We Are New Creations!
2 Corinthians 5:17 – (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The good news is that we are new creations! But what has become new?
Our spirit is now fused with and in union with the Holy Spirit, so in our core identity (our spirit) we are brand new.
However, our mind is not new, that is why it needs to be renewed.
Romans 12:2, NIV – (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …
Our souls have not been renewed either, that is why they need ongoing sanctification by the washing of the Holy Spirit using the word of God.
Titus 3:5, NIV – (5) … through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
But in our essence, we are brand new, our spirit has been put in union with God’s Spirit, and so now we have been given the option of living by the Spirit of God rather than by our flesh (which the Bible stays to put to death).
Romans 8:5, NIV – (5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Don’t We Still Have A Sinful Nature?
Definitely not. We can’t be a new creation, and an old creation at the same time. If we are a new creation, we have only a new nature.
Our old nature is gone, and we now have a new nature, created in the image of God.
But we still have our flesh, which keeps trying to pull us back into our old habits. That is why we must say “yes” to the Spirit, and “no” to the flesh.
[Note: some modern translations use the term “old nature”, but that is a mistranslation, for the term “the flesh”.]
Is It True That Someone Who Willfully Lives In Sin Cannot Be A Christian?
1 John 3:6, NIV – (6) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
The Bible says that if we “continue” to sin, we don’t know Christ.
However, to “continue to sin” in the Greek means to willfully every day make a conscious choice to reject God and His will. Many Christians struggle with temptation, but do not consciously try to sin.
Also … Colossians 2:6, NIV – (6) So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.
It is one thing to receive Christ, it is another thing to “live in him”. Many Christians have received Christ, but do not “live in Him.” But if you do “live in Him”, you will start to sin less and less, and so yes, those who “live in Him” will not keep on sinning, but those who only have “received Christ” will probably keep on sinning their whole lives.
Also, “lives in Him” means to “abide in, remain in, stay in” (Strong’s G3306). Most Christians have never been taught how to “abide in Christ”. When we start to abide in Christ, the temptations of this world grow dimmer and dimmer and dimmer.
No “abiding in Christ” Christian will continue to willfully sin. However, most Christians have never learned how to abide.
Can A True Christian Turn Away From Christ?
John 10:28, NIV – (28) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
For every Christian, there was a day that we made a conscious, free-will choice to give our lives to Christ, and in essence, freely put ourselves in the Father’s hand. As a result, no one else is able to “snatch” us out of the Father’s hand, including the devil.
However, the word “snatch” means, “to seize, pluck, pull, or take by force” (Strong’s G726). Because we made a free-will choice to step into the Father’s hand, we alone can make a free-will choice to step out of the Father’s hand, and since it is our free-will choice, it is not snatching, seizing, plucking, pulling, or taking by force. It is us choosing of our own will, to step out of His hand. We, and no one else, can do that.
Why Are There So Many Disagreements And Interpretations Among Teachers?
Everyone’s interpretation of the bible is based on their concept of God. If their concept of God is Biblically accurate, their interpretation will more likely be Biblically accurate. If their concept of God is based on father-wounds or distorted father images, their interpretation will more like be inaccurate, or very inaccurate. That is why our number one priority as a Christian should be to get to know our Father and His love for us.
Once we have a clear and accurate understanding of God as our Father, everything else is understood in the light of that.
If Salvation Is By Grace Through Faith In Christ, Why Does There Seem To Be So Much Work?
All Christians have been saved by grace, but sadly, many are then convinced to live a works-oriented Christian life, which requires much work. Jesus however, wants us to be saved by grace AND live by grace, which allows us to partner with Him and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
The greatest moment in a Christian’s life occurs when they realize that no human can every possibly live the Christian life. It is only Christ Himself, living in us, that can live the Christian life through us. So the more we learn to stop striving, and instead rest in Him, the more we can just be led by the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do in and through us. No one has ever burnt out by being led by the Holy Spirit, whereas millions of Christians burn out each year by living in the flesh and striving in their own strength.
Yes, we need to be repentant for careless words, but God’s love is so much bigger than our human failures. He is much more interested in our trust than our guilt and shame.
The more we soak in God’s presence, the less we have to watch our words and our thoughts, because He changes us on the inside. And prayer, instead of being an obligation, becomes a spontaneous interaction with God throughout the day. The solution to our drive to “work” is not more “do, do, do” things for God, but just “be, be, be” God’s child.
God wants us to see Him as a perfect, loving Father. And that is liberating. He is not complicated; He is simple. Learning how to let God love us as our Father, and responding to Him as His son or daughter will become our greatest blessing in life.
Some non-Christians do indeed seem to have better lives, because they have learned better how to live in the flesh than many Christians who live in the flesh. But any Christian who learns how to live by the Spirit of God will outshine the greatest non-Christian. The unsaved know better how to live by the standards and values of the world, but Christians were never called to live by that system anyway. We have a much better system … living in Biblical grace under the caring arms of a loving Heavenly Father.