Tuesday, October 20, 2009

66) Christians are reborn by the power of God

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

To be in Christ is to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. Such a person is a new creation due to the power of God and not anything done by his own effort. Having been made spiritually alive by God, the old has passed away and the new has come [Ephesians 2:5]. Those who are in Christ have new hearts, attitudes, and desires than their former self. This verse points to the reality of the coming of the counselor [Holy Spirit] that Jesus foretold. It is an occurrence that began at Pentecost with the birth of the church of Jesus Christ [Eph. 2:11-22].

Focus on Christ #66


mark pierson said...

So Wayne, in your opinion, why is it that our detracters say that since we teach that the Christian is a "new creation" that we also teach that he will never sin, and never have spiritual dry spells?

jazzycat said...

Good point. I remember the thread over at Dr. Lybrand's where we kept using Scripture to refute their claim that anything less than perfection opened the door to their carnal Christian assertion. I copied the following from a comment I left on that thread that may be of interest:

No, the carnal Christian issue really gets down to whether a saved redeemed person can remain unchanged after his regeneration and show no effects of the indwelling Holy Spirit for the rest of his life. Sin is not the issue. Good works are not the issue. A new creation is the issue as 2 Cor. 5:17 points out. The issue is can the Holy Spirit be a total failure in His ministry of regeneration and indwelling believers? If the Holy Spirit can totally fail in making a person a new creation in Christ, then Paul is wrong and some people are saved but remain the same people they were before being saved.

This view denies the power of God and asserts that a regenerate person can thwart the will of God. It is one thing to assert through free will that God allows some to reject salvation although they have the ability to accept. However, it is quite another to suggest that God is powerless to change a persons’ heart when he clearly states that is exactly his intention in many places in the New Testament.

mark pierson said...

I think if we checked into the mention of the indwelling of the Spirit within the Christian throughout the New Testament we would come to some fascinatiing conclussions. If we looked into the contexts of those mentions in the New Testament we would begin to see that God had much more in mind than justification for His saints on this side of the grave. See, for example, Ephesians chapter 2.