We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be raised to life as He was. (Romans 6:4-5)
When you receive Christ into your life, you also receive the heavenly reality of His death and resurrection. When He was crucified, so were our sinful natures, our sicknesses, and our separation from God. When He was resurrected, we were resurrected with Him into a victorious new life.
Our Christian life is a journey with God in which He gives us supernatural power to walk in victory over sin and to bear fruit that glorifies Him. If you feel burdened by a continuing struggle, addiction, or heavy past, you can be free and you can change. I want to share with you my own story of being reconciled to the Father through Christ, and give you practical insight into how you can receive the reality of the cross into your life!
Encountering the Holy Spirit for the First Time
When I was saved in 1973, I was a drug addict and a high school dropout. I felt about as far from God as you could get. Although my father was a pastor, at that time I was totally disinterested in Christianity, and was experimenting with Eastern religions like Zen Buddhism. My compass was off, but I was hungry for spiritual truth.
One weekend when I was seventeen, I was at a wild party at my friend’s house when I looked around and realized I was actually bored. I found a quiet, vacant bedroom in the back of the house, where I found myself beginning to talk to God. In an audible voice, I cried out, “God, I don’t know if you exist. But if You do exist, and what my parents told me as a little boy is true, that You died for my sins and that there is a heaven and a hell, I want you to reveal Yourself to me and reveal the truth to me.”
At that moment I felt a surge of energy envelop my body, touching me with warmth and love I had never experienced before. My mind suddenly cleared as if someone had pulled up a window shade, and I knew that Jesus was real. His death on the cross was a real event, and His act of love was directed to me. I immediately left the room and told all of my friends about my encounter with God, and although they believed I was just high on drugs, this was no one-time event. That encounter with God, and the reality that I could be reconciled to Him through Jesus’ blood, changed my life forever.
Anyone who has been to HRock for a few Sundays knows that Pastor Che always loves to testify of the redemption he has experienced in Jesus. Even when Che was a drug pusher, high school dropout, God knew his name and had an amazing plan for his life. Join us on January 16th as we celebrate Pastor Che’s 60th birthday! Last day to purchase tickets for the dinner portion of the evening is Jan 10! RSVP at CheAhn.org/birthday . *Picture: Che Ahn circa May 1973 when he was radically saved at age 17.
A Life Reconciled to God
Once you were alienated from God and were hostile in your minds because of your evil deeds. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy, unblemished, and blameless in His presence— (Colossians 1:21-22)
Now reconciled to God, I broke my addiction to drugs. Not only was I able to overcome sin, I desired to spend my life glorifying Him! When God met me in that back bedroom over forty years ago, He did not condemn me or tell me how terrible I was; He overwhelmed me with His love and forgiveness. When we truly experience revelation of God’s abundant, extravagant love, we begin to walk in “newness of life.”
His grace will empower you to change. I encourage you today to think of anything specific that makes you feel far from God. Then follow these three steps to help you receive the reality of the cross:
- Draw near to God today! Spend time in His presence, thanking Him for His goodness, and listening for His voice.…. (Hebrews 10: 19-22)
- Meditate on the reality of the cross. Jesus’ death and resurrection mean that your life can change, and that you are a new creation in Him! (Ephesians 2:6)
- Thank God for what He has done for you, how He has paid the ultimate price for you, and for the new life He has given you. (Ephesians 2:4,5)
Beginning a New Journey
Even if you have believed in God for years, you may have never fully received the reality of the cross: the fact that you have been resurrected with Christ, and reconciled to your Creator. This Easter, let’s meditate on the reality of what Jesus has done for us, and how His resurrection also means we can experience resurrection life. God has a wonderful destiny planned for you, including a victorious life in Christ, a full, satisfying relationship with the Father, and incredible purpose.
I encourage you to allow the reality of the cross to renew your perspective daily, and to bring you ongoing revelation of how you have been made a new creation in Christ.
- Close Encounters of the Divine Kind is a book I wrote about having real encounters with the living God, made available to every person through Jesus!
- The book of Romans unpacks the reality of the new life that we have in Christ, the power of the Cross, and the transformative presence of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to read the Passion Translation, Romans: Grace and Glory, by Dr. Brian Simmons, which will give you new understanding of the richness and depth of this portion of Scripture.
- The Great Exchange is a teaching series from HRock Church that will help give you even greater revelation of what you have been freed from through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.