What Does It Mean to Belong to Christ?
I don’t usually do this. But I’m giving a preview of my short devotional talk that I’ll be giving to the youth in Baguio this Friday. And I’ll be speaking on 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV):
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.
Those who belong to Christ are those who have placed their faith in Him. These are the people who have experienced spiritual rebirth or are “born again”. But what does it mean to belong to Christ?
First, it means that a person is LOVED BY GOD. John 3:16 says,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Second, it means that a person is FORGIVEN. He is forgiven from his sins and is saved from punishment (see Romans 3:23, 6:23). Colossians 2:13 says,
When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
Lastly, it means that a person is ETERNALLY SECURED. He possesses eternal life. He is going to heaven. First John 5:12-13 says,
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
A New Person
If we belong to Christ, we are also TRANSFORMED.
We used to look for love and acceptance from people. But in Christ, we are loved and accepted. We are a new person.
We used to dwell in our sins, guilt, and hurts. But in Christ we are forgiven. We are a new person.
We used to doubt our eternal destination. But in Christ, we are eternally secured, assured of eternal life, of heaven. We are a new person.
Forgetting the Past
Let me close by telling a story of a character in the Bible. He’s name is Paul. He used to persecute Christians and he was so obsessed in doing it. But eventually, he encountered Jesus in one of his journeys. And this is what he said in one of his letters. Philippians 3:13b-14:
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
This is a person who can be haunted by his past and choose to cling to it. Instead, Paul chose to forget his past and move forward. He belonged to Christ. He was a new person. His past is forgotten. Everything is new.