12. Willingness

The Bible said: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!”1 In one of English bible translation, this verse is translated: “When anyone is joined to Christ, he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.” In King James Version, it is translated: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  This means if one is in Christ, then he is a new creature or a new being. This is especially amazing. This is a turning point of someone to God. Becoming a new being, one has a new nature.

The issue then is how do we develop this new nature continuously? Certainly the Holy Spirit first guides us. In this case God has put His Spirit in us as a companion to lead us into all truth. The Holy Spirit is our guardian who leads us into correct spiritual maturity. In the development of changing the thinking patterns or a continuous transformation one can say: “I am no longer me.” Here is where one’s death is obvious. The glory of God consequently is factual in his life. At this level, he is effective to be a blessing to others. The characteristic of those who have died is that sin no longer controls their mortal body.

It depends on the individual himself whether sin has dominion over his life or not. It also depends on each individual whether one is willing to obey the will of God or not. It is not dependent solely on God. God gives sufficient grace for us to be able to change our old self to become man of God without blemish and damage like Jesus was. But one’s using or responding to the gift depends on each individual. The new nature that can be put up in one’s life depends on whether the person is willing to put it on or not. That is why Paul says: Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.2 Captivating on the Lord Jesus Christ as the armor of light means attempting to put on His personage, in order to be united with Him and become inseparable, because His character becomes our character. In this case what is important is our willingness.

This is the most important rule in Christian life. Willingness for this is the main issue. That is why we must be baptized. Certainly what is essential in baptism is not the technical matter, but its essence. In baptism we bury our old way of life that God does not want and live a new life (Rome 6 : 1-4 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life).

In this case we find that the understanding of sanctity in Christianity is not only a condition of not sinning, but also a state of not being able to sin again. A dead man cannot live, it means that our old self is buried or put to death and therefore would not be alive anymore. In this case it is clear that if we have died to sin, then we cannot sin again. The commitment that we have died therefore is a pledge that must be reminded constantly. We must live in death until our permanent death.

1) 2Corinthians 5:17;   2) Rome 13:14

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