Part 13 of the Big Journey is entitled ‘A New Creation in Christ’. It’s a PDF document illustrated in full colour throughout. Click on the PDF icon below to read or download it:
Outline of contents
On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus released the Holy Spirit into human hearts. What happened on that wonderful day flowed directly from Jesus’s sacrificial death, resurrection and exaltation at His Father’s right hand in heaven.
In Session 4 we catalogued the catastrophic consequences of that first sin in the Garden of Eden. God dealt with all these consequences through Jesus’s death, resurrection and ascension. Jesus opened the way for people to be reconciled to God and to enjoy eternal life. He provided restitution for our sins. He broke Satan’s power over us, brought all his works to nothing and sentenced him and his hordes of foul spirits to eternal doom. And Jesus’s resurrection was the forerunner of a whole new creation – a new humanity living in God’s presence in a new Heaven and Earth! We pause for a moment in our journey to look more closely at all that Jesus accomplished.
We begin in the Old Testament. In Session 7, we looked at the various sacrifices that God commanded Israel to offer. But the sacrificial system could never be the final answer for sin. It was Jesus’s death and resurrection that dealt fully and finally with sin. The Old Testament sacrifices themselves foreshadowed what Jesus’s sacrifice would one day accomplish – we see how Jesus’s sacrificial death fulfilled each one of them. And we look at all that Jesus’s sacrificial death achieved for mankind – and how.
We also explore the new life that Jesus has made possible for us. Just as the beginning of our natural life was a birth, the beginning of our new life as a Christian is a birth. Our natural conception and birth made us part of the old sinful humanity ‘in Adam’. Our new birth makes us part of the new humanity ‘in Christ’. We now have the right to call the Father, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8.15, Galatians 4.6). When someone becomes a Christian, something profoundly radical occurs. ♦ Their legal status before Godchanges – once they were guilty, now they are righteous and enjoy good standing before God. This is justification. ♦ Their inner disposition changes: once they had a sinful disposition; now they have a new disposition free from sin’s bondage, which naturally wants to obey God. This is new birth from above, or regeneration. ♦ Their family changes. Once they were a child of Satan (see 1 John 3.8,10); now God has made them His child. This is adoption into God’s family. And it’s only when we’re born into God’s new family, that we really become fully human as God created us to be.
When we’re born again, God Himself comes to live in us. We, God’s people, are now His Temple, both corporately and individually. Donald Macleod put it this way: “. . . the Christian is a quite extraordinary person. If we were to say that he is someone walking about with God inside him we would not be all that far wrong”. The moment that God comes to live in a person – the moment of new birth – is a baptism. God baptises them with His Holy Spirit – an event symbolised by baptism in water. We explore what it means to be baptised with the Spirit, and what water baptism signifies. And we explore what being born again means for us, and how it’s possible for us to live free from bondage to sin.
Finally, we look at four important words the Bible uses to describe our salvation –redemption, propitiation (found in the ESV in four passages, but usually translated by other words), justification and sanctification.
Part 13 of the Big Journey is available as a 16-page PDF document illustrated in full colour throughout. Click on the PDF icon at the top of this page to download it.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.