Inside/Outside #29

2 Corinthians 5:17-18: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

For those who are interested, today we are into and passing through the Panama Canal from the west side to the east side and of course this is an extraordinary accomplishment and yet now they are expanding it so as to accommodate the ever increasing flow of traffic.

As we are one day away from the closing of these devotionals for the month of September, please ask Pastor Walton to be kind to this aging pastor and look for someone else to be accorded this privilege. And for all others who take special delight in doing so, you are to be thanked and congratulated. It is a chore.

Our text of the morning is familiar and does set forth a couple of facts which bear upon the month long theme, inside/outside. The inside, left alone has no other capacity than to produce the nature which it is. But if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation and being ‘in Christ’ is a Christian with Christian characteristics and capabilities. The old has gone and the new is here and all things now are of God. The works of the flesh no longer need to dominate but can be subjected to the will of the Spirit. Galatians 5:16, 17:  16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Let us view by way of contrast the old inside and the new outside. Is it hate or love, unbelief or faith, despair or hope, pride or humility, vacillation or firmness, cowardice or courage, self-contempt or self-respect, unfaithfulness or semper fidelis, insincerity or sincerity, lethargy or enthusiasm ,slothfulness or diligence, slovenliness or neatness, impatience or patience, unscrupulous or conscientious, impolite or polite, stingy or generous, self-indulgent or self-denying.

These are all possible one way or the other and the presence and power of the ever present Christ, un-grieved, un-resisted and unquenched will assure that the outside will be as it should be.