“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP)

Have you ever wondered why many believers of Jesus Christ have testimonies of deliverance, may it be from drug addiction, sickness and disease, trauma, deception, identity crisis to name a few?  It is because, the very moment we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become born of God, born anew, born of the Spirit, born from above, born again.  We die to our old self when the Blood of Jesus Christ washed us clean, made us holy and blameless before God, and we arise to our new life in Him victorious and more than conquerors because the same Spirit Who raised Him from the dead is living in us, and it is He Who quickens and empowers us to live the new and living way.  It is never by our might, not by our power, but by the Spirit of God.  It is only possible by grace through faith, not by our works lest we boast.

So what does being a new creation mean? 

When we become a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and died, and behold all things become new and all things now are of God.   When all things are new, then these all things should be different from before.  There should be a distinction between the old and the new.   There should be a distinction in the way we think, we speak, we live, we move and have our being.  There should be a shift that happens to our desires, desiring more of Him and His will and purpose for us.  In fact, there should come a point in our lives where we could no longer find a trace of us being and behaving like before, our behavior that is not in line with who God created us to be. 

But, because we have been given the gift of free will, even if we became new species in Christ, we still can live like the world we used to, or we can live according to the Word spoken to us.  We have a choice, and yes, we are to choose!  Thankfully, God gave us the clue what to choose and that is to CHOOSE LIFE, the life that He promised us in His Word. 

Jesus said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may HAVE and ENJOY LIFE, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 AMPC)

As per the standard of God’s Word, nothing in our lives should resemble our old life that was full of limitations, for with Him, all things are possible to those who believe.  We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.  We are not who or what we were.   Jesus set us free from sin, shame, sickness & disease, lack, fear and from being separated from Him.  He sealed our right standing and reconciliation with God, having peace with God by the power of His Blood.

When we become born of God, born from above, born from the incorruptible seed, there is no circumstance that come against us that is greater than the One Who lives in us and this is to be our reality.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

This is what makes us peculiar and what makes us different is what makes us like Him.  Until our peculiarity rises above our commonality, the newness of our life is still being established from faith to faith, from strength to strength, from glory to glory.  So, worry not!  You and I are a work in progress.  Thus, it is imperative for us to keep hearing and hearing by the Word of God for us to grow in faith, in revelatory knowledge of Who Jesus is, what He finished and who we are in Him so that we will not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds and this will enable us to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete. We need to keep in mind that as a man thinks, in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  Our dominant thoughts are powerful.  We are what we think.

I found the word “grafted” in the first verse that I mentioned very interesting.  It so caught my attention that I somehow made a mini research to it. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature …”

(Britannica Encyclopedia)  “Graft, in horticulture, is the joining together of plant parts by means of tissue regeneration. Grafting is the act of placing a portion of one plant (bud or scion) into or on a stem, root, or branch of another (stock) in such a way that a union will be formed and the partners will continue their growth together.”

One plant is selected for its roots, the lower part, which is called the ROOTSTOCK.  Another plant is chosen for its stems, leaves, flowers or fruits, the upper part, which is called the SCION.

The ROOTSTOCK sap supports the scion when it’s properly grafted and aligned. 

Grafting exposes the cambium and encourage it to form new vascular tissue.  The more cambium exposed, the stronger the graft and the more likely your new plant parts will live. 

Factors to consider for a successful grafting:

1. Compatibility of the Rootstock and the Scion – because grafting involves the joining of vascular tissues between the Rootstock and the Scion.  Plants lacking vascular cambium cannot be normally grafted.  As a general rule, the closer the two plants are genetically, the more likely the graft union will be successful.

2.  Cambium Alignment and Pressure – The vascular cambium of the Rootstock and the Scion should be tightly pressed together and oriented in the direction of normal growth.  Proper alignment and pressure encourages the tissues to join quickly, allowing nutrients and water to transfer from the Stockroot to the Scion.

3.  Proper care of Graft Site is must.  After grafting, it is important to nurse the grafted plant back to health for a period of time.  Various grafting tapes and waxes are used to protect the Stockroot and Scion from excessive water loss.   Furthermore, depending on the type of graft, twine or string is used to add structural support to the grafting site.  Sometimes it is necessary to prune the site, as the Rootstock may produce shoots that inhibit the growth of the Scion. 

How amazing it is to think that in Christ, we have been grafted in into the family of God because of His great love for us. He never wants us to be independent of Him for He knows our impotence apart from Him and He knows our capacity to conquer the impossibility when we abide in Him.  Mind you, no one walked on water in all recorded history apart from Peter who obeyed our Lord Jesus when He said to him, “Come!”.  He may have experienced sinking because he took his eyes off Jesus, but he still walked on water. 

The Lord our God desires to connect with us and stay connected with us.  He desires relationship.  He desires intimacy, and not just a bunch of people who outwardly and forcefully obey His commands just to please Him without heartily and deeply knowing Him.  But His Word says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)  We need to know the Author and the Finisher of our faith, the God-kind of faith on the One Who gave His life for us so that we may have and enjoy life glorifying Him in return.

God gave His only begotten and beloved Son Jesus Christ to the world so that you and I can become His sons and daughters in His Kingdom, no longer orphaned or a cut-off branch but a grafted one.

We all know that even in the natural, a son or daughter will always be a part of the family regardless of situations that may have caused separation.  How much more when our Heavenly Father calls us His sons and daughters where He promised that nothing can separate us from Him and His love?

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”  (1 John 3:1 KJV)

Being grafted means the old root system is cut off and done away with.  A new source of life has come. 

As I mentioned above, the ROOTSTOCK sap is what supports the SCION.  A scion cannot live on its own.  In Romans 11:18 ESV it says, “Remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I Am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16 NIV)

John 15:5 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” 

And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.”  (Romans 11:17 NLT) 

Whatever the Root has, the branch has.  If the Root is holy, so are the branches.  If the Root is healthy, so are the branches. 

“If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”  (Romans 11:16 ESV)

One of the factors to be considered for a successful grafting is the compatibility of the Rootstock and Scion.  The only way for the branches to be compatible with the Vine, is for us to become new creations in Christ first and foremost.  Unless we become born from above, we cannot see the Kingdom of God.  Our receptivity from the Lord our God is openly activated when the Holy Spirit Whom He sent to abide in us forever is resident in us. He is the Spirit of Truth Who will guide us into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to us the things that are to come.  It is He Who will take the things of Jesus and reveals them to us. 

Moreover, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17 NLT)

The second factor is the alignment and pressure.  We need to align ourselves to the plumb line of His Word, making it the final authority in our lives, so we will not be tossed to and fro by the cares and pressures of this world.  We are “to surrender ourselves to God to be His sacred, living sacrifices.  And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights His heart. For this becomes our genuine expression of worship.  We need to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around us, and be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how we think.  This will empower us to discern God’s will as we live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes.”  (Romans 12:1-2 TPT)

Aligning ourselves to Him means we need to SEEK HIM first for He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  He rewards us with His Presence that is inclusive of His word revealed, His touch, His promptings, His god-given dreams, His guidance, His power, His authority and an innumerable more that are made available to us when we are in Christ.  Our part is to yield and obey. 

Relationship is always two-way.  We seek and He will be found.  We ask and He will answer.  We knock and He will open.  He speaks and we respond in obedience.

Additionally, spending time in His presence with thanksgiving, praise and worship play a vital role in our alignment with Him for in the atmosphere of His presence is where our focus is redirected towards the One Who is Worthy of all glory.  Magnifying Him always makes every other thing or circumstance around us like a molehill.  When our eyes and thoughts zero in on Him, it dims or blurs everything else.  Then, we get to fine tune ourselves to the clarity of His voice and the sensitivity of His presence.

The third factor is the proper care of the graft site.  Our spiritual support system is of vital importance.  We have been given shepherds and overseers in church for proper growth. Revelations that we receive from them nourishes us.

“It was the risen One who handed down to us such gifted leaders – some emissaries, some prophets, some evangelists, as well as some pastor-teachers – so that God’s people would be thoroughly equipped to minister and build up the body of the Anointed One.  These ministries will continue until we are unified in faith and filled with the knowledge of the Son of God, until we stand mature in His teachings and fully formed in the likeness of the Anointed, our Liberating King.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 Voice)

Fellowshipping with other believers are equally important for we are the Body of Christ, called to walk hand in hand for a greater purpose.  No man is an island nor a lone ranger.  Each member of the Body is essential for nothing can perform or accomplish such task that is assigned accordingly.  No one can do exactly what God created and called you to do.  In the same way, no one can do what He fashioned me to do, but we all complement to fulfill His purpose. 

“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)

 It is akin to our own physical body.  Our eyes can only do what they are created to do, and they are for us to see.  Our ears cannot do it for our eyes.  And one very important thing for us to always remember is that if one part of our body is hurting, the whole body hurts.  Therefore, let us all come together in unity in Christ, aligning and allowing our hearts to beat like His, thinking His thoughts, doing the way He does and loving the way He loves that comes from His agape love that He fills us with.  Our deeds are overflows of Who He is in our lives, counting Him as the Source of all.  

The newness of our lives in Christ is established on better promises. “Jesus Christ has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”  (Hebrews 8:6)

He promised that nothing can separate us from Him and His love for you and me. When He cried out, “It is finished!”, the veil was torn from top to bottom so that His presence which was only accessed once a year by a chosen high priest, we can now boldly enter in to the throne of grace to find mercy and find grace in time of need, for Jesus Christ Who is our High Priest FOREVER is our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20).  He made The Way where there seems to be no way for us to constantly and consistently remain in God’s presence uninterrupted forever.  This delightful intimacy enables us to hear Him as He calls us His sheep who knows the voice of our Good Shepherd and we follow.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (Hebrews 8:10) 

Let us not forget the benefits of being new creations in Christ and for being grafted in to the family of God.  The Champion of Heaven won the victory for us, therefore, we no longer have to be a sponge to catch the afflictions, the infirmities, the sicknesses that haunt and hurt humanity, poverty and being a victim.  We are not a sponge capturing the deficiencies that we see in the world today because we have been informed revelatorily by the Lord through the Holy Spirit of the availability of His antidote, CHRIST IN US, THE HOPE OF GLORY, Who called us to be VICTORIOUS in every way.

“Thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere ..” (2 Corinthians 2:14 AMPC)

Jesus paid for our change, transformation, empowerment, strength, ability, stability, might, gifts of the Holy Spirit, provision, supply, protection, rescue, energy, vitality, healing, health and we receive all these that He purchased for us and are ours TODAY!

What Christ has paid for, we do not want to live without it.  Our desire is to live and walk worthy of what He suffered, died and resurrected for.   His precious blood paid the price that proved our worth before His very eyes which is the perfect and powerful demonstration of the great love of our Heavenly Father for us so we may live in victory forever by the indwelling and the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for grafting us in into Your Holy Family that we may live the life that You have purposed for us to live and that is to live in the power of Your love that knows no boundaries.  Thank You, Jesus, for Your great love that caused You to suffer, die and resurrect, for the JOY that was set before You, seeing us reconciled into the embrace of Your presence undisturbed forever.  Thank You, Holy Spirit, for revealing to us how so very dearly loved we are by the priceless value of the Blood of Christ that was shed and purchased us to becomes sons and daughters of the Most High God, never to be separated any longer, but grafted in forever. Amen!

Photo Credits:   Babette Arriola; NZ

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