“…If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  Old things have passed away, all things have become new.” 2 Cor 5:17    “ ….it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” Gal 2:20  “…if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit..” John 14:5b    “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ, in God.” Col 3:2  “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”Romans 8:11

So what is it?

  • Am I in Christ?
  • Is Christ in me?
  • Am I in God?
  • Is the Spirit in me, or along side of me?

I’ve always been confused about the Trinity and my relation to the three-in-one.  Now I realize that once transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, I am thoroughly mixed in, combined with, part and parcel with all three persons of the God-head.  This is why Paul can say with certainty that if someone is a Christian, he is a new creation with a changed essence.

What are the implications for this change?  As a born-again believer, I now have all the resurrection power necessary to do what God commands me to do.  I can even resist temptation.

This battle with temptation took on new significance the other day.  I had succumbed to overeating while up in NYC and was frustrated with my same old patterns.  A verse from Isaiah kept going through my head, only God had substituted some of the words to make the verse personal to me – Is 58:4b – You cannot fast (overeat) as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high (and expect to be thin).

Then when I was wallowing in discouragement and despairing of ever changing my behavior, I was struck by the reality and fact of the new me.  I CAN battle sin and gain victory through the power of God’s spirit IN me. I am no longer the former Maria, I am in Christ, in God, with the Spirit’s power, too.  Then an idea grew –a way to deal with my besetting battle with food, a plan to change just ONE behavior and to practice that change for 21 days.  My overeating had been primarily in indulging in dessert after the 3 dinners.  So the behavior change to practice was to stop with coffee after dinner and say ‘no’ to any more food in the evening.  I thought, “If I do this for 21 days, it will become a habit”.

Day one was just a matter of setting my mind. Day two I had to deal with what looked like sabotage from a caring hostess who was anxious to feed me mid-evening when I arrived.  I was beginning to think I had to succumb when all of a sudden; she acquiesced and accepted that I ‘wasn’t hungry’.  I was overwhelmed with the realization that God had indeed provided a way out of temptation.  Day three I felt stronger to say ‘no’ graciously to this hostess and stick with my resolve.

Victory, hour by hour, comes from a combination of right thinking and right walking: that is knowing  who God is and who I am in Christ and then walking in a posture of what I have  dubbed ‘TRC’ (my acronym for Trust in, Rely on and be Confident in the Lord and His promises).

Of course, this is just one teeny example of how trustworthy God is even in life’s practical issues.  But if I am a child of God through faith in the power of God, then nothing is outside of his purview or beyond his care.  And when I start to wobble, reminding myself that I am a new creation, totally entwined with the God-head is a good place to go back to!