In my last article I wrote of moving on, leaving the old behind and pressing into the new life in Christ Jesus, according to Philippians 3:13-14 which says, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Today will be a continuation of that thought.
   Think about this; would you put old spoiled food into a new container to save it?  No?  Why not?  Well, because first off, the old spoiled food is no longer fit for consumption.  So why would you waste a new container on it?  The only container I’d consider putting it in would be the garbage can.  Yet, so many people once they get born again in Christ Jesus try to do exactly that:  not realizing they ARE truly a new creation in Christ Jesus.  As they are trying to BECOME a new creature in Jesus, they are bringing the old rotten garbage into their new life that got them rotten in the first place.
   The apostle Paul wrote 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.  Here’s what we need to pay attention to; he said all things ARE become new.  When does that happen?  When we become IN Christ Jesus, and that day starts at salvation, and continues every day that we are a disciple of Jesus.  Which likewise means the moment we fail to continue to seek Jesus, it becomes the moment we are not IN Him, but rather we are slipping back into the old creature.  What happens?  Does that person suddenly become who he or she was before they got saved?  No, but unless they repent and turn from their sin they are worse off, because prior to having a relationship with Christ Jesus, they were simply lost.  But once you have been saved and you turn your back on God, you are worse than lost, you are trampling the blood of Jesus underfoot, calling it an unholy thing, and are setting yourself up for the wrath of God, according to Hebrews 10:26-31:
Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Heb 10:28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Am I saying this to scare you?  Well, if you do not have the fear of God in you, then YES, because I don’t want you to be lost.  What is your soul worth to you, and what would you give in exchange for your soul being saved?  Is eternal life valuable enough to you to make sure you never allow yourself to stray from God in the first place?  I surely hope so!  But there are also other issues to consider as well.  You know me, I preach a lot about healing.  If you REALLY want to be healed, you must first consider it as a done deal, for the Lord Jesus has already done everything He is ever going to do about your healing.  From before the foundation of the earth, all your sins and diseases were laid upon Him, and He bore them away for you.
    Now, that’s part of what makes you a new creature in Christ Jesus, but that‘s not all of it.  You, too, have a part to play in believing, confessing, and laying claim to His sacrifice for you.  That part YOU have to do, and Jesus won’t do it for you.  That is YOUR choice to receive salvation.  And by saying, Well, I believe in salvation, but I’ve been taught that healing is not for today., you have effectively put your old rotten self into a new container, thus depriving yourself of truly being the new creature in Christ Jesus that you could be.  Can a saved person be sick?  Sure, God won’t make you be healed if you don’t want to be.  And believe it or not, there are actually Christians who believe sickness is a badge of honor they can wear to show how much they love Jesus.  I have a word for them:  REPENT, for you are not so holy that God had to give you a thorn in the flesh.  No, you are simply putting rotten stuff in a new container, and that isn’t too bright, especially when your healing was just as much bought and paid for by the Lord Jesus as your salvation was.  You know, they say what you don’t know can’t hurt you?  I disagree: it can KILL you.  And the devil WILL kill you off with disease if you don’t make use of the healing that Jesus provided for you.
    The same thing goes with the other “benefits” afforded to you by virtue of your relationship with Christ Jesus.  Psalm 103:2 tells us, Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.  Did you happen to notice the “S” on the end of “BENEFITS”?  That means there is more than one benefit to serving God, and eternal life with Him is just one of them.  Do you think God put the good things of the earth here for the devil and his crew?  No, He put them here for His Children to enjoy, and back in Genesis we have the description of the Garden of Eden and how beautiful it was, and God even showed Adam and Eve where the gold was!  And that was even before there was a Wal-Mart for Eve to spend it at. But will all God’s children enjoy blessings and plenty?  Depends… on YOU.  Some do, some don’t.  But the ones who don’t believe that God wants them blessed and whole are seldom blessed and whole.  Simply put, you can’t have what you won’t receive by faith first.
   Part of putting the “new wine” in the “new wineskin” involves seeing yourself as God sees you.  Suppose you’re poor, so poor you can’t even pay attention, and someone leaves you ten million dollars in their will.  Do you slowly BECOME rich?  No, friend, you ARE rich!  When did you become rich?  That happened when the testator wrote you into his will.  But when did you receive it?  When he died?  No, when you received notification from the estate that the money was now YOURS, and you showed up to CLAIM IT AS YOUR OWN.  Are you getting the picture?  Suppose you didn’t believe the good news and you never showed up to get your money?  Was it still yours?  Sure, legally, but if you never went to get it, you could never spend it.  And in reality, you could die rich and still have starved to death for lack of money to buy food with.  Are you going to let that happen with YOUR benefits?  The surest way to ruin that I know of is to ignore what God is offering you, and to turn away in unbelief.  God’s benefits ARE out there, and someone is going to get them.  I’m already enjoying mine!  What about you?