The Newman

devotional

(Joshua Elder) #1

When we become followers of Jesus, we become a new creation. Some of us have an extraordinary new birth story while others may only remember the quiet pull of God to a life lived in grace. Either way as it says in 2 Corinthians “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” One of the great marks of the life of Jesus in the Christian is the old life no longer satisfies. Charles Spurgeon put it this way:

“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company. “No,” say you, “No, sir, I cannot accompany you.” “Why, you used to swear!” “I cannot now.” “Well, but,” says he, “You and I are very near companions.” “Yes, I know we are, and I wish we were not. You are a deal of trouble to me every day. I wish I could be rid of you for ever.” “But,” says Old Self, “you used to drink very well.” “Yes, I know it. I know you did, indeed, Old Self. You could sing a song as merrily as any one. You were ringleader in all sorts of vice, but I am no relation of yours now. You are of the old Adam, and I of the new Adam. You are of your old father, the devil; but I have another—my Father, who is in heaven.” I tell you, brethren, there is no man in the world you will hate so much as your old self, and there will be nothing you will so much long to get rid of as that old man who once was dragging you down to hell, and who will try his hand at it over and over again every day you live, and who will accomplish it yet, unless that divine grace which has made you a new man shall keep you a new man even to the end. Good Rowland Hill, in his “Village Dialogues,” gives the Christian, whom he describes in the first part of the book, the name of Thomas Newman. Every man who goes to heaven must have the name of new-man. We must not expect to enter there unless we are created anew in Christ Jesus.”

Every one of us must be born anew in Christ and through the grace of God put the old self to death. Every now and then the old self seems to rear its ugly head and attempt to put us back in the ways we once left, but by the grace of almighty God, through the power of the cross of Jesus Christ, the old is gone and the new has come. May everyone of us find our given name (given by Christ) to be Newman.

Do you know this struggle between the old you and the new you?

Where do you find the strength to overcome that old voice?

Josh


(Melvin Greene) #2

Good question, @Joshua_Elder. I like how Charles Spurgeon describes the conversation between the old and new self. I have to be careful on how long I dialog with the old self. Some times the old self can be very persuasive! For me, I have to keep “renewing the mind”, like Paul tells us. So, I try on focusing on scripture like Colossians 3:1-11. I don’t have the whole passage memorized, but I know what it says.
Another way to shut the old self up is to pray, which I guess goes without saying. A fragment of a song lyric comes to mind, if I’m struggling particularly hard with something. I can’t remember the name of the song, or who sang it, but one important idea has always stuck with me; continue to pray just like breathing in and breathing out. It’s just a reminder that we should be in continuous prayer.

“Mel Newman”


(Ron Livaudais) #3

When we accept the gift of salvation we do become a new creation. Our spirit is brought to life, but
the old man is still lingering. We have to put to death the old man, the fallen nature we are born with,
and that happens in water baptism. In Colossians it is called the circumcision of heart. We die in a
watery grave to rise up in newness of life. Many think that baptism is just a ritual we do because we
are commanded to do it, but there is an actual operation of the Holy Spirit. From there we need to
mature in Christ and put on the mind of Christ and the armor of God. We still get tempted, but the
things that used to attract us in the world doesn’t have its hold on us like it used to. We put our affections
On things above where we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies, and not on things below. Now is it possible to resurrect that which has been laid to rest? Of course, if we get off course and leave our first love and neglect so great a salvation! That would be a tragedy. I focus on continuing to be a Christian Hedonist and continuing to delight in my Lord, so that He can be most glorified in me!


(Jennifer Judson) #4

I think the old self is most deeply rooted in our fears and anxieties. The same places where the enemy finds us most vulnerable, “see, you’re still the same…you’ll never change…they don’t really love you, why would they?”

When we understand how our enemy uses those fears to attack us, we begin to understand the battle we are facing. Paul’s call for us to take on the full armor of God is not just a picturesque metaphor, they are the tools to equip us for that battle.

When I find myself going down that path toward the old self I remind myself that though there are battles yet to be fought the war is won. And the primary power the enemy has over me is that which I myself give him. In Christ I can live without fear, because He has already defeated Satan and saved me. I am vulnerable because I am momentarily forgetting who I am and Whose I am.


(Ron Livaudais) #5

Jennifer, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. I would like to add also, that the old man was
buried in the waters of baptism and we arose to the newnesss of life(circumcision of heart).We have to understand also, that that which has been killed and buried can be resurrected again if we allow it to. We choose to live in the spirit and not in the flesh and we keep the new man alive and keep the old man where he belongs; in the watery grave where we left him.


(Jennifer Judson) #6

Ron, I find myself agreeing with you wholeheartedly, then I realize that that is maybe not quite true. I agree in truth, but perhaps feel it more in theory–this is one of those times where I need to set feelings aside and stand firm with truth. I know what you say is true.

And I guess I’ve never really felt that I lacked anything, having been baptized as an infant, but the symbolic act of baptism is not one I have any sensory memory of, and I think that now that is significant. I don’t think it minimizes my born again experiences and the circumcision of my heart, but I do now sense that having no physical “act” of burying the old self may make it harder to accept the truth of the old self being dead–especially when at times it feels very much alive.

I’m going to have to do some praying about this.