“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

As the holiday season comes to a close today, we now start the process of building new rhythms, new patterns, and new daily routines in the new year of 2018. With the new year comes new energy and new beginnings. We look forward to all that the year has in store. We may set specific goals of what we would like to take place, how we would like to grow, and what we would like to accomplish.

As we think about experiencing growth and transformation this year, it’s important to have the right perspective. So often, we get so focused on the outcomes and results that we lose sight of our true identity. As Paul begins Romans 12:1, he writes, “Therefore…by the mercies of God…” Before encouraging us to action, he reminds us of what God has done on our behalf. By God’s grace, we are given a new identity in Christ. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Paul mentions being “in Christ” over 160 times in his letters. It is the theme that ties all of his letters together. When we place our faith in Christ, we are united to him, we are found in him, our life is hidden in him. This beautiful reality means that our relationship with Christ is the most defining and important relationship in our life. As we embrace and live according to this new identity, we are freed from fear, anxiety, and feeling worthless. Paul shows us that nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). This year, be encouraged to live with this fresh perspective. With a secure identity in Christ, we can approach the new rhythms, challenges, and events of the year with confidence. Today, take some time to note the phrase “in Christ” from Romans chapters 6-12. How will the truths found from these passages shape your perspective heading into this year? 

By Billy Berglund  

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