The Bible - the word of God

Bible Study – March 2021


You are new in Christ! Yay! Set apart by God! Hooray!

Now what?

New as we are, we still live in the fallen flesh. We, the children of God, sin. So, who are the baptised in Christ? Are we just the new person? Are we an odd mix of the old and the new?

We live in a broken world, and the old self (it’s still there) is continuously tempting and tricking us into sin. When the passions and urges of our old self are directing our desires, it is tough working out right from wrong. We daily fall into sin (let’s be honest now, sometimes we jump in). So often, the “new you” behaves just like the “old you”. The holy child of God leaps into the muck of sinning. You, in Christ are a forgiven saint. You, in love with the world are a sinner deserving of hell. How can the “new you” live as faithful child of God? How do we sort all this out?

Read Romans 8:12–14 (15–17)

Why does Paul describe the Christian as having a debt with God?

What do we owe God?

The Christian owes God his/her very self. God has given his Son into death to save us. God has adopted us as his children, given us his Holy Spirit, and made us heirs with Jesus of eternal life. Our debt is to God, to trust him, serve him, worship him, be faithful to him. What do we owe sin which leads to death? Nothing. We do not belong to the sinful flesh. It is not our lord. We dare not serve it, for it can only grant us eternal death.

Paul tells us to “put to death the deeds of the body”. Let’s explore the ways God has given for us to put the flesh to death so that the new person in Christ can rise up.

Confession and Forgiveness. Read 1 John 1:8,9

How does confession and forgiveness help us fight against the old self?

When we confess that we have listened to the old self and sinned, we are admitting that our flesh is wrong, and God is right. We are saying that we don’t want to walk in the old ways, for that is sin. We desire God’s forgiveness. In forgiving us, God cleanses us from the unrighteousness of sin, which comes from the old nature. Forgiveness is God putting the sinful self in us to death again, and removing the uncleanness of sin from us, so that the new person we are in Christ can be free from sin and rise up to live and walk with Christ. Confession and forgiveness put the old self in its place. Jesus alone is Lord.

How do you see Holy Communion assisting us to keep the old self in its place?

The Lord’s Supper is pure Gospel. In it, Jesus gives us his holy body and blood, for us to take it in our bodies to forgive us again and make us holy. Receiving God’s grace in such a tangible way assures us that God fights for us against all that is sinful and corrupt in us that remains after baptism.

Secondly, Good Works Read Titus 3:8,14

What are the fruits of forgiveness?

The old self seeks to dominate the child of God. So, it must be controlled. It must be conformed to the new nature, so as not to hinder our faith. Sin is the fruit of the old self. Good works are the fruit of faith, and they help and assist our neighbour in their need. When we devote ourselves to good works, we crowd out sinful thoughts and desires. Good works discipline the old nature and keep it under control.

Sin is the fallen flesh dominating us. It wants us to fulfil its immoral passions and have us live by its perverted ways. By confession and forgiveness, by receiving the Lord’s Supper, and by good works, the flesh is conformed to faith by the Gospel, and our holy thoughts, words, and actions. The holy words and works of God curb the old nature’s corrupt cravings and encourage our new nature.

Read Titus 3:4–7

This is the pure Gospel. It speaks of God’s love for sinners, of Jesus our Saviour, of the power of baptism to renew us, of the Holy Spirit to give us life, of God justifying us (declaring us innocent), of the inheritance we have in heaven. Write down verses 5–7 on a sheet of paper and hang it where you can read it every day for a week. Let the Gospel nurture your faith and build up the “new you” created in the image of Christ. Be reminded that God has saved you, that in Christ He has made all things new for you.

Read Revelation 21:1–5a

Discuss those things which are old and shall not be in heaven, and those which are new now and Jesus will transform and make part of heaven.

Jesus’ work to make all things new has already begun in the preaching of the Gospel and the work of the Spirit. His work will be completed when Christ returns in glory on the last day. Then, everything that has been redeemed and transformed, including our sanctified bodies, will be part of heaven. Everything that is of sin and not redeemed—sin, death, the fallen nature—will be absent from heaven.

Then, all things will truly be new.

Pray: LHS 330 Rock of Ages

Dear Jesus, you are the
Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure:
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778), alt.
Public Domain

About the Author

Pastor Adrian Kramer

Pastor Adrian Kramer serves St John’s Lutheran Church in Ballarat, Victoria. He is married to Rebecca and they have four children whom they home school. The Kramer family enjoy adventures like hiking, biking, birding, and fishing. While writing these studies, Pastor Adrian accepted a call to serve a parish in Canada and will hopefully take up his new call sometime in the first half of the new year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *