Lucia's Blog: THE DUTIES OF THE NEW WAY
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

THE DUTIES OF THE NEW WAY

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17


When the apostle Paul says that in Christ we become a new creation, he does not mean that we are automatically given a new state of being as if by miracle. His point is that we MUST become a new creation. We must live the life that Jesus taught. If we do that, if we truly listen and learn how to live, then we become something new. It is a deliberate transformation from old habits into new ones.

Christians have moral responsibilities before God toward those around them.  All disciples of Christ have responsibilities given and commanded by Him. Jesus has taught us how to live our lives to please Him. When we obey the Gospel, we become new creatures of righteousness, striving to do the will of God as we remove all our old ways, bad habits, and sins from our lives.  In Ephesians 4:17-24, the apostle Paul declares,
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."


The apostle Paul urges Christians to put off the old man and put on the new man. The Lord commands us to remove from our lives all that hinders us from walking in righteousness and holiness, doing the will of the Father.  

"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them."  (Ephesians 4:25-5:7)

In Ephesians 4:25-5:7, the apostle gives us a list of things that we must remove from our lives:  
  1. Lying.
  2.  Sinful anger.
  3.  Stealing.
  4.  Corrupt speech.
  5.  Bitterness.
  6.  Malice.
  7. Wrath.
  8. Clamor.
  9. Slander
  10. Sexual immorality.
  11. Impurity.
  12. Covetousness
  13. Filthiness.
  14. Foolish talk.
  15. Crude joking.
  16. And many sins such as these that make us stumble. 

Those who walk in newness of life must not engage in any of these sins, for it is a shame to even speak of those things they do in secret. Instead, we’re urged to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, walking in love, being imitators of Christ.

Paul stresses some things that we must cleanse from our lives to please God.  Why?  Because we are now new creatures, who walk in righteousness in Christ, refusing to walk in darkness or do the will of the prince of darkness.  For example, he commands women to put on modest apparel that reflects godliness (1 Timothy 2:8-10).  
"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works."

In Galatians 5:19-21, he gives us another list of works of the flesh that we must avoid in our walk with Christ:  
  1. Adultery.
  2. Fornication.
  3. Uncleanness.
  4. Lewdness. 
  5. Idolatry. 
  6. Sorcery.
  7. Hatred. 
  8. Contentions.
  9. Jealousies. 
  10. Outbursts of wrath. 
  11. Selfish ambitions. 
  12. Dissensions. 
  13. Heresies. 
  14. Envy. 
  15. Murders. 
  16. Drunkenness. 
  17. Revelries, and the like.  

Those who have not learned this new life have not learned Christ. They must be concerned because no one who practices such things will inherit the kingdom of God.  It’s amazing how many warnings our Lord has given us!  Another one is found in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Take heed! We must cease to practice these sins.   

In Ephesians 5:22-23, we learn that Christians are responsible to behave in a new way with their families:  husbands, wives, and children.  

  • Wives must submit to the husband’s headship as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24).  
  • Husbands must love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to sanctify and cleanse her (Ephesians 5:25-29).  
  • Children must honor their father and mother that it may be well with them and that they may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3).  They must obey their parents and respect them while being trained at home.
  • Fathers must not provoke their children to wrath but must raise them in the fear of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Christians also have responsibilities to Christ and the church.   

  • Prayer is another significant responsibility the Lord gives (Colossians 4:2-4; Thessalonians 5:17-18; Philippians 4:6-7).
  • We must devote ourselves to serious Bible study to present ourselves approved of God, rightly dividing the Word of God, that He not put us to shame (2 Timothy 2:15).  We must spend more time in Bible reading and studying in-depth, even if we think we know enough.  
  • We must also meet together every first day of the week, for it’s commanded (Hebrews 10:22-26).  We hold fast to the confession of our hope when we exhort one another to love and good works on Sundays.  We must not neglect the assembling of the saints. 
  • When we come together, we fulfill our duty to partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).  
  • We must give the Lord a portion of what He has prospered us with, giving with a cheerful heart to the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:5-7).   
  • Christians must teach others the good news, the Gospel, always giving a defense of our hope with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15 Colossians 4:5; Acts 8:3-4; and Hebrews 5:11-14).  
  • We’re commanded to grow in the Lord in grace and knowledge and teach what we learn to others that they may know God and be saved from the guilt and practice of sin.  
  • Finally, we’ve been given the most critical responsibility: to put God first in everything we do (Matthew 6:31-34; Luke 14:15-24, 33).  There is no room for excuses in the life of a Christian, for we must put God first to be a faithful disciple of Jesus.  He must take priority even over our families (Matthew 10:37).  

All these duties or responsibilities are commands given by God.  We must make an effort to fulfill them since He has shown us so much mercy and grace when He sent His Son to die for us and redeem us.  

May we never allow ourselves to become hardened in sin.  May we live the life that Jesus taught.  May we always strive to do God’s will to please Him in all things.  


Luci


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