25 years ago I was at the lowest place I have ever been in my life. My addiction to alcohol and cocaine had led me to place of physical, emotional and spiritual death. The Bible clearly communicates this death in these words, “you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
My life was an absolute mess from the inside out. Though my addiction and my personal issues seemed complicated the core issue in my life was my sin. My sinful lifestyle resulted in a deep inner death and the complete meltdown of my outer world. I was broken from the inside out and I was powerless to break the power that sin had over my life.
It was there, in that place of brokenness and desperation, that I fell on my knees and cried out to Jesus and he came to my rescue and everything changed. The grip that my sinful addictions and self-centered life had upon me was broken. The emptiness in my heart that I had tried to fill with controlled substances, immoral relationships, success, money and any other object that would make me feel good was satisfied through Jesus.
You see, in that moment when I cried out to Jesus, He filled me with His spirit and gave me NEW LIFE. Out of His great love he embraced me in my darkest hour and I was made alive in Christ. The Bible says it this way in Ephesians 2: 4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Out of his great love and grace, Jesus accepted me as I was and birthed NEW LIFE in me. In that moment my entire identity changed. I moved from being a spiritual orphan to being a CHILD of GOD. From being spiritually dead to spiritually alive. The OLD had passed and the NEW had come.
He broke the chains of my sinful addictions and set me free. By His grace I have not had drink or a drug in 25 years. He has satisfied the deepest longing of my soul and has been faithfully present in my life enabling me to do what I could never do on my own. My old life is gone and the NEW LIFE has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Several months later I was baptized. It was the moment that I publicly proclaimed my complete and total surrender of my life to Jesus Christ. It was also a public proclamation of my personal crucifixion. As I went down into the water it signified that the OLD had passed and I rose up from the waters it signified my personal resurrection into NEW LIFE in Christ.
No matter where your journey has taken you. Whether that is wild success, absolute failure or a life simply void of purpose. Today, Jesus arms are open wide to you and He offers you NEW LIFE from the inside out. You simply must humble yourself, admit your need for Jesus and with all the faith and sincerity that you have reach out to the loving hands of God that are reaching toward you in this moment. Simply call out the name of Jesus from your heart and He will come to your rescue. He will set you free form the sin and darkness that has a hold on your life and usher you into the NEW LIFE that He created you to live. Make today the day you died to sin and rose to NEW LIFE.
One of the most powerful pictures of the supernatural work that takes place in the life of all who place their faith in Christ is Baptism. Baptism is a picture of the redemptive work of Christ in the life of a believer. In Romans 6:4 the Apostle Paul speaks of Baptism in these terms, “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Going Down into the Water… is an outward picture of the inward reality that our sin was nailed to the cross with Jesus and put to death. When Christ was nailed to the cross so was your sin and my sin. So, when you see Jesus hanging on the cross, see too your OLD LIFE is hanging on the cross. This is what going under the water signifies, our personal crucifixion. It symbolizes our crucifixion death and burial.
Coming up out of the Water… is a picture of the inward reality that just as by faith we were baptized into his death so we are raised to NEW LIFE. Just as Christ rose to NEW LIFE on the third day, so too by faith in His sacrificial death and victory over the grave we are raised to NEW LIFE in Him. Coming up out of the waters of baptism signifies our personal resurrection into NEW LIFE.
When by faith we fully embrace Christ’s death and resurrection for ourselves, we are not only believing that Christ’s crucifixion was a historical event where He died for our sins but we are believing by faith that it was the precise moment in time that our old sinful nature was crucified with Christ and our NEW LIFE began. Through faith in Christ’s finished work we die to sin and are raised to NEW LIFE. The life we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God who loves us and who gave himself for us.
That is not an exhortation to struggle. That is history: our history, written in Christ before we were born. Do you believe that? It is true! Our crucifixion with Christ is a historical fact. Our deliverance from sin is not based upon what we can do, nor even on what God is going to do for us, but on what He has already done for us in Christ. When that fact dawns upon us and we rest back upon it (Rom. 6:11) then we have found the secret of a holy life.”
How do we live in the freedom of this NEW LIFE?
“we rest in what has already been done.” – Watchman Nee
***This week we concluded our NEW LIFE series with the NEW LIFE CELEBRATION. We kicked off the day with an outside worship service which included the baptisms of six individuals from our congregation. Each testimony was a powerful living example of the transforming power of the Gospel. We concluded our day with a barbecue, swimming, mini-horse encounters and a time of sincere fellowship.