If Any Man Be in Christ
If Any Man Be In Christ
By Fred Pruitt
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God."
This is the most amazing proclamation in the New Testament. One of the most quoted, perhaps the least believed. Because this word from Paul is not written in the future tense, waiting for a later glory. This is present tense. There is no mistaking the meaning of the words, for they are not written hiddenly. There is no code here. It means what it says. It can only be seen in faith, because such a total completeness is invisible to us and the literal nature of these words pushes them beyond the bounds of our reason.
It is simply saying we are new creatures, creations, in the Resurrection. Old things are indeed passed away with finality. (Dead is dead. Dead and gone. Who wants to dwell on the dead? We look to the Living!)
What was former is gone. The Usurper, pretender to the throne has been put out, and the rightful king has returned to take his throne. The new king has brought his peace with him, so that by his command and by his power the land is now at peace.
We find ourselves arising anew from what we thought was the ash heap of our death into new life, new vision, new hope, with faith welling up from within, from beyond our weakness. We step into a completely new country, where all things are of God. Thatís what it simply says, doesn't it? "And all things are of God."
"God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
We are witnesses to a miracle, a Life which the rational mind cannot comprehend or hold within its grasp. This is the Life which overtook us and made us His when we knew no better. When we were looking another way. The miracle that we have seen is that God comes to us in Love out of nowhere. It was not what we expected, and beyond any hope we ever entertained.
It breaks our mind because love is not something we expect. Before we knew we were loved, the first great break-in of God into our lives is by overwhelming, "I-cannot-believe-it" love. Like Candid Camera came "when you least expect it," even so does He. God simply wells up inside us and our lips cannot help but to praise Him for the abundant lavishment of His Gift of Christ in all of us, and in everything, everywhere. In this miracle we see that we are joined with Him, and that as He walks in the world so do we.
Then we see that walking in Him we are now agents, catalysts, of the reconciliation that God extends to all who will receive it, because we have seen in ourselves the true miracle of grace, the unthinkable gift of God, to be revealed in each of us as our very selves, in that He and we are one. And then this gift is available to the world, as Christís gift of Himself as you and me, to now be a living word of reconciliation.