Friday, November 14, 2008

if anyone is in Christ...

In reading a bit more of Yoder lately, I came across a take on a familiar verse that I think may benefit to be talked about. Especially in today's context of what it means to truly follow Christ within a world where real servant-hood (not as a means to be a more powerful leader, but actual self-denying servant hood), loving your enemy, and forgiveness are viewed as weaknesses, or illogical at best.

Many of us have heard of the verse 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (NIV) Most of the time when we hear it, the emphasis is upon the internal transformation that takes place when one begins to follow Christ, or begins to be "in Christ", whatever that means.

But when we read the verse in the New Revised Standard Version, we hear it a bit differently, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"

When we realize the Greek word for "creation" here (ktisis) can mean "world", or "everything created", or "institution, ordinance"...we begin to see that this verse could quite possibly be referring to an even larger transformation. It's not simply what happens "inside" a person. Although there are plenty of places in scripture for us to realize that is an important aspect of being "in Christ".

Literally here - "if anyone is in Christ, there is a new world!"

This verse offers to us a reminder, that if we are in Christ, we exist it a completely new "world". A new "order" of things. No longer are we slaves to power, money, sex, etc. We are freed to live as Christ, without worry of it "making sense" to the world (order) we once lived in.

May we continue to follow Christ, as new creations living as a part of THE new creation...even when it doesn't (and it won't) make sense to the world we once knew. May we not use that as an excuse to justify actions that benefit us, but rather to justify actions that serve, love, and forgive others; even when it doesn't make sense.

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