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A New Creation in Christ​​ – Part 1​​ – Eternal Life


Living Like Paupers


There was a man named Ira Yates​​ who​​ lived in Pecos county Texas back in the 1920’s. He was a struggling sheep rancher who was about to​​ lose his ranch when,​​ on October 28, 1926,​​ the Transcontinental Oil​​ Company​​ discovered oil on his ranch.​​ It turned out to be one of the most prolific oil fields in North America!​​ It​​ has​​ produced​​ over 1.5​​ billion barrels of oil​​ since its discovery and is still producing today.​​ The oil had always been​​ on their land, but sadly, Ira​​ and his wife Ann, lived in​​ financial​​ poverty because they didn’t know what they had.​​ 

Just like the Yates family lived in financial poverty, the vast majority of Christians​​ live in spiritual poverty because they don’t know​​ who they are and​​ what they have in Christ.​​ 


In Christ


When a person receives Christ by faith, they are​​ immediately baptized into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection​​ (a spiritual baptism).​​ The bible​​ refers to those folks as being “in Christ”, i.e., in union with Christ.​​ This is a permanent union in which Christ’s spirit is joined with our human spirit and Christ​​ becomes our new life.​​ (1 Cor. 6:17; Col. 3:4)​​ As a result, we become someone we were not​​ before – we​​ become​​ a new creation​​ with a new nature!​​ We discussed​​ our union with Christ​​ last week ​​ in some detail​​ (Identity in Christ Part 13), therefore I will not repeat it here.​​ 


Your Riches in Christ


For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.​​ 2 Cor.​​ 8.9​​ 


If you’re​​ like me,​​ when you first received Christ, you​​ were​​ likely​​ told​​ little​​ more than​​ your sins were forgiven and that you would go to heaven when you die.​​ Now if that’s all there was, it would be amazing, awesome, and wonderful. But there is more, much more!​​ 


What I want to do over the next several weeks is​​ help you understand​​ what you now​​ (right now on earth)​​ possess as a new creation in Christ. And let me say this, I’m sure​​ I will not be able to​​ tell you all that​​ is yours​​ in Christ.​​ For almost every time I read the scriptures, the Holy Spirit reveals something new to me​​ about our new identity in Christ​​ in which I had not previously considered.​​ But,​​ I can say along with the apostle Paul, -


18​​ I​​ pray that​​ the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,​​ 19​​ and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.​​ These are​​ in accordance with the working of the strength of His might​​ Eph.​​ 1.18-19​​ 


Eternal Life


What do you think of when you hear the phrase “eternal life”?​​ You most likely​​ think something like this – “an endless duration of time​​ that begins​​ after​​ our physical body dies​​ and​​ we​​ go to heaven”.​​ 

Let’s look at a few things to​​ help you​​ better​​ understand​​ “eternal life”​​ ​​ 


Eternal -​​ Only God​​ (Jesus)​​ is eternal. He has no beginning and he has no end​​ – He exists outside of time.​​ (Isa. 43:13)​​ He has always been​​ and will always be.​​ (Job 36:26;​​ Psa. 90:1-2;​​ Isa. 46:9-10; John 17:5;​​ Rev. 1:8)

Life​​ ​​ from Greek word,​​ zoe,​​ which refers to spiritual life.​​ Eternal life always refers to spiritual life.​​ Only God (Jesus) is life​​ and he alone can give life​​ (Gen. 2:7;​​ John 1:1-4; 17:2;​​ Acts 17:25).​​ 


Eternal life is not –

  • A​​ final destination

  • An extension of time​​ added to​​ your​​ life


Eternal life is the person of Jesus. Consider the following verses –​​ 


11​​ And​​ the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.​​ 12​​ He​​ who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.​​ 13​​ These​​ things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.​​ 1 John 5.11-13​​ (also Rom. 5:21, 6:23)

Instead of thinking of eternal life as something​​ you can​​ possess, think of it​​ as​​ someone​​ with​​ whom you​​ can be​​ permanently​​ joined.​​ When we are​​ spiritually​​ joined to Christ, we in essence,​​ are​​ “joined to​​ eternal life”.​​ This becomes true the moment you receive Christ.​​ 


Knowing Christ


The night before His crucifixion, Jesus​​ said this to his Father in heaven –​​ 


This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and​​ Jesus Christ whom You have sent.​​ John 17.3​​ 


As Christians,​​ not only are​​ we​​ are in union with​​ eternal life, we have the pleasure and privilege of knowing​​ eternal life (Jesus).​​ 

And by the way, if​​ you​​ know Jesus,​​ you​​ will also know​​ your heavenly Father​​ (the only true God). (John 8:19; 14:7)​​ Knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ is not just knowing about them;​​ it is knowing them in a personal and intimate way.​​ This relationship is best exemplified by the marriage between a man and a woman. (Eph. 5:22-33)


The apostle John is saying that eternal life​​ is knowing​​ Christ Jesus​​ experientially and not just intellectually. When we experience​​ Christ,​​ we experience his​​ love, joy, peace,​​ acceptance,​​ etc.​​ via his Holy Spirit that lives​​ within us.​​ (Gal. 5:22-23)​​ 


Ask God –​​ Perhaps​​ you have really never believed that God loves you or that you could ever have an intimate relationship with​​ Jesus​​ because of something you’ve done.​​ I know a lot of people struggle with this.​​ I know I did.​​ 

Let me encourage you to​​ ask God to reveal his great love​​ for you​​ in a way you can understand​​ it.​​ It can set you free in a lot of ways, perhaps most importantly,​​ free​​ to love others.​​ You​​ might find it helpful​​ to read the story of the “Prodigal Son” as a reminder of the love God has for you. (Luke 15:11-32)


And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.​​ 1 John 5.20​​ 


Next​​ –​​ A New Creation in Christ​​ -​​ Part 2 -​​ Forgiveness