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Position versus Church Membership – Pull Up A Chair

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Are you relying on your church membership as your security for a spot in Heaven? The Bible is our lighthouse which points us to safe ground. It’s beam also shines on our sin and exposes it. The Scriptures also let us know if we are Christ’s or not. Let’s study out today’s text and see for ourselves whether or not we headed to Heaven.

What does it mean to be “in Christ” according to our verse? The word “in” denotes a relationship according to the Hebrew word used. See below for the

A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537);

So the one who is “in Christ” is someone who has been given a position with Christ and a relation of rest. How can one have a relation of rest if one never knows for sure that he/she is actually going to Heaven? No organization can come to me and tell me that I am not the parent of my child – and vice versa. They cannot tell me that any child IS mine if the child is not. Only I alone can attest to the fact that this is my child. It is the same with our relationship with Christ. No church has the authority to place any particular person in a position as a child of the King! They can assist a person in finding their way to Christ but the responsibility ultimately rests on that person accepting Christ’s gift of salvation. Christ provided the gift and the individual accepts it.

The second part of the definition is the relation of rest. My child can rest in the fact that I will always be his parent and he will always be my child, no matter what. Granted, children stray, but that does not remove the fact that he is my blood. It is not a relationship that can come and go.

The latter half of today’s text speaks of the born-again Christian being a new creature. The Hebrew word means:

From G2936; original formation (properly the act; by implication the thing, literally or figuratively): – building, creation, creature, ordinance.

We are a new creation, thus the words “born-again” used in John 3:3. The many churches baptize its babies stating that they are born again at that point. However, how can a baby repent and be baptized?

~Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Greek word and definition for Repent is:

From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

How can a baby think differently or feel compunction? A baby does not realize it is a sinner until he has matured and can reason. He must know that he is sinning before he can realize he is in need of a Saviour. This baby cannot be a new creation until he (1) realizes he is a sinner, (2) accepts Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for his sins, and (3) repents from his sin. After this, he is baptized to symbolize the death of the old man and the resurrection of the new man.

So, my friend, are you a new creature in Christ? Look at your “fruits”! Which “father” are you resembling as you grow? Do you act more like your Heavenly Father by displaying the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Or do you look like your father the devil displaying his fruit? Today’s text is quite clear that there is a change in the born-again believer. Do your moral inventory and check it out for yourself! After all, no establishment, church or otherwise, will hold your hand on judgment day. You will be alone when you stand before God and will have to account for your own actions.  Let the light of God’s Word shine on your heart and expose its true intentions.

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