The Love of Christ, Paul says, controls us, as we realize that His death in our place was, in fact, our death to our old lives. We now live for Him, pushed forward in His paths by His love, and also held back from other paths by His love.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18 NLT.
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ discovers that God has given him a completely new life. The old life is finished and gone, taken to the cross with Jesus. We belong to Christ and we belong to God, and have received a fresh start because of — and only because of– the plan of God which was carried out perfectly by Jesus Christ.
Old habits will need to be changed, of course, and new habits be formed. The new life must be nurtured and fed, exercised and strengthened, just as any healthy life must be maintained and encouraged to grow. But the old life is gone; the believer is a new person in Christ. The love of Christ is with us to motivate us, the Holy Spirit is there to direct us; and, as we continue to look at Jesus, we are changed into His Glorious Image.