Living By Faith

A BRAND NEW PERSON

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are not just a forgiven sinner; you are a brand-new person! Mark Hankins

“Therefore if any man” means this will work for anyone. Notice what Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ.” It does not say, “if any man be in church.” You can be in church and be the same old stinkin’ thing you have always been, but when you get “in Christ,” you cannot stay the same. You are changed.

When Paul wrote, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is,” Paul was not talking about males only; he was talking about mankind–man or woman. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he [or she] is a new creature.” One translation says it this way, “a new species of being that never existed before.” When you get born again, you are not just a forgiven sinner. You have been re-created.

In the Old Testament, sins were only covered and forgiven. But because of the death and resurrection of Christ, you have not simply been forgiven; you have become a whole new person–a whole new creation. You are not just a forgiven sinner. You are a brand new person. God has re-created you!

Confession: I am in Christ therefore I am a brand new person. I am not simply forgiven; I am a whole new creation in Christ!

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PRESENT TENSE

Therefore if any man be in Christ….(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Whatever is true of anyone else who is in Christ is true about you. Mark Hankins

I like the fact that 2 Corinthians 5:17 is written in the present tense. When you are born again, you be in Christ. Whatever is true of anyone else who is in Christ is true about you. If you be in Christ, then what be in Christ be in you!

Hebrews 11:1 is also in the present tense. It says, “Now faith is.”  In other words, if it is going to be, it is not faith. If it usedtobe, it is not faith. God introduced Himself to Moses by saying, “I AM that I AM.”

What is God’s last name? AM is God’s last name! That is present tense. When you get in Christ, you am in Him. Whatever am in Him am in you right now.  Whatever be in Him, be in you. You are not trying to be, hoping to be, or going to be–right now you be in Him. Now faith is.

The moment you declare who you are in Him, your faith will work. Otherwise, you will always try to be, hope to be, and want to be. You need to forget who you are naturally and get up every morning seeing who you are in Him. You are complete in Him.

Confession: In Christ I have been made righteous. In Him I have peace with God. I am in Him and I AM is in me!

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EXPERIENCE JESUS

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.  (2 Corinthians 5:13)

Religion and tradition bring death; Jesus brings life and a living experience with Him. Mark Hankins

In 2 Corinthians 5:13, Paul simply said, “If we have lost our minds, it is God’s fault.” Many people thought Paul was crazy because he had such a radical experience with Jesus Christ.  His life turned in a totally different direction. I am sure his mama, daddy, his kinfolks, and his old friends thought he was crazy and had lost his mind.

I believe your experience with Jesus ought to be so strong and put such a dividing line in your life that your old friends do not even want to be around you anymore! They will say, “We do not want to be around him. He is always talking about Jesus and wanting to go to church.”

Have you ever had the Holy Spirit come upon you with such revelation of the goodness of God and what God has done for you in Christ that you feel like you have lost your mind? You may want to shout, jump, run, and roll in the floor!

Confession: I am beside myself because of what God has done for me in Jesus! Oh, the possibilities that are mine in Jesus!

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A HAPPY MAN IN CHRIST

I think myself happy, King Agrippa… (Acts 26:2)

You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself sad! Mark Hankins

The Apostle Paul could be shipwrecked, snake bit, beat in the head, left for dead, or confined in prison and still say, “I feel like singing right now because the Greater One is in me.” How would you like to be chained to Paul for about a year and a half? Paul was not some confused, lonely, bitter preacher. He stood before King Agrippa after thirty years and said, “Oh, king, I think myself happy.” (Acts 26:2)

King Agrippa, his sister Bernice, Governor Festus, all the military leaders, lawyers, and other prominent people were there when Paul came in. They wanted to mock him, but you cannot ridicule a happy man. He probably had the least reason to be happy of anybody in that whole crowd. But when he entered he said, “I am a happy man.”

The king said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 2:28) King Agrippa may be the most upset man in hell because he had a testimony from the greatest preacher other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet he refused to become a Christian!

Confession: I think myself happy! I am righteous. I am a new creature. I am redeemed. I am blessed!

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GRACE VS. LEGALISM

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace where in we stand… (Romans 5:2)

The mystery and the glory of the believer’s life is that your life is one with Him. Mark Hankins

Salvation is the reuniting of God and man. God’s does not work on you while you are isolated from Him. He doesn’t gradually render you fit to be reunited to Him. Legalism teaches that God operates on you apart from Himself, but grace begins by uniting you to God. Through that union, He supplies the life and power necessary to bring you into His holiness.

Grace is the opposite of legalism. Legalism says that you are not good enough and will have to live in sin-consciousness for the rest of your life. Grace, however, says because of what Christ has done, your spirit is instantly joined to Christ.

God welcomes you because of faith in Christ. He takes you right in and gives you His righteousness. Consider the depth of this principle of the Gospel when it is applied: you are united with Christ!

Confession: I have access by faith into the grace of God. I rejoice in hope of the glory of God because of what Christ has done for me. I am dead to sin and alive unto God!

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