Oh, What a Relief it is
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
One of the most popular jingles of all time was, “plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.” As the Alka-Seltzer hit the water, the fun began. What we need is a good plop and fizzle. The longer we know Christ, the more the world, and our own selves should fizzle away.
It is important to differentiate between circumstances and environment. The former is beyond our control, while the latter is not. The events of our daily lives are thrust upon us, but we choose our reaction to them which creates our environment. But what influences our choices?
It is our disposition that determines our choices. A dog barks because it is a dog. Trees shed their leaves in the fall because they are disposed to do so. The disposition of all creatures is set and cannot be altered. Thankfully, this is not true of man. Let’s go deeper.
Our constitution is our core, that which is our soul. The constitution of every man is sinful because he came from Adam. Based on our constitution our ruling disposition is to sin. We are sinners by nature. Sinning is as natural as breathing in the unregenerate man. However, when a man comes to Christ everything changes. In that moment, his constitution is altered dramatically. The Adamic nature is crucified and replaced with Christ. No longer is that person comfortable with sin. Within the new believer the disposition still desires to sin, but there is a new constitution which opposes that inclination. Our new constitution, which is Christ within, declares we are a new creation. The person who has received Christ has been altered, changed in such a dramatic way that sin is no longer a natural process. Sin is now foreign to the new believer. He can no longer to comfortable sinning.
Simply stated, growth is the process whereby our ruling disposition is transformed to become aligned with our new constitution. Jesus said, “Abide in me and I and you.” However, this growth process can take a lifetime, our inclination is to still rely on our own resources. We must learn that in our flesh there dwells no good thing. This understanding of growth is clearly seen in the life of Abram. Circumstances were thrust upon him, and the decisions he made created a dangerous environment.
When a famine came to the land of Canaan, Abram decided to go down to Egypt. The decisions he made after that were both sinful and treacherous. Abram told his wife Sarai to lie and as a result she was taken into Pharoah’s house to be his wife. It was only after the intervention of God that Abram received his wife back and headed back to the land of promise. The great lesson at that moment for Abram was that his disposition could still lead him down dark paths.
Have you ever been shocked by your own behavior? Our moral and ethical failures have a purpose. They point to our desperate need for God to be our all-sufficient source. We must discover what it means to have a new constitution for our disposition to change. When Christ is our singular focus, our self-life, and the world around us, simply fizzles away and oh what a relief it is!