2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” So how did we become new?
Continuing from last week, I want to explain what it means to be “In-Christed”–which is a biblical idea referring to the fact that we have been engrafted into Christ. Paul said in Romans 11:17-18, “Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in…” (MSG).
In the natural, grafting takes places when a wound is made in the trunk of one species of plant and a branch of another is inserted in the slit in order to fuse the two together, thus becoming one.
You and I were “wild” (or at least I was) before being IN-CHRISTED–or engrafted into Him. Everything that was in His nature began to flow into our nature, making His life become our life. In other words, we’re not wild anymore! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It must become clear that this new kind of life is the nature of the Father–the LIFE OF CHRIST in us. When His life came into us [as wild branches grafted in], it drives out the old nature allowing the new nature [His Wisdom, His Ability, His Love] to take possession of us.
Our minds struggle with this, but our spirits long for it!
Isaiah said, “[Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…” (53:5). The process of engrafting (natural or supernatural) cannot take place without wounding. And just as the new branch is strengthened with the ability of the vine, we are strengthened with God’s ability because of our salvation in Christ.
Now everything takes on new meaning:
1. Our prayer life becomes a blending of our spirit with God’s Spirit, making our life a continual intercession.
2. We now understand what it means to be an Ambassador for Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for [Him], as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” It is the Vine reaching through the branch to win souls.
3. We realize we have no ability except His ability. In Him, we can’t fail because we have become an instrument through which Almighty God is working.
However, although God grafted us into Christ, we (as branches) were not stripped of our will.
Sin is the number one obstacle to a full LIFE in Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing” (John 15:5, AMP). Disconnected branches wither. They are unable to give life to others (by bearing fruit) because they have no life in themselves.
But God said, “If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). In other words, when we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to make His Word good by removing the obstacle of sin and feeding LIFE back into us!
His LIFE makes us His Righteousness, meaning we can stand in the Father’s presence just as we did in those first days after we accepted Him. This is why we can stretch out and wave FREELY as a branch knowing we are connected to the source of all LIFE–God Himself.
“Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you” (Romans 8:18, MSG).
So know this truth: you are