The Apostle Paul has one of the most dramatic stories of conversion recorded in the Bible. He goes from persecutor of churches to planter of churches. From imprisoning people who proclaim Christ to being imprisoned for proclaiming Christ. Even his name changes from Saul to Paul. If you examine his life it is literally like he lived two different lives. But it wasn’t that he was a hypocrite and lived two simultaneous lives. He experienced what every follower of Christ celebrates this Easter Sunday: New Life.
What does it mean to experience new life?
1. The Old Is Gone
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
One of the wonderful truths about experiencing new life in Christ is that the old life is gone. It’s often said like this at baptism ceremonies, “buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in a newness of life.” The old way of life is gone. The past has been cleansed. It has been crucified with Christ. Though sin was red like scarlet, He washes it white as snow. Some of the most freeing words in the New Testament are when Jesus looks at someone and says, “Your sins are forgiven.” When we begin a new life with Jesus Christ that is exactly what God is saying to each one of us. (Mark 2:5; Luke 7:48).
2. New Has Come
When you receive new life in Christ, it is about more than merely dealing with the past. God also gives us a future. In John 8, the teachers of the law and Pharisees bring a woman caught in the very act of adultery to Jesus. Jesus tells her that He does not condemn her and then tells her to go and leave your life of sin. Leave that life of sin for a new life. The old is gone, but now there is more. There is a better life. It is a life lived delighting, finding satisfaction in Him and doing His will.
The new life is more than living because you are grateful that He forgave the old life.
The new life is living with eyes that see and ears that hear. Living as one who has tasted and seen what is truly good. Living free from the deception and false hopes of this world. Living in light of how we will spend eternity. Living focused on eternal rewards. Living fully known and fully loved. Living not as a slave to sin, but as a child of the King. Living a new life.
3. Now is the Time
Spring is here. The trees are budding. Flowers are blooming. We see new life everywhere. Jesus told the teacher of Israel in John 3 that no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. That is unless they experience new life. Do you have new life? If not, what is stopping you from experiencing new life today? Read Romans 10:9-10 to see how you can have new life. If you have experienced new life, take a few moments to thank God for dealing with your sin and giving you real abundant life (John 10:10).