This new creation was brought about by the will of God. 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.
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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.
Last week when we started this short series on the new creature we become at salvation by saying that that 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.
That means that we are assured of eternal life with Him. We don’t instantaneously become morally perfect, but our standing before God changes instantly—we are made right with God (just as if we had never sinned or had a sin nature). We then start the lifelong journey of being renewed and sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit, being conformed to the image of Jesus—to become like Jesus in thought, word, and deed.
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.
A new creation!
We said that this new creation is God's work alone.
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.
Ephesians 2:8-10 CEV You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about. God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. This is why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
We don’t know how it happens but we know that is does. Jesus told Nicodemus
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 renewal we receive as this new creation takes place in the heart and mind as the Holy Spirit works on and in us.
We're going to talk about this new and improved renewed heart today.
Renewal Starts in Our Hearts
As I said last week, 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.
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 out to God:
Psalm 51:10 (NKJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Be Not Conformed To This World.
As new creatures we shouldn't stay the same. We don't stay immature babies with limited knowledge.
Here's what Paul told the Corinthians;
1 Corinthians 3:2-3 CEV So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot, because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves you are not spiritual and you are acting like the people of this world.
Here's what the writer of the letter to the Hebrew said:
Hebrews 5:12-14 CEV By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food. People who live on milk are like babies who don't really know what is right. Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong.
As new creatures we should continue to mature. It doesn't matter how old we are or how long we have been a Christian.
There are different levels of maturity. As we read, study, and meditate on the Word of God, we want to know and experience Him more. As we develop a closer and more intimate relationship with Him, we want to learn the deeper things of God. Our old nature dies off and the new things in Christ are made alive.
God gives us a new heart — a heart of flesh. The more we surrender to God, the more we‘ll be transformed by His Word and the more we will mature.
An example of what I'm talking about is in 2 Corinthians chapter 3. Here Paul is saying that when the scripture was read in the synagogues the people couldn't understand it, but now with salvation and the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer and instructing us we are transformed by God's Word and we continue to mature.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18 NIV Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The Greek Word, “Transformed” in the King James and New International Version, according to Strong’s Concordance means, “to change into another form.” When you are in Christ, you’ve changed from the old man and transformed into a new person. When you’re in Christ you’re taking on Christ’s character and you begin to reflect His Heart and you instantly take on the Spiritual DNA of Christ. On the outside, you may look the same, but on the inside — you are completely different. When you submit to God, His Power will transform you forever. Surround yourself with His Word. Feed on His Instruction and He’ll renew your thoughts, He’ll shape your ways and renew your mind. Choosing to conform to the world is a choice. When you are in Christ, you have the power to overcome the world’s way of doing things. Let Christ transform you from the inside out. Let Christ change your DNA.
How is a hard heart turned soft? Only by God performing 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.
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.
- Deuteronomy 30:6 (NKJV) And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
- Psalm 9:1 (NKJV) I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
- Psalm 24:1-5 (NKJV) 1 The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation..
- Psalm 26:2 (NKJV) Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
- Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
- Psalm 73:26 (NKJV) My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalm 112:6-7 (NKJV)6 Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
- Psalm 119:10 (NKJV)10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
- Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
- Proverbs 23:26 (NKJV) My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways.
- Matthew 5:8 (NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
- John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
- Romans 2:29 (NKJV)29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
- Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Hebrews 10:22 (NKJV) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Here are the privileges of your renewed heart. That's where the Holy Spirit lives. Your new heart is ready to now to receive every spiritual blessing.
Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
It's prepared to yield fruit to the honor and praise of God.
Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Our new and improved hearts are the best defense against sin, it is also the best means of preparing us for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I John 3:2-3 NKJV Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Your heart belongs to God, so give every concern and care over to Him — He wants to heal you — completely. Christ wants to release you from the prison of your past and heal your deepest pain and deep seeded rejection. God has not forgotten about you. He wants to set you free. Your soul has been searching for something that only He can fill. You belong to Him. Not another car, house or business will fill the void that your soul is longing for. Only Christ can satisfy what your soul is searching for. Only He can make you whole. Only He can make you complete. Search and seek after Him and you will be filled.
As we said in our Bible Study of the Sermon on the Mount;
Matthew 5:6 NKJV Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Do you have a heart of stone?
Now I'm taking to anybody here who is not a new creation, who is still the old man or woman, who has never been born again.
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.
Christ Is The Only Way.
Christ is the only One that can set you free — forever. To be totally free in Christ requires you to die to yourself daily and to put on the nature of Christ. Only Christ can transform you. Only Christ can set you free from the bondage of sin. Only Christ can heal the wounds of the past. Only Christ can save you, deliver you and make you whole. Only Christ can fill your void and heal your heart.
If you want God to change your stony heart to a renewed heart, a heart that longs for Him; here’s what you need do right now;
Romans 10:9-10 NIV If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are 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!”