Posted by Pastor Jim Fikkert

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. | 1 Peter 1.17-21

As we celebrated Easter this last week we saw that when Jesus came back from death He brought new life with Him. His speech to Nicodemus about being born again now made sense. His call for His disciples to die to self now had context. Jesus’ declaration that He is the resurrection and the life was no longer a metaphor. Jesus truly died, truly came back to life, and truly offers His people a new life in this lifetime.

What is this new life? When we take on Christ, our bodies don’t change. We don’t all of a sudden stop struggling with sin. We don’t have completely different desires and motivations. Instead, the new life Jesus offers us is the first step toward all of those things and a promise that He will complete the work begun in us. He gives us a new identity, defeats our fears, and refocuses our life on a new faith and hope. What does this look like?

a definition of our identity | we are members of the Kingdom of God.

a defeat of fear | our king rules and reigns in power (over sin, death, and Satan)

a direction for our faith and hope | our lives become about worshiping Him with an honor that He promises to share with us

In this, the Holy Spirit works in us, day by day, step by step, to remake us into the image of Jesus. The life that Jesus offers us is His. We get His righteousness, His victory, and eternity with Him. The rest of this life is to grow up into this new life: to strive for holiness, to act in service, and to live for His glory. Don’t be overwhelmed by what you are not, but embrace what is given in the risen Christ!