This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Scripture: “We were therefore 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 a renewed life” (Rom 6,4)
"To walk in a renewed life! Let these words fill us and let us try to understand what it is that must die within us in order that our life be renewed, like nature is renewed with the coming of spring. “Our old self” (Rom 6,6) must die, i.e. the person of sin, the sin with which we were born, which spread throughout the earth after mankind’s first sin.
"The kernel of sin exists in every person, but there also exists the spark of life, the seed of goodness, which must grow and defeat the seed of sin. All of us who believe in the Son of God, who have surrendered to Him, are thereby renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything old, everything that is decayed must fall away from us, as old, dry leaves fall away in expectation of young shoots. Let us ask the Lord to cleanse us so that all our sinful deeds and thoughts, which besiege us so often, fall away of themselves and do not find a place in our souls, which are turned towards the light, and which consider themselves ‘dead to sin but alive to God through Christ Jesus’ (Rom 6,11).
"It is a great advantage to walk in a renewed life! Let us use it with joy and remember that we can no longer have anything in common with that sinful life which we had before. Bathed in the light of truth, let us not permit darkness to enter our souls, but let us strive for the even greater Light, which ‘the darkness has not overcome’ (John 1,5), and then already here on earth we will walk “in a renewed life”.
This brings to mind, our course, what Lewis writes in the last three chapters of “Mere Christianity”, specifically in chapter 8:
"Christ says: ‘Give Me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall be yours.’ "
I guess this acquisition of our new self is the never-ending work of our lifetime.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)