At the beginning of the New Year I took the opportunity of the time to remind you that you are a new creation if you are indeed in Christ Jesus.  New Year is looked upon as a chance for a fresh, new start, to do things better this year than we did last year. There needs to be more teaching about the “new creature”, because the “old creature” sure doesn’t go away easily.

Again, it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Sometimes I wonder where the “old creature” goes when we become a disciple of Christ Jesus. When I look in the mirror, I still see the “old Jerry”, getting older each day, perhaps new in a different way, as my hair is gray now, where it used to be almost black, but many things are still the same. But that isn’t the “new creature” of the Bible, because our flesh is not “born again”, but rather our spirit. How about you?  Do you still like some of the same things you did before you became a “new creature”?  Most everyone does, so what does it mean by “Behold, all things are become new”?

If all things are indeed new, and all the old things are passed away, how would we be recognizable to anyone, or to ourselves?  Wouldn’t we be like a complete stranger to those who know us?  It would seem so.  Yet some things really don’t change in the “new life”.  I’ve always loved mashed potatoes.  When I was “born again”, strangely, I still loved mashed potatoes, how can that be if old things are passed away?  That has always put me in thinking mode.  When you’re born again, does God just throw “you” away and start over fresh with someone else in your shell?  No, apparently not.   Boy, wouldn’t life be interesting if He did, though?  So then, what’s really “new” about us?

Well, for one thing, our “who” is different.  We WERE out there lost without hope, without Christ Jesus and His forgiveness, on the road to destruction.  But He adopted us into His family, made possible for us, not by anything WE did or didn’t do, but rather, by what HE did for us, in our place, as our substitute.  All our sin and filth became His, leaving us clean and holy, as if we never sinned, EVER!   That should make a HUGE difference in every part of our life, but does it?  If so, why are old habits so hard to overcome, dragging the “new” in us back to the “old”?

The sum of our “who” becomes what we think, say, and do.  If we don’t think differently, we will continue on the same path we were on before we became a “new creature”.  We must give up our right to hold onto our old identity.  Why would we even want to hold onto the old, spiritually dead, bankrupt and spoiled creature, when we indeed CAN be regenerated into a new creature who has the potential to overcome ANYTHING the devil chooses to throw at us?  Does it just “happen”, or does it require any action on our part?

Let’s look at it from a natural standpoint.  Suppose at your workplace where you’ve been for several years, your boss is suddenly replaced; now the mission of the business remains the same, and that is to make money doing whatever it is that they do.  But business has been falling off, and the upper management had enough sense to know if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.  And what they’ve been getting is not what they want.  So they replace your boss. This is common in the business world.  Your new boss has the same goal, and that is to make the company prosper.  The new boss has located the problem: corruption, lies, greed, laziness and backbiting, and the old boss knew it was  there and just looked the other way, but the new boss is having none of that.

So the new boss gathers the employees and lays down the new laws, showing everyone how the results of past behavior have destroyed the company.  Will everyone just want to stop doing things how they have always done them, and jump on the “new way”?  No, because old habits die hard.  You see thousands of battered women in bad marriages, who KNOW if they left, things would be better, but they are more “comfortable” with the old ways.  Why?  Because as a rule, people basically resist change.  Most everyone wants to keep doing things like they always have, even though they aren’t happy with the results.  That’s the way we are wired.  So when a person becomes a disciple of Christ Jesus, the tendency is to hang onto the “old creature”, because they are afraid of the unknown “new creature”.  Part of the “new creature” is being able to recognize true freedom when we are presented with the opportunity to have it.

One thing the devil does is to put someone in captivity under close watch for a while, until that person stops resisting him.  Once that person stops resisting, he or she will remain captive until some comes and snatches them away to freedom, and most times the captive will actually resist being freed, because they are more comfortable in the “old” setting, because they are familiar with it.  Look at what Jesus said in Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Now, that’s good news if I ever heard it.  Jesus was offering freedom to the captives.  But let’s look just a few verses later what happened:

Luk 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luk 4:22  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
Luk 4:23  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
Luk 4:24  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
Luk 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
Luk 4:27  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
Luk 4:28  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Luk 4:29  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Does that sound like what a person would do if they really wanted to be free and healed?  No, but like I said, they liked doing things just like they had always done them, even if they were sick, blind, broke and captive.  It was easier staying sick, blind, broke and captive than accepting the change they perceived they would have to make in their lives in order to be free and delivered from oppression.

Sadly, if YOU find yourself sick, blind, broke and captive, there is a high likelihood that you have also struggled giving up the “old creature” to become the “new creature”.  And you’re not alone, there are literally millions of people in the same boat.  A few will get free, though, because they see the value of God’s Words, and are seeing the Word of God as the most valuable treasure they could ever find.  You see, EVERYONE who believes upon Christ Jesus can be set free, but WILL THEY BE??   That decision lies with that person on the receiving end of God’s offer of salvation and deliverance and healing.  Sadly, there are those who will not act upon God’s invitation to become a “new creature”.

Imagine: the power to break free from every bondage the devil is putting on you, and the only thing holding you back is YOU! Here, you thought it was the devil keeping you captive!   Nope!  It has been YOU all along, for the devil cannot stop anyone from becoming a “new creature”, it is not in his power to do so. It is only in YOUR power, for Christ Jesus has made it available, free of charge to “whosoever will”.  You are a “whosoever”, so WILL YOU?  Will you do it right now?  Your freedom is waiting!  Call out to Christ Jesus, let Him make you into the “new creature” you always wanted to be.  Stop trying to hang onto the “old creature” which leads to death.  God has a wonderful plan for the “new creature”.  Sure, old habits die hard, but they CAN die, and when they’re dead, they can no longer hold you.  Become “new”, right now!