For May 13, 2019
Through faith in Christ, we can obtain a new spiritual identity from our Heavenly Father that is diametrically opposed to the old physical identity we acquired from our parents at birth. The difference between the two identities is that one is sin-dominated while the other is not.
Only God can eliminate our old sin nature, and He does so through the Born Again experience Jesus says is as mysterious as the wind, yet is essential for true, lasting fellowship with God:
I tell you the truth, unless you are born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God…Don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit. John 3:3-7 (NLT)
Then the Lord continues:
As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:14–17 (NLT)
Here, the Lord is teaching just as dying people lived because they trusted the efficacy of Moses’ brass snake. We too can live—eternally with God—when we trust the efficacy of Jesus’ redemptive work on Calvary’s Cross.
Through faith in Christ, His Holy Spirit inhabits us. Now we are no longer spiritually dead and sin-tarnished. Instead, we are spiritually alive with a new disposition. Much like light obliterating darkness, God’s penetrating glory obliterates our old sin nature…upon our invitation.
In other words, we must invite the Lord Jesus Christ to take full possession of our hearts and lives. Then as His Spirit comes to live inside us, He immediately changes our nature and worldview.
Now as a result, we no longer pursue a life of sin and self-gratification because we are “new creatures” in Christ, and pleasing Him becomes our new chief concern.
Some associate the New Birth1 with materialism and claim it helps us to gain recognition and amass wealth and power. However, this is not the case since God is no respecter of persons and His Kingdom is spiritual, not material. (Earthly supremacy is what we sinful and proud humans want, while transforming hearts is what our holy and loving God wants. He knows once He possesses our hearts, everything else we have becomes His property—exclusively!)
In this new life we have in Christ, we may not experience significant external changes, like having our names listed in Who’s Who, or having others speak well of us, or even obtaining wealth, power, prestige or property. Nevertheless, we will experience a dynamic, complete spiritual overhaul on the inside that makes us acceptable to God forever.
Inviting the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts, and allowing His Spirit to rule our lives by reverent, sincere faith, and through daily obedience and submission to Him, we are certain to accomplish the will of God, secure His eternal favor, and become His beloved children forever.
Truly, we have a new spiritual identity.
- The terms: New Birth, In Christ, Born Again, Union with Christ, etc., are synonymous and present both human and divine elements. The human element is conversion, which occurs the moment when we respond to the gospel message of Jesus Christ with sincere repentance and faith. The corresponding divine element is regeneration, or when God’s Holy Spirit inhabits us and brings our sin-darkened spirits to life and “quickens” us.