Willing to be a new kind of person

Posted on January 18th, 2019

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.
For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:11-14 ESV

The early Christians understood that our union with Christ in His death and resurrection is what saves us, and water baptism is at once symbolic of this and a means through which the reality is imparted.  The catechumen ‘died to’ his old life, was found hidden in Christ, and rose with him to an utterly new life. …

As with baptism, so too it is with healing prayer, which is in reality part of the work of baptism.  We go into healing prayer as one kind of person, and we come out another. And in this action, our will is involved; unholy, we put on the new.  True enough, in His Presence there is grace to do these things, but we do them. You do them.  I do them.  [1]

The fallen world is ever peddling ways to “become your best self now.”  Sadly, resolving to be a new person in one’s own strength more often produces despair than goodness.  We mustn’t confuse misguided, humanistic self-improvement with the revolution of character that occurs through healing prayer.  It is only by putting on Christ that one can realistically resolve to become better, to become new.  When we determine to be clothed with Him, it’s not so much that we resolve to be good as that we resolve to be Christ’s.  It is awesome to be a human being, endowed with the power to do, and we begin to know the weight of glory when we do this highest of actions, putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER

Gracious Father, thank you for my baptism.  Thank you for uniting me with Christ in His death, so that my old life and all that would bind me to death has no claim on me.  I bow before you in humble gratitude, casting off the works of darkness. Thank you for hiding my life in Christ, imparting to me His immortality and incorruptibility.  Thank you for raising me with Him.  I stand before you now, putting on Christ as my robe of righteousness.  Indwell me, in-will me, for I choose to be new, I choose to be Yours.  I thank you for giving me a will, and I thank you for this glorious mystery of being one with You in Christ.

[1] (Healing Presence, p. 94, 95)

Painting: Fritz von Uhde (1885) Man Dressing