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Who is the "new man" spoken of in the New Testament? Is this expression merely a reference to the person who has recently obeyed the gospel? No, every Christian is a "new" person, regardless of how long he or she has been in Christ. To be baptized into Christ is to enjoy a "newness of life" -- and this new quality of life is to last as long as we live in the world.
Sometimes we may forget the importance of this new life, and we may need to be reminded. Paul wrote to the church in Rome: "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4).
And to the Corinthians, Paul wrote: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17). The challenge for the Christian is to make sure that the old things have indeed passed away, and that he lives as a person for whom all things have become new. We are new people in Christ, and we must choose to live as such.
One of the very important aspects of the Christian's new life is the new hope that he enjoys in Christ: the hope of heaven. Once we begin to understand the greatness of this hope, we will live, at all costs, so as not to lose that hope. We will indeed live like "new" people. After discussing the fact that we are waiting for "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Pt. 3:13), Peter gives us this exhortation: "Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace" (2 Pt. 3:14).
New things are refreshing and invigorating. We can be truly thankful that, as those who have obeyed the gospel and have received the forgiveness of our sins, "all things have become new" for us. So as we go through the round of our usual activities this week, it will be good for us to keep this in mind. We are living a "new" life, one that was made possible by Christ's own death and resurrection to life everlasting!
Monday: Colossians 3:1
Key Idea: As Christians, we seek new goals.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to be "raised with Christ"? If we have been raised with Christ, what new things should we "seek," according to this passage? How can we learn to seek those things more fervently?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:13,14.
Tuesday: Colossians 3:2
Key Idea: As Christians, we think new thoughts.
Questions for Family Growth: Is it possible to determine by our own choices the way we think and the things we set our minds on? What is the difference between things "above" and things "on earth"? Are we never to think about anything that is not "religious"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:15,16.
Wednesday: Colossians 3:5-16
Key Idea: As Christians, we adopt new habits.
Questions for Family Growth: What are the things we are commanded to "put to death" and to "put off" or "put away"? What are those we are commanded to "put on"? Are we each responsible for the choices we make about the way we live our lives?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:17.
Thursday: Colossians 3:17
Key Idea: As Christians, we respect a new authority.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to do something "in the name of the Lord Jesus"? How much of what we do on a daily basis is to be done in the Lord's name? What does the very last part of this verse tell us to do?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:18.
Friday: Colossians 3:3,4
Key Idea: As Christians, our new life is based on a new hope.
Questions for Family Growth: In what sense is it true that, as Christians, we have "died"? How is our life "hidden with Christ in God"? What does Paul mean when he says that Christ "is your life"? What will happen when Christ appears, according to this passage?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:19.