A NEW LIFE
By Pastor James Jennings
Church of God of Forrest City, AR
In the 26th chapter of Acts, Paul is given the opportunity to tell King Agrippa about the “old” Saul and the “new” Paul. Despite the false accusations that had been levied against Paul, he is “happy” about the opportunity to speak about his life. He does not try to prove his innocence in regard to the false charges that were against him, but he proceeds to tell how the “old” man died and the “new” man was born.
Actually, the New Testament has many examples of comparing the old life of sin to the new life of living free from sin. Just as day and night are exact opposites, the same applies to God and the devil – they are opposites like day and night. Just as God and the devil are exact opposites, the same applies to the lives of followers of Christ (Christians) and the lives of followers of the devil (sinners). Take for example the writings of John in
1 John 3:8-10:
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. KJV
Notice how these verses portray those who are of the devil and those who are of God as exact opposites. John is very clear about how to distinguish between these two groups of people (and there are only two groups of people in existence). One group “committeth sin.” The other group “doth not commit sin.” (NOTE: Sin refers to that which a person knows to do and he/she does not do it – James 4:17) The 10th verse is clear as well. “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.”
The 6th chapter of Romans provides a good example of comparing the old life of sin to the new life of living free from sin. The Holy Ghost moved upon the Apostle Paul to state the following:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. KJV
It is very important to note some important points made in this passage. First, we are servants to whom we obey. Committing sin means to “obey the devil.” When a person commits sin, therefore, he or she is a servant of sin – the devil. A person either sins unto death or obeys unto righteousness. Isn’t that simple and clear? The next point relates to the old life and the new life. The 17th verse says “that ye WERE the servants of sin.” The word WERE refers to the past tense. All Christians WERE [past tense, not present tense] servants of sin in their old lives. Finally, the 18th verse uses the language of “being then [present tense] made free from sin.” It has been my experience that many people tend to oppose the term “FREE FROM SIN.” If a person opposes the phrase “FREE FROM SIN,” then he or she is simply opposing the Bible, the Word of God, the scriptures rightly divided. The 22nd verse also uses the phrase “FREE FROM SIN.”
A final example involves I Corinthians 6:9-11:
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. KJV
In this case, specific sins are itemized. In other words, various sins are named specifically. Notice however that “such WERE [past tense} some of you.” In addition, the new life is described – “but ye are washed, buy ye are sanctified, but ye are justified…” Once again, the Word of God compares the old life and the new life as exact opposites. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, and Jesus told him that he must be born again. His old life would not get him to heaven. He needed a new life! (St. John 3:1-12)
If a person understands the scriptural differences between the old man and the new man, then he or she should realize that according to the scriptures there is no such thing as a “sinning Christian.” Sinners and Christians are exact opposites. The Bible name for a “sinning Christian” is a HYPOCRITE. Please feel free to contact me at (870) 633-2234 if you would like to discuss this article.