Last week we explored The Matrix… or at least the idea of the blue pill which keeps us blinded to the truth and the red pill which brings freedom. We saw that not knowing Christ is like taking the Blue pill. It keeps us blinded to the spiritual reality which is… well, real. Taking the red pill is like the realization of the truth that comes when we accept Jesus as our Savior. And yet many who have made that decision remain bound. In a sense, it is as if there is a blue pill for the believer that keeps him blinded to the reality of who he is in Christ and a red pill that set’s him free. This week we want to explore the reality that far too many of us are missing.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” No surprise here, right? We have heard this verse before. So what does it mean to be a new creation? Or maybe a better question is, “If I am a new creation, why am I still struggling with the same old issues?”
How is it that Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Yet I continue to struggle.
In other words, I took the red pill that is supposed to bring freedom, but in some respects I feel more confused now than when I was ignorant of God.
Here is another one. 1 John 3:9, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” Or how about Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” It appears from these two verses that if I sin (strike 1) I must not be truly born again and if I am not living a holy life (strike 2) I will not see God!
So now I have to wonder am I really a new creation? I still struggle with some of the old things. I still lust, even though I am doing my best to walk in the Spirit. I sin daily, and I am anything but holy!
Can you relate? No problem. Just as Morpheous promised Neo, I am going to show you the truth.
Let’s begin with Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesians 1. In his letter to the church at Ephesus Paul wrote, “…I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;” Ephesians 1:15-16 (NASB). Paul then tells us what he prayed; “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19 (NASB).
Paul prayed that their eyes would be opened so that they would know the surpassing greatness of His power to them and to all who believe. That includes you and me. Seems like a good place to start, doesn’t it?
So we know that the power of God is at work revealing Jesus to us, giving us wisdom, and revelation knowledge. That’s what Paul just said in Ephesians 1. Then again, we have the same dilemma. If that is true, why are we so confused? Simply put, it’s because we are carnally minded.
Romans 8:6 (NKJV) says, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Carnel-mindedness doesn’t necessarily mean “sinful-mindedness.” The word carnal literally means, “of the five senses” or “sensual.” Carnal-mindedness is allowing your mind to be dominated by what you can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel. You are carnally-minded when your thoughts center primarily on the phyical realm.
So what does all that have to do with why we still sin and struggle with the idea of being a new creation in Christ? Simply put, it’s a matter of perspective. We are looking at our thoughts, our actions, and our sinful attitudes which are carnal (of the senses) rather than viewing them from a spiritual perspective (of the spirit). In other words, we are trying to understand spiritual principles from a carnal perspective.
If we start from the perspective that everything God says is true, then when 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are a new creation in Christ, we know it’s true because God’s Word is true. Our “feelings” about it have nothing to do with it. God said it so it’s true regardless of how I feel.
What about holiness? I Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV) says, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.'” Our first thought is, how can I possibly be holy? You’re thinking carnally again.
Here’s the key… the red pill as it were. Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV) says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Spiritual blessing in heavenly places; not physical, but spiritual. So you are a new creation in Christ in the spiritual. You are holy in the spiritual. You are sinless in the spiritual. “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23 (NKJV).
Our physical redemption is coming, but for now it is our spirit that has been redeemed. That’s why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV), “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
If we can begin to think and act from a spiritual perspective life will take on a whole new dimension. We will read the Word and those troubling areas will become clear because we are no longer trying to merge a physical meaning with a spiritual truth.
I know it’s a lot to absorb. Read it again, pay particular attention to the Scriptures, pray for understanding, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you get started on the path to spiritual freedom.
Fruitbearers Outreach Ministry