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by The Howitzer

Not many people know that I have a secret hobby.  I write songs.  Not good ones necessarily but ones I enjoy.  Years ago, when I was in campus ministry, I decided to pick up the guitar just in case my worship leader couldn’t lead in our weekly meeting.  Even though I have not done much public music, I play my guitar most days for myself.  My music career is not going anywhere but I love to piddle.

Over the last few months, I have been writing little choruses that help me remember the verses I am meditating on.  I have been working back through the Topical Memory System from the Navigators and 2 Corinthian 5:17 (NIV) is the first in their list.  Here is the little ditty I wrote for this passage.  No comments please, the Lord loves those who make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Here is the verse.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5

The first thing that any good Bible student does when he sees a therefore is to ask- What is it there for?  The word therefore usually points back to something that the writer has just said, almost a conclusion kind of statement.  That is true here too.  Paul has been talking about the connection between Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf.  Because He died, we positionally died with Him and even more than that because He died, we should now live for Him.  Look at the passage in 2 Corinthians 5.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

2 Corinthians 5

As a result of His death, and our association with that death the believer is to no longer live for themselves but for Him.  He died so that we might live for Him.  Here is the chorus I wrote about that idea (I will not bore you with another performance, though it is up on my You Tube Channel).

He died, we died.

He died, we live.

Pretty complex lyrics huh?

Therefore (because of all that), if anyone is in Christ (is a Christian) then they are a new creation.  We are something that has never existed before.  A someone that has been made new, regenerated, re-formed literally into the image of Christ.  We are a new creation.

And because we are new- our old way of living should be gone, and a new way of living should replace it.  The old has gone, the new has come.

Which begs the question- what has gone away and what has taken its place after you came to Christ.  This really is the essence of the personal testimony.  Because of Christ, my old way of living has gone and has been replaced by a new way.  Think through your testimony with this outline.

My life before Christ was…

My life since I have become a Christ follower is …

You might consider working on that part of your testimony and tell someone about it this week.

The old has gone, the new has come

for those who are in Christ.

The old has gone, the new has come

for those who are in Christ.

You are a new creation.

Part of His holy nation.

You are the one the Father adores.

You are in Christ.

On a side note: if you have not worked through the Topical Memory System (TMS) it is golden. 60 classic go to verses. Go here to order one.  In fact, some of the first content we decided to add to the blog was a TMS series.  Click on the TMS category to see the other articles.

Tim Howington. Follower of Jesus. Husband to Terri. Dad to Josh. Wanna-be writer. Bird Watcher. Novice Fly Fisherman. Discipler of Men. Some people call me the Howitzer.

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