This is the first in a series of posts on the renewed creation of God - You! The Word of God tells us that when we are saved and justified by the free gift of God’s grace that we become a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NKJV) 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Being a new creation in Christ means that the old sinful person you once were has gone as a result of the finished work of Christ. When you made that confession of faith and prayed a prayer like “Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
When one prays that prayer they are instantly justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, assuring them of salvation from their sin and eternal life with Him. They do not instantaneously become morally perfect, but their standing before God changes instantly—they are made right with God (just as if they had never sinned or had a sin nature). They begin the lifelong journey of being renewed and sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose is that His people become like the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore the Holy Spirit works in the changed heart and mind of the believer helping them to become conformed to the image of Jesus—to become like Jesus in thought, word, and deed. A new creation indeed!!!
Romans 8:28-30 (NKJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
The first thing we need to understand is that this new creation is something created by God.
John 1:12-13 (NKJV) 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
This new birth or creation was brought about by the will of God. We didn't inherit this new nature, and we didn't re-create ourselves. God didn't just clean up our old nature either; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, created from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God from nothing. Only God can do that.
We don’t know how it happens but we know that is does. In Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus when he asked Jesus how is it possible to born again Jesus said;
John 3:7-8 (NKJV) 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
This is what the Wycliffe Bible Commentary says about these verses;
Flesh can only reproduce itself as flesh, and this cannot pass muster with God (cf. Rom 8:8). The law of reproduction is "after its kind." So likewise the Spirit produces spirit, a life born, nurtured, and matured by the Spirit of God. If this spells mystery, let it be recognized that there is mystery in nature also. Wind (pneuma, the same word as for "Spirit") produces observable effects as it blows, but its source and future movements remain hidden. So the redeemed life shows itself as something effective, though defying analysis by the natural man
Do you have a heart of stone?
Take an inventory of your heart today. Is your heart where it needs to be or do you need God's renewal? Ask God to renew your heart and commit that He will remain at the center of your heart.
If you discover that you have a heart of stone, ask God to transform it. Only God can perform spiritual heart bypass. And that is by the finished work of Christ through the power and movement of the Holy Spirit. You have one other way to participate: yield and surrender to the Holy Spirit!
Acts 16:30-31 (NKJV) 30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
If you want God to change your stony heart to a renewed heart, a heart that longs for Him;
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
If you want that here’s what you need do right now;
Romans 10:9 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Pray this prayer in all sincerity. Don’t just say it if you don’t really mean it, because if you do you will just be speaking words. But if you are tired of trying to change things in your own power, and are ready to turn your life over to the One who can make you a new creature with a renewed heart pray;
“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
If you truly understand and believe what you just prayed then these promises of eternal life apply to you. So do all the other promises that God has made to believers. To find out what they are and how they apply to you find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God my brother or sister.
Renewal Starts in Our Hearts
The heart is the center of life. It's within this uniquely created internal organ that we have physical life. Without it, life is not possible. The heart is also the center of spiritual life. Proverbs tells us that we must guard our heart because it is the wellspring of both physical and spiritual life. Our heart determines our actions and reflects whether or not Christ is the center of our lives. That's why it's important that we ask God to continually renew our hearts, as well as our minds.(I’ll talk about our renewed minds in the next post)
Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
David after being caught in adultery with Bathsheba and in orchestrating the death of her husband cried God please help me;
Psalm 51:10 (NKJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
God will give you a heart transplant
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
How is a hard heart turned soft? Only by God performing a heart transplant. When we don't do the things we should do to stay healthy like eating the wrong foods our arteries can get clogged and it becomes hard for the heart to pump blood through. And blood is life. God said that life is in the blood. And when the blood doesn’t flow through the heart, there is no life. A hard heart has no life in the spirit either.
As the center of our spiritual life our hearts direct our motivations, our inner being. And when we are distracted from our purpose for living our lives as God’s people, our hearts become stone.
We need a renewed heart. A heart cleansed from evil. A heart cleansed from pride. With this renewed heart will you be morally free from sin? No, but you will be free from the penalty of sin, which is death. With this renewed heart you will be free to be holy, set apart for God, and to live a holy life led by the Holy Spirit.
What does the Bible say about a renewed heart?
God’s word is clear that the condition of your heart is critical in your walk with the Him.
Now, the privileges of this renewed heart are these. "'Tis here the Spirit dwells, 'tis here that Jesus rests." The soft heart is ready now to receive every spiritual blessing. It is fitted to yield every heavenly fruit to the honour and praise of God. Oh! if we had none but tender hearts to preach to, what blessed work our ministry would be. What happy success! What sowings on earth! What harvests in heaven! We may indeed pray that God may work this change if it were only that our ministry might be more often a saviour of life unto life, and not of death unto death. A soft heart is the best defence against sin, while it is the best preparative for heaven. A tender heart is the best means of watchfulness against evil, while it is also the best means of preparing us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall shortly descend from heaven.
The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
My soul, now that the cool of the day has come, retire awhile and hearken to the voice of thy God. He is always ready to speak with thee when thou art prepared to hear. If there be any slowness to commune it is not on His part, but altogether on thine own, for He stands at the door and knocks, and if His people will but open He rejoices to enter. But in what state is my heart, which is my Lord's garden? May I venture to hope that it is well trimmed and watered, and is bringing forth fruit fit for Him? If not, He will have much to reprove, but still I pray Him to come unto me, for nothing can so certainly bring my heart into a right condition as the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, who brings healing in His wings. Come, therefore, O Lord, my God, my soul invites Thee earnestly, and waits for Thee eagerly. Come to me, O Jesus, my well-beloved, and plant fresh flowers in my garden, such as I see blooming in such perfection in Thy matchless character! Come, O my Father, who art the Husbandman, and deal with me in Thy tenderness and prudence! Come, O Holy Spirit, and bedew my whole nature, as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews. O that God would speak to me. Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth! O that He would walk with me; I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to Him, and every other thought is hushed. I am only asking what He delights to give. I am sure that He will condescend to have fellowship with me, for He has given me His Holy Spirit to abide with me for ever. Sweet is the cool twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. My Father, my elder Brother, my sweet Comforter, speak now in lovingkindness, for Thou hast opened mine ear and I am not rebellious. – Charles Spurgeon
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.