New Apostolic Church USA

New Creatures

"Made in His image" Part 2 of 2 from the Summer 2019 Vision Newsletter

When the fall occurred, God promised Adam and Eve that a Savior would come to restore our broken relationships.

With the coming of Jesus Christ, everything changed.

Jesus Christ is the image of God, the second Adam, and through His life we see, again, what God intended for humanity:

A close relationship with God: Jesus nurtured a close relationship with His Father through an intense prayer life, a perfect love, continually trusting and obeying Him, and faithfully living according to His Father’s will.

A servant-minded relationship towards those around Him: Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. He showed love and concern for all – men and women, rich and poor, children and outcasts, the upright, as well as the sinners. He treated everyone as equals.

A correct relationship with creation: As a human, Jesus experienced needs and enjoyed earthly things just like we do, but it had no influence on His relationship with God or others. His commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” also became a guiding principle for how mankind should behave in caring for and using the resources that God gives them.

SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

We must believe in Jesus Christ and follow His example. Through our rebirth out of water and Spirit we become a new creature, a new man and woman, with the possibility of aligning our life to His.

Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Romans 8:29-30)

The Lord has predestined us for this – to be a new person in Christ! As we grow into His image, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can also begin to live in renewed and reconciled relationships.

The Holy Spirit strengthens our relationship with God. Our prayers evolve. No longer just calls for help or wish lists, they become genuine exchanges with God, filled with worship and thanksgiving. We speak more of God’s works rather than our own and we express our love to God through our trust and obedience to His will.

Our relationships with one another also begin to change. The Spirit helps us overcome our differences and we truly begin to understand and live by the words found in Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. We love our neighbor regardless of their heritage, culture, social class, or gender. We love each one as God has made them. We realize that we are sent to serve and do good to others and also show them that God loves them, through our actions. We can start this right in our congregations as it exhorts us in Galatians 6:10 - Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

The Spirit gives makes us wise and frees us from the dictatorship of money. Our decisions are not profit-driven but rather take into account our responsibility to others. We consider questions such as; What could I do to give back to society? How could I do good for someone around me? How are my actions impacting future generations?

The story that began in Genesis with the creation isn’t over yet. Let us live in relationship with God, with each other, and with the rest of creation, as new creatures in the reconciling power of Christ.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel… (Colossians 1:19-23)

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