Kenneth E. Hagin
People ask me about methods of studying the Bible. I suggest to believers everywhere I go that they read through the New Testament, primarily the Epistles which are written to the Church, and underline with a red pencil or write down the scriptures that have the expression “in Him,” “in Christ,” or “in Whom,” referring to Jesus.
The moment you find these scriptures, begin to confess that this is who you are and what you have. If you’ll do that, I’ll guarantee you that before many days, life will be different for you.
Second Corinthians 5:17 has always been one of my favorite scriptures. I believe one reason for that is when I was raised up off the bed of sickness, I began to tell everyone everywhere I went that I was a new creature in Christ Jesus.
I was a seventeen-year-old Baptist boy, but I never had the problems that so many young people have had, and do have. That’s simply because I was quick to tell everyone, “I am a new creature in Christ,” and I was quick to witness and to testify of my salvation. You see, the more you talk about the New Birth, the more real the new creation becomes to you, because that’s who you are and what you are.
I remember one time when I was just a young Baptist boy, preaching in the jails and on the streets and working in the church, a young fellow came up to me one night. I had gone to town and was standing on the corner when he came along and said, “Kenneth, would you do me a favor?”
I knew this fellow belonged to a church, all right. He belonged to the same kind of church I did. But I’m sorry to say if he had ever been saved, I didn’t know it. And neither did anyone else, judging by the way he lived. And in talking to him, I learned he had never been saved, but that he had just joined the church. (There’s a difference between joining the church and being saved.)
Anyway, this young fellow said to me, “Would you do me a favor? I wouldn’t ask you, but I’m already running late.”
He continued, “You know my girlfriend, don’t you?” I did. He and his girlfriend were just about two of the meanest and toughest people I knew.
He said, “My girlfriend’s cousin is visiting, and I promised my girlfriend that I would bring a date for her cousin, but I haven’t been able to get anyone.”
He added, “Her cousin is not like my girl,” because he knew if she were, I wouldn’t agree to the date.
He asked, “Would you come along and help me out of this jam? I’ll be grateful, and I promise we won’t stay very long—30 or 40 minutes at the most. Then we’ll leave. There won’t be any drinking or dancing, and I won’t even smoke a cigarette while we’re there.”
I finally agreed and went along to help him out. When we got to his girlfriend’s house, she introduced me to her cousin, and we sat on the front porch, talking. Then they put a record on the phonograph and began to dance. The cousin asked me to dance. I said, “No, I don’t dance.”
Her eyes got big and she said, “Why not?”
I said, “Because I’m a new creature.”
She asked, “What do you mean, you’re a new creature?”
I said, “Well, in Second Corinthians 5:17 it says, ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ There was a time when I was interested in things like you folks are interested in, but since then I’ve been made a new creature in Christ Jesus.”
While that record was playing, she began to cry. This cousin got under conviction as I told her what the Word of God said, and she wanted to be saved. When the record stopped, the other boy and girl saw I had her under conviction, and he said, “Let’s go.” He was ready to take me home immediately!
I didn’t care where it was—whether in the home, on the streets, or in school—I told everyone that I was a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Friend, if we’ll confess that, it will make all the difference in our lives. I wasn’t tempted by the things of the world because I constantly confessed, “I am a new creature in Christ Jesus.”
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