Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now Thank We All Our God"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)
While reading this verse, the picture of a transfer switch suddenly popped into my mind! A transfer switch is mounted near the electricity panel in a building that has a generator for backup power. The switch is a safety device which prevents electricity from entering the building from two sources at once — from the main grid and from the generator. This small electrical component was just what I needed to illustrate a grand spiritual concept: the transfer from the old life without Christ to the new life with Christ. This is about becoming Christian:
1 Peter 1:3b – In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (NIV)
I raise this topic because I've sensed considerable fuzziness here. The term "Christian" has come to mean anything vaguely connected to Christianity. The transfer switch image can help to restore a more precise meaning of "Christian" — from a scriptural perspective. A transfer switch ensures that power is drawn from only one source. That's just what God's transfer switch does: it switches the power source for our lives.
But here's where the transfer switch fails as an illustration: In a building, there's no difference when the electrical source is switched. Everything works the same. Not so with God's transfer switch! The difference is colossal!
Romans 8:2 – Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (NIV)
Our old or former power source is our sinful nature with which we entered the world. The new power source is the Spirit Who empowers our new life in Christ. This change within us is called regeneration — a fitting term, since it's truly about power. To be "in Christ" is to have a brand-new source of energy: a new authority, a new law driving our life, a new purpose, a new vision, a new power to love, an entirely new world view, eternal life, and much, much more. It's revolutionizing!
Can you see that this is not merely dry doctrine? Personally speaking, I've been working on this devotional topic for some time, and I can't finish it. Every morning something more pops into my mind. There's so much to say about the new life in Christ. (I've rewritten this several times!)
So, I leave the challenge with you. Ask God to reveal new truths about the life in Christ. That's His specialty, after all. The outcome for you will be more surprising than you can imagine!
For now, I merely add a practical caution: Without God's Spirit empowering our lives, we cannot live the Christian life as it's meant to be lived, and we'd be mistaken to expect it either of ourselves or of others. "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." (Romans 8:7 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, renew our appreciation and understanding of Your work of regeneration. Amen.