One of the original promises of our salvation was given in Ezekiel 36 ~ “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances…”
When we were “born again”; God cleansed us and gave us a new heart and a new spirit. Not just any spirit but, His Holy Spirit that we may walk with Him. But, the N.T. has so many beautiful passages that articulate this same covenant in a variety of ways.
Some of Paul’s insight given~
In Romans 6 he wrote of “our old man being crucified with Christ and us being raised to new life with Him“
In Ephesians 1 & 2 he described us “even while we were dead in our sins, God raised us up and seated with Christ, united with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm (spirit).
In 1 Corinthians 6:17 he wrote how “we were joined to the Lord and one spirit with him” and in 2 Cor.5:17 he describes how anyone “in him (our spirit) is a new creature. Old things have passed away and all things have become new!”
For me; it’s understanding that verse in 2 Corinthians that finally made it click for me…and this was only very recently. I had known these passages and believed them with my head but, I didn’t understand them with my heart. Despite believing it “because the Bible says so”; I didn’t know what it meant. What helped me was understanding that this is one of the ways that “the Word of God divides between soul and spirit” (Heb.4:12). For 6 months or more I was asking the Lord to help me understand this!
Because we have all heard that anyone who is in Christ is a new creature but; what I had never caught was the verse before it that articulates what part of our person he is referring to ~ “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.” He says that we aren’t acknowledging/knowing/evaluating anyone according to the flesh but according to the spirit because that is how we know Christ.
Paul was not talking about just our body when he wrote about not knowing anyone according to the flesh; he was describing soul and body. We know that we were created in the likeness of God; meaning that we are a “triune” being. Like God; we are also a spirit, soul and body. (1 Thess.5:23) Many times in the N.T.; the writers referred to spirit versus flesh and flesh represents the soul and body.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:6 ~ “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
So when Paul declared that born-again believers do not know anyone according to the flesh and then He made the bold statement “Therefore (because of the preceding statement) if anyone is in Christ (in the spirit) he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come!” ; it finally made sense to me.
Because I could visibly see that my body was not completely new and unfortunately know all too well that my mind and soul are not completely made new. So finally recognizing that he wasn’t talking about people according to the flesh at all helped me understand how what Paul wrote is already accomplished and completely true! We are only now completely new in the Spirit. In eternity we will be “in Christ” completely but, that’s the hope that our bodies are eagerly waiting for!
In the meantime; we are not trying to become spiritual; we are spiritual! We are not trying to be something that we aren’t because we are a new creation in the Spirit of God! In Rom.8:9 Paul wrote ~ “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
Dan Mohler would talk about this for another hour and show 50-some different verses that all testify to this truth in a beautiful variety of ways because God’s a brilliant artist but, I should keep this brief (if it’s not already too late 🙂 )
We may not look like a new creature, feel like a new creature or even always think like a new creature but we walk by faith and not by our senses because we ARE righteous. In our spirit we are the righteousness of God! (2 Cor.5:21) We also have the mind (Consciousness) of Christ in the spirit (1 Cor.2:16) and I believe that we have been sanctified forever (Heb.10:14) because in the spirit we have been created in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph.4:24)
I don’t believe that we have been given “a little bit” or a percentage of Holy Spirit. I believe that the same power in every aspect that lived in Jesus lives in you and I (Eph.1:19,20). From His fullness we have received (John 1:16) God has sent the Holy Spirit into our spirits and the one whom God sends He gives the fullness of Spirit. I know that this verse was specifically about Jesus but, 1 John 4:17 says “as he was so are we in this world.” This passage can only be describing us in the spirit because our flesh is still flesh but whatever is born of the spirit is spirit. So in the spirit; we are the same as Jesus in this world and we have the fullness of His spirit!
We have to carefully handle the Scriptures. When Paul said in Romans 7:18 “in me dwelleth no good thing, that is in my flesh” He was articulating what Jesus said about flesh only being rotten flesh but, the spirit being glorious spirit! (See Eph.1:3)
In our flesh we may be weak, but in our spirit we literally have the exact same power on earth that Jesus had! Our spirits are always worthy of bringing us into the Father’s presence because they have been forever sanctified by Jesus’ one sacrifice and are literally the righteousness of God. We don’t need to take 20 minutes and have the Lord search our hearts, confess and get every hidden sin under the blood to boldly enter the Father’s presence. I don’t believe that we can ignore the importance of doing that but, that has nothing to do with our spirit being already made forever righteous and clean.
We only approach the Father in spirit because of the perfect work of Jesus being completed in us forever!
Nothing can take away our ability to come before the Father because “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) No matter how “dirty” or imperfect our flesh may be; we can always worship the Father because God is only pleased with worship in spirit. (John 4:23)
That’s why walking by the spirit always leads to life and peace (Rom.8:6) because there is nothing bad, dirty, or unholy in our spirit! Jesus hasn’t just given us a new spirit but; he has given us His Holy Spirit joined to our spirit (1 Cor.6:17) so each one of us has a life that is pure and blameless in God’s sight and also completely unique! When Holy Spirit joined your spirit; a completely unique being that has never and can never be duplicated was born! We each have spiritual gifts and callings that no one else in the universe can do!
I know one of my main purposes right now is to get to know the Lord much better and in the process raise up my children to walk with God. No one else in the history of the world can do what we were made to do!
That’s why what Paul wrote in Eph. 2:10 is true despite whatever our senses try to deceive us into believing…”You are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that you should walk in them.”