Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 27
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
In this issue:
“HE IS A NEW CREATION”
Steven J. Wallace
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have
passed away; behold, all things have become new”
(2 Cor. 5:17).1
A new slate. When
we obey the gospel, our record of sin is washed away and our slate is made
clean. Every sin has been forgiven and will not be laid against us in God’s
court (Jer. 31:34). In his second epistle, Peter addressed the danger of a
shortsighted and forgetful Christian, saying:
“For he who lacks these things is
shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from
his old sins” (2 Pet. 1:9).
It is so important for the child
of God to recognize and continue to remember that his debt of “old sins” has
been paid for. He should never take for granted God’s grace nor forget the
debt which he was forgiven through the blood of the beloved Christ (1 Pet.
1:19; Rev. 1:5). Remembering our debt will affect our view of God and our
view of our fellow man (Matt. 18:21-35). Let us rejoice that our slate is
made new, but let us also sorrow that it had to be made new. Let us never
forget that we were cleansed from our old sins.
A new birth. One
of the new things of being in Christ is that we are born again (Jn. 3:3-5; 1
Pet. 1:23). Thus, when we are baptized into Christ’s death, we bury the old
man of sin and begin life anew (Rom. 6:3, 4). Paul states,
“knowing this, that our old man
was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that
we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Rom. 6:6).
Our “old sins” and “old man” have
been done away with when we were baptized into Christ. Nothing can speak
more of a new beginning than a new birth. This is how an old man can
begin anew, and as the phrase would imply, it brings in other new things.
A new outlook. Christ
died for our newness of life, and therefore our outlook should be toward
“And He died for all, that those
who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them
and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).
Old goals are replaced by new
ones. Old troubles and trials fade away into new hopes. Self-promotion is
replaced by a mind that will “esteem others better than himself” (Phil.
2:3). Self-will is replaced with letting “the will of the Lord be done”
(Acts 21:14; cf. Eph. 5:17). Worldly thinking is overcome with new pursuits
that set the mind on things above (Col. 3:2).
As a new creation, how does your
priority list read? What does your treasure look like? “For where your
treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).
Unless noted, all Scripture quotations
are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas
Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
JESUS' NAME, AMEN
"In Jesus' name" is as much a part of our prayers as "our Father in heaven."
Our supplications would feel incomplete without it, even if we do not fully
realize its implications. For many, it is something that must be said before
the amen. Yet when we understand what we are saying, we will be humbled by
the privilege of praying "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians
5:20). Here are a few thoughts to consider from it.
We should know that the phrase is not a blanket statement or magic chant we
must utter to get what we want. Instead, it is a humble plea for God to
receive our prayer through Jesus - the one and only Mediator between God and
man (1 Timothy 2:5), and a sincere request for Him to consider our petition.
We are so unworthy of approaching our holy God because of our sins and
wickedness. Yet, because of the powerful blood of Jesus Christ, we can go
boldly before the throne of grace and have our prayers heard as forgiven
sinners. Who among us is worthy of such honor? Yet, that is what is possible
because of Jesus' name. "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost
those who come to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession
for them" (Hebrews 7:25). This is why Paul wrote, "And whatever you do in
word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). To pray in that glorious name is our
way of letting the Father know that we acknowledge the greatness and
importance of Jesus and that without Him we would have no chance of having
our prayers heard. Amazing!
To pray in Jesus' name is to also let God know that we seek His will being
done in response to our request. We may want a particular outcome to our
prayer, but "in Jesus' name" we understand that He knows what is best for us
and that we are willing to abide in His response. When Paul was facing an
unwanted burden, he found consolation in accepting Jesus' will with his
circumstance instead of what he wanted. He wrote:
"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might
depart from me.
And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made
weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that
the power of
Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
The apostle John said it this way, "Now this is the confidence that we have
in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John
5:14). So, we wrap up our request with the Lord's name because we are
letting God know that we will accept whatever He thinks is best for us. It
is a humble acknowledgment that even Jesus Himself uttered when confronted
with His own trials - "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from
Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). We are
imitating His example in petitioning the Father through His authority as
And then we pray in our Savior's name because we want it to be known that we
intend to live by His will regardless of how He answers our prayer. We are
declaring through Jesus that we intend to obey Him in all things. God's word
says, "One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is
an abomination" (Proverbs 28:9). Yet since we are praying in our Lord's
name, we are acknowledging our awareness of our need to obey God for our
prayers to be heard. It is like Peter wrote, "For the eyes of the Lord are
on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of
the Lord is against those who do evil" (1 Peter 3:12). We humbly come before
the Ancient of Days through His Son because we want Him to know we intend to
obey His word in all things.
So, let us pray to our merciful God with conviction, humility, reverence,
and great confidence. We are approaching Someone Who loves us, cares for us,
and will do what is best for us; and because of His Son, we can do so. And
since we are bathing our prayers in our Savior's name, we are demonstrating
our understanding of God's word and a willingness to accept His response.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask
according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by
Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
In Jesus' name, amen.
Created by John Bass, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149