“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The average person simply talks about getting “saved” or maybe “born again.” Save means “rescue” or “preserve.” Being saved is the first step and absolutely necessary before we can go any farther in our relationship with God. I heard someone say, “I’ll be satisfied if I get to heaven by the skin of my teeth.” Well, teeth don’t have skin. The only way is God’s way. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me,” John 14:6.
In Ephesians 4:20-24, we learn that we put off the former conversation of the old man which is corrupt, and be renewed in the spirit of our mind.
It is called regeneration which means restoring man to the moral image of God in which man was created. It’s the renewing of the original purpose which God had for the life of mankind in being fully devoted to God. The result of regeneration is a right relationship with God. Remember in the garden of Eden God walked and talked with Adam and Eve. We have the same relationship with God in the Spirit.
It is not just a “jump start”. It is a new creation made new in Christ Jesus. There is a radical change in our moral character, from the love and practice of sin, to the love of God and the practicing of things that please God.
We begin to live a new way. We have new attitudes and desires, we want to please God. We live in the same body, around the same people, and face the same problems, but we now practice living according to righteousness and holiness.
Another thing that we deal with after getting saved is justification. Romans 3:23, reads “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Justify means to free from blame or guilt. We are in debt to God. Nothing we can do will remove the debt.
By the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, as we trust Him, He makes us as though we had never sinned. Our debt of sins is paid in full. We are forgiven of every sin.
Now we read in Romans 8:14-17, that we are adopted sons of God. “Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” verse 15. By adoption we are made a part of a family that welcomes the new member. Abba, Father is an intimate name used only by members of the family.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” verse 16. After we are saved or born again, the Holy Spirit comes in. The spiritual relationship that we have with our heavenly Father is just awesome. In the same way a small child can call to his earthly father, “Daddy, Daddy,” we can cry out to God, “Abba, Father.” We know when we call to Him, He is always listening.
Willie Lee Schmitz leads the Church of God in Derma.