and become a new creation. The enemy, however, does not want us to flourish in our new discovery. He wants us to live in shame, fear, anxiety and guilt. Jesus, on the other hand, wants us to live in freedom, purity, peace and grace.
What Makes Me New?
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” — Ephesians 2:4-7
What truly makes us new – what makes us clean and able to come before God – is Jesus. He came and fulfilled the old covenant and established the new covenant. The old covenant, in short, says that in order to be saved, you must perfectly obey the law. The old covenant has many parts and Jesus came and fulfilled it all. He came down to Earth, lived a perfect life, fulfilled the old covenant and died on the cross to atone for our sins, effectively saving us from having to fulfill the old covenant as well (Hebrews 9:15).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” —Ephesians 2:8-10
He didn’t just fulfill the old covenant though. He established a new one in rising from the grave three days after his crucifixion. In this, he establishes the new covenant that makes salvation not about works and perfection but about faith and grace. Jesus died and rose again so that we could not only be made clean and be forgiven from our sins but that we may also walk in grace, reverence of him and have a relationship with God himself.
What Does This Mean For Me?
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” — Romans 6:4
We have been made new and are no longer bound to the old covenant of seeking perfection. We can do our best to honor him but also walk in grace when we fail. The enemy does not want us to recognize this. He wants us to feel shame, obsess over perfection, beat ourselves up and drown in anxiety. On the contrary, we are called to walk in newness of life.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
Once you accept Jesus, you are wrapped in grace and unconditional love. Once you have repented from your sins, you are cleansed and made new. You can lean into the fact that Jesus loves you – he makes you pure and that he will use your past and your sins for his glory and your good (Romans 8:28).
He Is Doing a New Thing
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” — Isaiah 43:18-19
Who better to help someone fight their sin than someone who has struggled with that same sin? Your past can be used to help someone else fight that same battle. God brings it all together for good. Furthermore, Jesus is doing a new thing in you. However, if you are focused on the past and always looking backward, you are never going to get anywhere. Trust his Word when he says he forgives you. You are a new creation and by Jesus’ death and resurrection, you are made pure. He loves you, he has a plan for you, a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Grand Canyon University is committed to following the Lord in all circumstances. If you would like to learn more about GCU’s Christian identity and mission or would like to read more devotionals please visit our website and check out the GCU Blog. Learn more about the College of Theology and its degree options by checking out our website or requesting more information with the button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.