Living a New Life in Christ

"Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Colossians 3:9-10

What does it look like to live a new life in Christ? Having grown up in the church and in a Christian family, my faith journey may look quite different from someone else’s. But I can nonetheless look back over my life from the moment I first experienced salvation to the present and see Christ’s faithful guidance throughout my life as He teaches me to be more like him.

For me, this first moment of my salvation journey, which is a new birth according to the New Testament (John 3:3, 2 Cor. 5:17, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Peter 1:23), came at the age of six years old when I realized that while I had heard about Jesus in church and from my family, I wanted to have a personal relationship with Him of my own. The years since this moment have had their highs and lows, but through everything, I have enjoyed the presence of Christ through all of them.

Since I accepted Christ so young, it might seem silly to some to try to describe what my “new life” in Christ has looked like after accepting Christ into my life. Right after the verses listed above in Colossians, Paul tells us what it looks like to live a new life in Christ: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:12-14).

Though I have followed Christ for more than two decades, when I look at this list of instructions, I know that I fall very short of doing all of these perfectly. I am not the most merciful, kind, meek, and patient Christian—far from it! However, the longer I have walked with Christ and allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to transform me to be more like Him, the more I have grown in these qualities. I am more merciful, kind, meek, and patient than I was at the beginning of my walk with Christ. I find it much easier to forgive, and I find it increasingly easier—not by my own power but through the Holy Spirit’s—to love not only my friends but also those whom I disagree with.

The process of becoming more like Christ is sometimes a rough and tumultuous process. As Christ weeds out the areas of our lives that need to be purified, our comfort and self-desires may feel threatened. This process of being purified and made more like Christ is something Christians refer to as sanctification. However difficult the process may be at individual moments, the outcome is that as you continue walking with the Lord and letting Him change you, you are becoming more like Him.

Ask yourself honestly today if you can see yourself growing in the areas the Apostle Paul mentioned: Are you more merciful, kind, meek, and patient than you were a year ago? Even when it is difficult, do you find yourself forgiving often and without holding a grudge, just as Christ forgave you? Do you find yourself empowered to love not only the people who look and think like you but also those whose views and choices are the opposite of yours?

Whether you can see yourself growing in these areas or not, ask the Lord to help you grow in these areas today. Ask Him to reveal to you the areas of your life that bring Him joy as well as the areas that He wants to transform. After you have prayed, look for opportunities to practice these characteristics. There certainly is no lack of opportunities to be merciful, kind, meek, and patient with those around you. People will give you ample opportunities to forgive and to love. Most of all, cultivate a life that invites Christ to speak to you and transform you: pray without ceasing, study the Scriptures, live out the greatest commandments to love God, and love your neighbor.

No Comments






no tags