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                            "A NEW CREATION"


INTRODUCTION

1. According to 2Co 5:17, a great change takes place in the life of one
   who is a Christian:

   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things
   have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2. But what does this change mean?
   a. What position does this "new creation" hold in the eyes of God?
   b. What type of life is he or she to lead?
   c. How does this change affect his or her relationship to things
      pertaining to one's old way of life?

[In Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, we find the answers to such
questions.  Note first of all that a Christian is described as...]

I. SITTING WITH CHRIST IN HEAVENLY PLACES - Ep 2:6

   A. OUR FORMER CONDITION...
      1. We were dead in sin - Ep 2:1
      2. We were quite active, walking and following after:
         a. The world
         b. Satan
         c. The flesh - cf. Ep 2:2-3

   B. OUR CURRENT CONDITION...
      1. Out of love, mercy and grace, we who were dead are now alive!
         - Ep 2:4-5; cf. Ro 5:6-8
      2. Now we are blessed to be:
         a. Raised with Christ - Ep 2:6a; cf. Col 2:12; 3:1
         b. Seated with Him in "heavenly places" - Ep 2:6
      3. Definition of "heavenly places"
         a. Lit., "the heavenlies", found only in Ephesians - Ep 1:3,20;
            2:6; 3:10; 6:12
         b. Various explanations often given:  the church, heaven
            proper, the spiritual realm
            1) The church is ruled out by Ep 3:10
            2) Heaven proper is ruled out by Ep 6:12
         c. Most likely refers to the "spiritual realm" as contrasted to
            the physical realm
            1) In the spiritual realm, we enjoy blessings in Christ - Ep
               1:3
            2) In the spiritual realm, Christ rules at God's right hand
               - Ep 1:20
            3) In the spiritual realm, we sit with Christ - Ep 2:6
            4) In the spiritual realm, principalities and powers learn
               of God's wisdom by the church - Ep 3:10
            5) In the spiritual realm, we wrestle against spiritual
               wickedness - Ep 6:12
      4. Compare our position with Christ in the "heavenly places"
         a. Christ is seated at God's right hand - Ep 1:20
         b. We are seated together with Christ! - Ep 2:6
      5. Our position with Christ certainly warrants a proper frame of
         mind - Col 3:1-2
         a. We are to seek those things above
         b. We are to set our minds on thing above

[As "A New Creation," sitting with Christ in heavenly places ought to
affect the way we think.  But also the way we behave, for as "A New
Creation" we are to be...]

II. WALKING IN MANNER WORTHY OF OUR CALLING - Ep 4:1

   A. THE PURPOSE OF OUR CALLING...
      1. To be holy and without blame - cf. Ep 1:3-4
      2. To be His beloved children through adoption - cf. Ep 1:5

   B. A WALK WORTHY OF OUR CALLING...
      1. Is one in which we "walk in love" - Ep 5:1-2
         a. As beloved children, imitating their Father
         b. Following Christ's own example of sacrifice
      2. Is one in which we "walk as light" - Ep 5:3-14
         a. Living lives holy and without blame
         b. As light exposing the deeds of darkness by way of contrast
      3. Is one in which we "walk as wise" - Ep 5:15-17
         a. Understanding that time is short
         b. Understanding the will of the Lord

[Walking in "love", as "light", as "wise", will not be without
controversy in the midst of a dark, perverted world (cf. 2Ti 3:12).
And so "A New Creation" is to be...]

III. STANDING FIRM IN BATTLE - Ep 6:13

   A. THE NATURE OF OUR BATTLE...
      1. We are engaged in a spiritual warfare - Ep 6:12
         a. The battle is taking place in "heavenly places" (the
            spiritual realm)
         b. Our foe:  the very things we had previously followed - cf.
            Ep 2:2-3
      2. Thus the need to be strong - Ep 6:10
         a. To be strong in the Lord
         b. To be strong in the power of His might

   B. THE NATURE OF OUR ARMOR...
      1. We are given the armor of God, which we must put on - Ep 6:11,
         13
      2. This armor is adequate for a strong offensive battle - Ep 6:14-
         18
         a. Waist girded with truth
         b. Breastplate of righteousness
         c. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
         d. Shield of faith to quency the fiery darts of the wicked one
         e. Helmet of salvation
         f. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God
         g. Praying always with all prayer and supplication
         -- Note the lack of protection from behind; this implies that
            we must be committed in standing firm against the enemy, and
            that to retreat insures defeat!

CONCLUSION

1. When a person becomes "A New Creation", it affects how he or she
   sits, stands, and walks...
   a. Sitting with Christ in heavenly places
   b. Walking in a manner worthy of our calling
   c. Standing firm in battle

2. Compare this to the wicked person who is not blessed by God as
   described in Ps 1:1-2...
   a. Walking in the counsel of the wicked
   b. Standing in the path of sinners
   c. Sitting in the seat of scoffers

What a remarkable contrast!  Truly "old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new."  Has this proved true in our lives?

Give careful thought to how and where you are siting, walking, and
standing,if you desire to be "A New Creation" in Chrst!
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