Our spiritual condition in Adam was unacceptable.
We were sinners because of his transgression. Ephesians 2:1 says, “we were dead in trespasses and sin.” We were separated from God and unfit to enter His presence. We were beyond rehabilitation. It was impossible for us to work our way out of this sinful state. Sin was not just something we had done, it’s who we were. Something radical had to be done if we were to ever take our place in God’s presence—something as radical as death itself was required to fix the problem.
The only solution was death. We had to die.
It is futile for any person who is a descendant of Adam to try to work their way to God. No matter how hard one works or how much they sacrifice, human efforts cannot change the sin nature. The sin nature in the heart of man is at enmity with God.
“The wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23). Sin and the sin nature made us worthy of death. From the time of Adam’s sin onward, every person has lived with a death sentence hanging over their heads. We were “by nature the children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). Our nature was inherited from our Father Adam and could not be changed no matter how hard we tried. It was sinful and unrighteous; it’s who we were and it had to go. Forgiveness can release one from the liability of committed sins, but only death can deliver one from the sin nature that was passed down to every human from Adam.
Jesus used an ingenious term to communicate this total transformation. When talking to Nicodemus, He simply said, “you must be born again.” Nothing can describe the changes that happened to us in our union with Christ like the words “born again” or “new birth.” Jesus made the complex understandable with simple words and plain language by saying, “you must be born again.”
Nicodemus replied with a question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Naturally speaking, this is impossible. God did the impossible for us through Jesus Christ. Our union with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension makes the impossible, possible for us who believe!
Notice how this is expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.“
We have passed away. The old sinful person I was has died!
This is a powerful scripture, revealing a powerful truth. Something died and someone new came into being at the new birth. We are new creations—a new species of being that never existed before!
All of these things occur inside the human heart at the time of salvation and they’re invisible. It takes revelation knowledge and an understanding of the redemptive scriptures in Paul’s epistles to truly grasp the significance of the new birth.
These are truths that will set you free.
You have a new nature that is acceptable to God. It is helpful to speak these new creation realities to yourself and allow them to renew or reprogram your mind. Christ has given you a new identity and being constantly aware of that will change your life. You are no longer bound to the past and limited by what the old man has done. The old man you were is dead; you are a new creation with the nature of God on the inside.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 6:11
Even though the new birth is real and it really happened to you and in you, it’s helpful to reckon it to be so. Jesus wanted us to understand the radical changes that occurred on the inside when we were saved.
One of the first acts of worship we are commanded to do by the Lord after salvation is to follow Him in baptism. This is a physical reenactment of that which happened to your spirit in Christ when you were born again. It is a living picture of your death with Him, your burial with Him and your being raised up with Him to new life. It’s so simple, yet so powerful.
Every time we see a Christian baptized, they are going through these steps outwardly to get a better understanding of what actually happened on the inside.
One of the most effective ways to get the wonderful truths on the inside of us to begin to work on the outside is to speak them. This is essential if we are going to “put on the new man” as Paul tells us to do in Ephesians 4:24.
We can see the significance of speaking the Word in this next verse:
That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. —Philemon 1:6
Take time to say who you are and what you have in Him.
This information is not readily available in the world around you. It can only be found in the Epistles. It’s very easy to forget what God has done in your spirit and therefore not experience the benefits that are yours now in Christ. James compares this to a man looking at himself in a mirror then going away and forgetting what he looked like (Jas. 1:23).
Become acquainted with who you are in Christ.
You will only get this information from God’s Word. Take time to meditate on scriptures that tell you who you are and what you have in Christ. Look for the verses in the Epistles that include the phrases, “in Christ,” “in Him” or “in whom.” The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16).
Get to know your true self. Become acquainted with the person you are in Him. Begin to see yourself in Christ and become familiar with your new identity.
If you want to see yourself and know what you look like, you look in the mirror. When you look into a natural mirror you see your physical body. The only mirror we can look into to see our spirit man in Christ is the mirror of God’s Word.
For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. —James 1:24-25
Look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word and begin to say what God says about you.
Don’t let your view of yourself be based on age or race or nationality. You are a new creation in Christ; your old man is dead. You have been raised up with Him and are filled with the very life of God.
You may have had a shady past, but it came to an end with a death and a burial. You are alive today and this is a new day. You are a new person with a bright future! Be encouraged! This is the Good News!
You are a brand new being. You were made by God for God. You were made to live in the presence of God in the city of God. It’s no wonder there are times you don’t feel as if you fit in here in this world! You don’t belong here; you are a new creation in Christ. Old things are passed away and all things have become new.
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