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Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CJB)

This verse offers insight and encouragement.

If anyone . . .
As many Pastors like to say, “anyone” means “anyone.” Thus, we should not understand this as the passage for the super-holy or the seasoned saint. This can be taken to heart by the recent convert and even the one just plucked from the fire. That “anyone” in Christ is a new creation.

United with the Messiah . . .
In other translations, this phrase is rendered “in Christ.” In the Amplified version, “in Christ” is further explained as being “grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior.”
We are united with Messiah when we believe that Messiah (Christ) is who He said He was (God incarnate) and did what He said He did (provided a once-for-all sacrifice for sin, so that mankind could be reconciled to God through the blood sacrifice of the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

Belief not just in the existence of a historical figure–because that has never been in doubt, but belief in what Yeshua said about Himself and the connection He made between Himself and the teachings of the Hebrew scriptures. One cannot believe in Yeshua without believing and relying on the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament). These were the only scriptures in existence at the time Yeshua said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39

New Creation
Being united with Messiah is more than simply a state of mind. This belief must be accompanied by actions that confirm a change has occurred. Being a new creation requires being born again. (John 3) Being born again speaks of the new life or new creation possible when one is born from above–born as a result of the indwelling Spirit of the one true God.

This new creation (birth) should be evident by new life, new patterns, new choices, and other marks that one has been changed from within, not by mere changes rooted in human effort. James said that true faith is accompanied by works. It is a yoke (the yoke of heaven) to be taken upon one’s self. It is a life committed to righteousness–the righteousness laid out in Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy). This life now; however, is not lived by obedience to rules, but rather obedience to the Holy Spirit planted within making the creation new and guiding the new creation in the ways of God. This should be evident and should testify of the work of creation in the individual’s life. Being born again, being a new creation–these are not hidden works. They will be evident to all who know us. Even if we are not perfect–we will be different and more righteous than before–fresh and new!

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Recently, a woman I have known for over 20 years became a believer in Christ.  By her own words, she was “born again.”  I was deeply impacted by her conversion.

My friend and I ware both small business owners and have dealt primarily with each other in that capacity.  Through the years that I have been going to her business, I have not kept my relationship with Christ a secret.  I shared with her what was going on in my life, what my husband and I were doing in ministry and invited her to church-related events.  Although I did pray for her and her family over the years, I am sad to say, I never asked her if she wanted to be born again.

But GOD . . . He sent another to lead her to Christ.  The first time I saw her after she got saved, she told me with great excitement.  I could see the change.  I could sense her hunger.  I met with her that very day and  began to answer her questions about the Bible .  She was very grateful.

But that was so little to give her for what she brought to me.  Through her, I heard God speaking to me.  “Out of the world, I continue to pluck them.  One by one I will claim them from wherever they are.  I am not finished the work of saving.”

I felt so amazed.  In the brightness of her excitement about God and all the things of God, I was humbled.  For surely God had done this thing and had let me see it.  I am so grateful.  I pray to be in the path of many more new believers.  They give off such a pleasant aroma . . . the aroma of God.

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