New Life

It has long been recognized that in order to live a life that is rich in spirit, we must become aware of the world that exists within ourselves. It is a world that is totally unseen, but every aspect of our outer world is governed by it and is an expression of it. Such inner worlds are built on a person’s own truths. They are usually based on what can be seen and heard and touched and felt. They may express family patterns of thinking and responding or preconceived notions or insights. They may be the product of our education. At any rate, over time my inner world will faithfully reveal my interpretations of the circumstances and relationships with which life has confronted me. In other words, the life existing within me is the life that is lived out through me.

For many people this private world is filled with thoughts that chronically depress and defeat. They desperately seek escape from it; literally unable to bear the ideas that confront them there. Nothing is worse for them than times alone. Silence or solitude is torture. They busy themselves in work or play, in amusements or distractions, or numb or anesthetize themselves with food or drugs.

Some people have found a different way to live. It is in an inner world that is filled with peace and refreshment for soul and spirit; a world in which God Himself is our constant companion. Jesus spoke of this in John 14:23.

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

In Romans 12:2, we read these words. “And do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The Living translation of this verse reads:

“Be a new and different person with fresh newness in all you do and think.”

For many centuries the world has recognized Easter as the high point of the Christian year. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is viewed as the dramatic culmination and definitive affirmation of the Truth of God as it is revealed through the Christian faith. However, there is more; much more! Here you will discover THE REST OF THE STORY.

Wonder of wonders, God loves us; and His Son set aside His prerogatives as God to come to earth and take upon Himself the heredity of sin and death that came to mankind through Adam. This truth is expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

What is the heredity and the nature of sin? At its core it is my claim to my right to myself. It is my belief that I am my own God. Romans 8:5-8 explains it this way. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

It was not out of sympathy that Jesus took upon Himself our sin. Rather, He bore it in order to put us back where God designed us to be . . . in union and in fellowship with Himself. God did not simply set our sin aside. He does not offer cheap forgiveness. Sin saddled us with a terrible debt; one we could never repay. That debt was paid in full, because Jesus paid it all! Listen to the words of 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Jesus rose from the dead, thus affirming the legitimacy of His claim to be the Son of God. He regenerates, putting into those who accept Him an inheritance of holiness. Colossians 3:5-10 calls us to, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Jesus completed this part of His mission by returning to heaven to ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to be with all who put their faith in Him. As we shall see, that request was honored. The Holy Spirit is with us and will be with us to the end of the age.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11).

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast (of Tabernacles), Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37–39).

"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call'” (Acts 2:38-39).

REFLECT ON THE FOLLOWING:

1. What is my inner world like? Where does my mind “hang out”?

2. Is there a specific time when I surrendered my life to the forgiveness, salvation, and new life that only Jesus Christ can give?

3. Am I aware of and fully experiencing the peace and refreshment that only God’s Holy Spirit brings? If not, ask God to reveal to me why . . .

VERSE TO MEMORIZE:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).

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