SONS OF THE NEW CREATION

One  of  the great mysteries of the Bible is the fact that a true Christian is a New Creation. There are many different opinions as  to what this New Creation is and is not. Many people believe  that being a new creation just means giving ones heart to  the  Lord, which somehow makes a person different. However, a truly converted person actually becomes a creature that is different from other human beings.

If one believes what the Bible actually says, the mystery of  the New Creation can easily be understood without confusion:

"Therefore  if any man be in Christ, he is a new  creature:  old things  are  past  away; behold,  all things  are  become   new" (2.Cor.5:17 KJV).

"If truly you heard him, and were taught in him, as the truth  is in  Jesus; for you to put off the old man, as regards the  former behavior, having been corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and to have put  on the  new man which according to god was created in  righteousness and true holiness" (Eph.4:21-24 Para.).

"For  in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing,  nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Gal.6:15 KJV).

Transformation into a Son of God

Baptism  is  not  only a symbolic representation  of  our  death, burial, and resurrection to a new life in Christ, it is also a physical and spiritual reality. Notice how Paul reminds the elect at Rome of their baptism  and  their sinless condition before God when he exhorts them to live  a sinless life before God and man:

Romans 6:1-4 KJV

"What  shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin,  that  grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin,  live any longer therein? Know  you  not, that so many of us as were baptized  into  Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (vs.1-3).

As a person descends beneath the baptismal waters, their old life symbolically dies and is buried. The baptismal water symbolizes a grave and truly would become a grave if the person being baptized were held under the water for very long:

"Therefore  we are buried with him by baptism to  death:   that like  as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory  of  the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (v4).

When  a person is raised out of the water, they are  symbolically and  literally raised to a new life, and upon  receiving the spirit of God, a person is  literally  transformed from the original human creation into a new and  different being.  The  old  person with only the spirit of  man  ceases  to exist, and a new person who has the spirit of God dwelling within them is born. See Matt.3:1-7; 2.Cor.5:17.

Although a child of God still  appears to be human, a transformation that makes a  person who has received the holy spirit different  from  other humans  has taken place; they have been converted into a  son of God with the genetic imprint of the God family, and although they are not yet an immortal spirit-being, they are certainly a child of  God and  a member of the Father's spiritual family. Moreover, at some  time in the future they will shed their bodies of flesh and receive an immortal spirit-body.  See   1.Cor.15:51-54;  1.Thes.4;13-17; Rev.20:6.

WHAT IS A HUMAN?

All  creatures on earth, except human beings, go about their life cycle within  certain fixed boundaries of behavior. However, the human part of creation is  quite different.  The human experience changes from day to day and from personality to personality; it does not exist in a controlled  or static condition. Humans are  unique and they are different from the  rest of creation.

In order to understand what makes humans different from the  rest of  the  creatures  on earth, it is necessary to investigate the origin  of humanity and see what its Creator says about the human life form.

Physical and Spiritual Elements

"And the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of  the  ground, and  blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became  a living creature" (Gen.2:7 Para.). See also v8; Deut.32:18; Job 33:4.

Humans were formed out of the elements  of  the physical earth. But is human life just a chemical reaction  of a well designed structure of gas, fluid, and solid  matter reacting to internal and external stimulation? If the physical form is the sum total of the  human creation, humanity is  no different from any other animal with  similar structure.

However, it is obvious that humans are different from animals in many ways. Humans are on a higher level of existence  than the rest of creation. But why?  What is  it  that makes  humans different? The answer lies in an unseen element  of the human creation.

Job writes, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration  of the Almighty gives them understanding" (Job 32:8 KJV).

"The  burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, says the  Lord, which stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth,  and forms the spirit of man within him" (Zech.12:1  KJV). See also Ecc.12:5-7.

The  English  word 'spirit,' in these two verses,  is  translated from  the Hebrew word 'ruwach', which means 'wind', or 'mind.'  It does not denote a physical being at all; it denotes an essence that is non-physical.

God says that there is  a non-physical element of humanity that is an integral part of the human creation. It is this  non-physical  element,  the human spirit (the human mind), that  resides within the human body and gives humanity the ability to be on  a higher thought-plane than all other physical creatures on earth.

It  is difficult for most people to fully comprehend that  the  physical human body is not the totality of the human entity. However,  the physical body is not the person at all; the body is merely a housing or a  physical  mechanism through which the spirit of man is able to  exist and   function in this physical dimension of time and space.  The spirit  of  man that inhabits the body is not an it,  nor is  it undefinable, unexplainable, or mysterious; the human spirit  that inhabits the human body is the human. See 2.Cor.5:1.

HUMANITY IS UNIQUE

Humanity  is  unique in all of creation. The  scriptures  clearly show that humanity exists is two distinct dimensions of existence—the physical and the spiritual dimensions.  They also clearly show that humans are  created  from both physical and spiritual materials. It is this combination  of the physical  and the spiritual that enables human beings to exist on a  higher plain  of consciousness than the rest of the  physical  creation. Humanity  is the only life-form  that has the opportunity  to  be elevated to the highest of all life forms—a god  being in the Family of God.

HUMANS ARE MORTAL

Although  humans  were created from both  physical  and  spirit materials, they are neither eternal nor immortal, but they are subject to death.

After  Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, the  Creator says,

"By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread  until  you return to the ground. For you have been taken out of it; for  you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen.3:19 Para.).  

In other  words, our bodies are made from the elements of the  earth and they will return to these same elements.

King  Solomon writes, "For that which happens to the sons of  men, and  that which happens to beasts; even one event is to them.  As one dies, so that one dies; yes, one breath to all; so that there is to  the man  no advantage over the beast; for all is vanity.  All go  to  one place; all are of the dust, and return to  the  dust" (Ecc.3:19-20 Para.).

Solomon says both man and beast have the same death process, they both  die and return to the individual elements from  which  they were made.

The Spirit Returns to God

"Who knows the spirit of the sons of man, whether it goes upward, and  the  spirit  of the beast whether it goes  downward  to  the earth?" (Ecc.3:21 Para.).

Solomon  asks  the same question many have asked over the  centuries  about  the destination of the spirit in  man after death:

"Then  the  dust  shall return to the earth as it  was,  and  the spirit shall return to God who gave it" (Ecc.12:7). See also Gen.2:7,8; Deut. 32:18.

The spirit of the beast ceases to exist at death; however, the  spirit  of man returns to God who gave it.  King  David  and Jesus also understood that God is the custodian of man's spirit:

"Into your hand I commit my spirit: you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth" (Psa.31:5 KJV).

"And crying with a loud voice, he said, Father into your hands  I commit  my spirit. And saying this, he breathed out  the  spirit" (Lk.23:46). See also Acts 7:59.

The  scriptures clearly show that two distinct and separate  elements  are combined to form a human being. It is  also  extremely clear  that humans are mortal and subject to death from which there is no return, unless God the Father grants a  continuance of life. See Gen.6:1-7; Ezk.18:4,20; Mal.4:1,3; Matt.10:28; Lk.12:4-5;  Heb.9:27; Jms.5:19-20; 1.Jn.3:15; Rev.21:8; 20:12-15; and our study paper concerning the resurrections and immortality.

A SPECIAL CREATION

Within the fabric of the physical existence, there are many  different  laws that govern its behavior and interactions. Everything conforms,  acts, and reacts within very specific  laws  of behavior—except humans.

You  can teach a dog to sit up or roll over on command,  and  it will  always behave within certain fixed parameters  of  behavior when the appropriate stimulus is provided. It will always do  the things a  dog does, a dog will always be a dog.  It  will  never think  past being a dog.  But humans are different, they are  not constrained  in their behavior or thought  by  fixed  boundaries; humans have freedom of behavior and thought that no other  physical creatures on earth have.

Humans  are not just a well organized chemical reaction  of various  elements  of the earth that became animated through some process of evolution.  Even if all of the  conditions  were just right, and  a spontaneous reaction caused life to begin, as the evolutionists say,  there is no logical, physical,  or scientific reason why that spark of life  would  progress into the human life-form.

Logically, there is no explanation  for human existence in its present form unless it has a purpose beyond this physical existence. Humans are  unique creations, that were created for a truly special purpose.

A VERY SPECIAL CREATION

Among  the  billions of life-forms on  this  planet, humanity  is  far  superior;  it is  superior  in animation,  in thought, and in the ability to process information. The human life-form is unique because it was created for a unique purpose.

Scattered  among the human creation is another life-form  that  is  physically indistinguishable from the rest of humanity, but it is alien to  the human  life-form and process.  These creatures look human, have the  emotions  of humans, and procreate like humans, but they  are  not human. They are God's very  special  creation—the New Creation.

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

One of the great mysteries surrounding the Kingdom of God and the New Creation is the method by which a person can enter into  this special  relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.  Most view what is said in the New Testament  about being born again as merely a change in  philosophy rather than an actual change from one life-form to another. But what does Jesus Christ himself have say about this new birth? Is it merely a philosophic  change or is it something far more dramatic and permanent?

Notice what Jesus says to the Pharisee Nicodemus about being born of the spirit:

John 3:1-10 Paraphrased

"But  there was a man from the Pharisees, Nicodemus his  name,  a ruler  of the Jews. This one came to Jesus by night, and said  to him, Rabbi, we know that you have come as a teacher from God. For no  one is able to do these miracles which you do, except God  be with him" (vs.1-2).

As most Jews of his day, Nicodemus was looking for the  Messiah to  come for the purpose of delivering the Jews  from  captivity, establishing the Kingdom of God, and restoring Israel  as a nation. However, he did not expect to hear what Jesus told  him in reference to being a participant in the Kingdom of God:

"Jesus  said to him, Truly, truly I say to you, if one  does  not receive  birth from above, he is not able to see the  kingdom  of God.  Nicodemus said to him, How is a man able to be born, being old? He is not able to enter into his mother's womb a second time and be born?" (vs.3-4).

Nicodemus  had  no doubt that Jesus was talking about  a  literal birth; however, in his mind he could only picture a physical birth.  Nevertheless, Jesus was not speaking of a physical rebirth; he was speaking of a completely different kind of birth process:

"Jesus  answered, Truly, truly I say to you, If one does not  receive birth out of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. That receiving birth from the flesh is flesh; and that receiving birth from the spirit is spirit" (vs.5-6).

Jesus  clearly  explains to Nicodemus that he is  speaking  of  a birth  into the spirit-dimension of existence and not  a  rebirth into the physical world:

"Do  not wonder because I told you, You  must receive birth  from above.  The  spirit breathes where he desires, and you  hear  his voice; but you do not know from where he comes, and where he goes —so is everyone having received birth from the spirit.  Nicodemus  answered and said to him, How can these things  come  about?  Jesus answered and said to him, You are a teacher of Israel,  and you do not know these things" (vs.7-10).

Jesus  explains  that it is by the power of God's spirit  that  a person is born into the spirit-world. Although Nicodemus was a teacher of the law, he did not understand the  writings  and prophecies that foretold being born into the Family of God:

"If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my  appointed time will I wait, till my change come. You shall call, and I  will answer  you:  you will have a desire to the work of  your hands" (Job 14:14-15).

Job  said that he waited for his change to come; he waited  for the climactic finish of God's work in his life and his transformation into a spirit-being. This information about the spirit  in man  and the change into a spirit-being is what  Nicodemus  should have  understood,  but he did not.  See Ezk.34:22-24; 37:21-26; Gal.4:23-29; Phil.3:20-21; 1.Pet.1:22-23; 1.Jn.4:7.

YOU ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD

Before  Jesus was crucified and resurrected, he said  some  things about  his disciple's existence on earth that seemed very  strange to them:

"You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.   Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what the lord does:  but I have called you friends; for all things that  I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.  You have  not chosen  me, but I have chosen you, and ordained  you,  that  you should  go  and  bring forth fruit, and that  your  fruit  should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you,  that you love  one another.  If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love  his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen  you out  of  the world, therefore the world hates  you"  (Jn.15:14-19 KJV).

Here,  Jesus expresses his deep personal affection for his  disciples and their mission. He also told them of the  power to  which they  would have access and the love that they should  have  for each other. After this, he revealed the kind of beings they would become after conversion.

Jesus did  not speak philosophically to his  disciples  about their earthly status; he says they were alien to the other  human life-forms on earth and he spoke of the New Creation that they  had been chosen to be a part of as if it were already a  reality.

The Parables and Conversion

There  are three references mentioned in the gospels showing  the reasons why Jesus spoke in parables. In each of these  references the  writers indicate that Jesus concealed  knowledge  so  that people  would  not  be  led  to  conversion  at  that  time.  See Matt.13:15; Mk.4:11-12; Jn.12:37-40.

After You are Converted

"And  the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has  desired  to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: But I have prayed  for you,  that  your  faith fail not:  and when  you  are converted, strengthen your brethren" (Lk.22:31-32 KJV).

Here, Jesus encourages Peter and instructs him to help his brothers in the faith after his conversion. But, what was Peter converted to?

The  English  word converted in verse 32 is from the  Greek  word 'epistrepho,' which means, 'turn to' or 'to convert'. From what  was Peter converted, and to what was he converted? And why was this conversion process necessary? These are just a few of the questions about the New Creation that will be answered in this study.

THE GOD OF SPIRITS

God  has  formed the spirit-being that lives  within  the  human body and he is the sovereign ruler over this spirit.

"And  they fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God  of  the spirits  of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be  angry with all the congregation?" (Num.16:22 KJV).

"Let  the  Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set  a  man over the congregation" (Num.27:16 KJV).

In the letter to the Hebrews, there is an admonition and a reminder that  God the Father is the Father of spirits, and that his  sons (who  are also spirits) should receive his discipline  with  the right attitude because it is for their eternal benefit:

"Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh as correctors, and we  respected  them.  Shall we not much more be  subject  to  the Father of spirits, and we shall live? For they truly disciplined us  for a few days according to the seeming good to them; but  he for  our  profit, in order for us to partake of  his  holiness" (Heb.12:9-10 Para.).

Notice  that the elect of God are called firstborn  and  spirits who have the ability to come within the presence of God the Father:

"But  you  have drawn near to Mount Zion, even the  city  of  the living  God, to a heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads  of  angles, and  to the assembly of the church of the firstborn ones having been enrolled in heaven; and to God the judge of all; and to  the spirits  of just ones who have been perfected" (Heb.12:22-23 Para.). See Eph.2:18; Heb.4:16.

Spiritual Worship

While speaking to a woman of Samaria, Jesus explained that  there would  come  a  time when the existing worship  system  would  be abolished, and those who worshiped God would do so in spirit and truth.

John 4:19-24 Paraphrased

"The  woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a  prophet. Our  fathers  worshiped  in this mountain, and you  say  that  in Jerusalem  is the place where it is necessary to  worship. Jesus said to  her, Woman believe me that an hour is coming  when  you will  worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in  Jerusalem.  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we  know, for salvation is of the Jews" (vs.19-22).

In verses 23-24, Jesus said that God the Father is a spirit-being who can only be worshiped in spirit and truth:

"But  the  hour is coming, and now is, when the  true  worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such  ones that worship him. God is a spirit, and the ones  that worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (vs.23-24).

Many view this scripture as a philosophical statement and they believe that Jesus  was  only trying to convey that  people  would  eventually worship God with a different attitude. However, Jesus says something completely different.

The  English word 'spirit' in verses 23-24 is translated  from  the Greek word 'pneuma,' which means 'wind', 'breath', 'life', 'spirit'. It  is important to remember that the Bible is not just a collection  of philosophical writings; it is God's message to humanity that he has written through men. Each word is inspired by God to transmit an  understanding of the God family and the awesome  purpose  for the creation of  humans.

In  the context of Jesus' conversation with the woman,  the  word 'spirit'   can only refer to the spirit dimension of existence.  In no  way  can it refer to an attitude, method,  or  philosophy  of worship, because  there are many other Greek words that could be  used to  express these concepts. By using the word 'pneuma' Jesus shows that a person  must be  of the spirit-dimension of existence in order to worship  God the Father.

In  writing  to the Philippians, the apostle Paul says it  is  the sons  of  God—the New Creation—who worship  the  Father  in spirit:

"For  the  rest, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To  write  the same things to you is not truly tiresome to me, but safe for you. Look  out for the dogs; look out for the evil workers;  look out for the concision party. For we are the circumcision who  worship by  the spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who do  not trust  in the flesh" (Phil.3:1-3 Para.). See  also Eph.6:18; Gal.6:1-2.

THE TRANSFORMATION FROM PHYSICAL TO SPIRIT

It  is  very important to firmly fix in one's mind that  the  New Testament  writers were inspired to record  the  great difference  between  the physical and spirit-worlds many times, and  that  a human who  is  both physical and spirit cannot  enter  into  the spirit-world until they are completely changed into spirit.

The  writings of the  apostle Paul resolve many of the  mysteries concerning the New Creation by explaining many of the new  creature's  attributes and its relationship to the physical and  spiritual dimensions  of  existence.

In  the apostle Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth,  he carefully explains the transition from the human plain of existence to the spiritual plain of existence:

1.Corinthians 15:20; 22-23; 35-49 Paraphrased

"But  now is Christ risen from the dead, and become  the  first-fruits of them that slept" (v20 KJV).

In  verse 20, Paul says that Christ is the first of  humanity   to have  passed from the human life-form to the spiritual life-form. In verses 22-23, he says that others will follow:

"For  as  in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall  all  be  made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ  the  first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (vs.22-23 KJV).

The reason Jesus was described as the first-fruits of the  harvest of  the  dead (Col.1:15-18) and the firstborn  of  many  brothers (Rom.8:29)  is that he was literally the first of his kind  to be created; Jesus was the first of the New Creation.

As  a  human  being, Jesus was the physical  Son  of  the  Father (Matt.1:18-20;  Lk.1:34-35) and upon receiving the  holy  spirit from God the Father, he became the first of humanity to become  a spirit  son of God. See our study paper concerning when Jesus became a son of God.

In  verses  35 through 54, Paul further explains the difference between physical and spiritual existence and how the  process of transformation from one to the other occurs:

"But  someone  will say, How are the dead raised? and  with  what body  do they come? Foolish one! What you sow is not made  alive unless  it dies.  And what you sow, you do not sow the body that is going to be, but a bare grain—it may be of wheat or of the rest—and God gives it a body according as He willed, and  to each of the seeds its own body" (vs.35-38).

In  order to enter the spiritual dimension of existence,  the  human life-form must be discarded and a new spiritual life-form must be created.

"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of  flesh of  men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and  another of birds.  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial:  but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of  the terrestrial  is  another. There is one glory of the  sun,  and another  glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one  star  differs from another star in glory.  So  also  is  the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor;  it is raised in  glory: it is  sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It  is  sown  a natural body;  it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body " (vs.39-44 KJV).

Here, Paul explains that there is a difference between the  spiritual and the physical dimension of existence, and that the spiritual dimension of existence is the most desirable  level of existence  to inhabit.

In  verses 45-49, Paul shows that there will be a  transformation from  the physical life-form to a spiritual one and that  it  is the destiny of the elect of God to become totally spirit:

"So  it has been written, "The man Adam was made a living  soul,"  the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But not the  spiritual first,  but the natural; afterward the spiritual. The  first man was out of the  earth. The second Man was the Lord out of heaven. Such  the  earthy man, such also the earthy ones.  And  such  the heavenly  Man,  such also the heavenly ones. And as we  bore  the image  of  the earthy man, we shall also bear the  image  of  the heavenly man" (vs.45-49).

The First and Second  Human Life-forms

The First human Life-form

The first human life-form (of whom Adam was the first) is a physical creation containing only the spirit of man, which is man and lives within  a body of flesh and blood. See  Gen.2:7-8; Deut.32:18; Job 33:4-6; Ecc.12:5-7; Zech.12:1.

The Second Human Life-form

The second human life-form (of whom Jesus was the first) is a physical creation, which contains the spirit of man combined  with the Sovereign Father's spirit.

The Time of Transformation

At  the time of transformation, God the Father places  his holy spirit into the spirit of man and man becomes a different life-form. The original spirit of man becomes merged with the spirit of God  and becomes  a new spirit-being—a new and different creation.   It is  unlike the original because it now has the potential to  have eternal life and to become immortal.  Man's spirit alone does not have this potential and it can only exist as a sentient being in the physical  dimension. The addition of the Father's spirit transforms  the human spirit into a new creation with new potentials. It  is  the addition of the Father's spirit that transforms the Adamic  life-form (the children and family of Adam) into humans like the life-form of Jesus (the Son of God the Father).

Paul and the New Creation  

Romans 6:1-11 KJV

"What  shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin,  that  grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin,  live any longer therein?" (vs.1-2).

Here, Paul reminds the elect at Rome that, since they had accepted God's  way of life, they should no longer sin because the  elect of God are dead to sin.

"Know  you  not, that so many of us as were baptized  into  Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (v3).

Baptism is much more than a symbolic death.  During  this ceremony,  a  person  is purged of all sin by  the  power  of  God through  the  sacrifice of Christ,  released  from  their death sentence, and given the holy spirit. Thereby, they are able  to stand before God the Father as a righteous individual.

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism to death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (v4).

The old human life-form symbolically dies in the baptismal waters and it literally dies (ceases to exist) when God the  Father merges  his spirit with the human spirit. A baptized person who has God's spirit is a son of God with the same genetic  make-up as  other  members of the God family. Although  still  physically alive and in the physical form of a human, the converted,  spirit-filled person is a new creature.

The Opportunity to Become Immortal

"For  if  we have been planted together in the  likeness  of  his death,  we  shall be also in the likeness  of  his  resurrection: Knowing  this, that our old man is crucified with him,  that  the body of  sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we  should  not serve  sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we  be dead  with Christ, we believe that we shall also live  with him: Knowing  that Christ being raised from the dead  dies  no  more; death has no more dominion over him" (vs.5-9).

Jesus  now possesses the highest form of life—immortality  on the  divine plane of existence. This kind of life  springs  forth from itself. It is not dependent upon any other source to sustain it  because it is self sustaining. It is this kind of  life  in which those of the New Creation have the opportunity to partake:

"For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he  lives, he  lives to God. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be  dead indeed  to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our  Lord" (vs.10-11).

As Christ is dead to sin, so are those of the New Creation.  They have already been given the promise of immortality. All that must be done   to ensure successful entry into immortality is  to continue to obey God and his law.

Romans 8:1-16 Paraphrased

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to  spirit. For  the  law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus set  me free from the law of sin and of death" (vs.1-2).

Those  who are truly Christians are not under a  death  sentence, because  Christ's sacrifice has erased their sin and its  penalty. True Christians become a  different creature and live according to the spiritual concepts and laws of God.

"For  the  law being powerless, in that it was weak  through  the flesh,  God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful  flesh, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (v3).

Paul  refers to the law of justification under the  Old  Covenant and  notes  that humans could not keep it  perfectly.  Therefore, Christ  came and kept it perfectly in their place. Christ's  perfect adherence to the law is also imparted  to the elect who live according to spiritual concepts:

"So  that the righteous demand of the law might be  fulfilled  in us, those not walking according to flesh, but according to  spirit.  For the ones that are according to flesh mind the things  of the flesh. And the ones according to the spirit mind the  things of the spirit" (vs.4-5).

Those who are of the original human life-form are only  concerned with  physical things because they have only the spirit  of  man. But, these  who are of the New Creation are concerned  with  spiritual things because they have had their spirit merged with the spirit of God.

"For  the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the  spirit is life and peace" (v6).

The  human spirit alone is temporary and has a finite  life-span. However, the human spirit combined with God's spirit is a new creation that has the potential for eternal life and immortality. The awesome potential of the human creation is to become an immortal god-being—a spiritual child of God in his family:

"Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God; for  it is  not  subject to the law of God, neither can  it  be.  And those being in the flesh are not able to please God" (vs.7-8).

No  matter  how  hard an unconverted person tries  to   obey  and please God, they simply cannot because they are of the  physical creation. The human life-form is not on the same level of  existence as God; humans do not think like God thinks, they do  not have the same desires as God, and they do not possess the ability  to obey God's law.

Unless  a human is transformed from the original creation,  which  does not have God's spirit, to the New Creation with God's  spirit, they can never please God:

"But you are not in flesh, but in spirit, since the spirit of God dwells  in you. But if anyone has not the spirit of Christ,  this one is not his. But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is  dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of  righteousness" (vs.9-10). See Phil.2:3-5.

This  is a very important concept to understand because it  deals with  the  core issue of the New Creation.  The  truly  converted person  shares  the same genetic make-up as God  the  Father  and Jesus  Christ.  Jesus Christ is literally in the truly  converted person.

Those  who have God's spirit are not of the original human  creation, they are different: a new creation, a new type of  being. The New Creation is a part of the Father's spirit-world. Therefore, those who are of the new Creation can  conform to God's law and way of life because they have the ability to do so:

"But  if the spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the  dead dwells  in  you, the One having raised the Christ from  the  dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling  of his spirit in you" (v11). See also Job 4:17; Rom.6:12.

It is God's spirit dwelling within a person that makes it  possible  for  them,  as a New Creation, to obtain  eternal  life  and immortality:

"So,  then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh,  to  live according  to flesh; for if you live according to flesh, you  are going to die. But if by the spirit you put to death the practices [i.e., misdeeds] of the body, you will live" (vs.12-13).

If  after receiving the spirit of God  and becoming a  New  Creature,  a person refuses to obey God's law and way of  life,  that person will neither enter into eternal life nor become immortal—their life will be terminated. On the other hand, if they  use  the power  they have been given to overcome the temptations of  the  flesh, they  will  experience total transformation into  an  immortal being in the spirit-world:

"For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the  sons of  God.  For you did not receive a spirit of  slavery  again  to fear,  but  you received a spirit of adoption by  which  we cry, Abba! Father!" (vs.14-15).

This scripture shows that, when a person is converted from  the original  human  creation into the New Creation by the  power  of God's spirit, that person becomes a child of God in the Family of God.

"The  spirit itself witnesses with our spirit  that  we are children of God.  And if children, also heirs; truly heirs of God,  and  joint heirs of Christ; if indeed we  suffer together, that we may also be glorified together" (vs.16-17).

The  reason  that God's spirit is a witness that a  person  is  a child  of God is that the spirit of God is merged  with  the human spirit.

Revelation Through the Spirit

In  his  exhortation to the Corinthians, Paul  explains  why  the elect  are able to discern and understand both the things of  the physical world and the spirit world.

1.Corinthians 2:9-16 Paraphrased

"According as it has been written, Eye has not seen, and ear has not  heard,'  nor  has it risen up into the heart  of  man,  'the things which God has prepared for those that love him" (v9). See also Isa.64:4.

Here, Paul quotes what the prophets said about God's plan being  a sealed  mystery (Dan.12:9-10) until the time of the end. Then he says  in verse 10 that God reveals his mysteries to the elect through his spirit:

"But  God  revealed  them to us by his  spirit,  for  the  spirit searches all things, even the depths of God" (v10).

Paul  says  these hidden mysteries are revealed through the power of God's  spirit and that this spirit has access to all knowledge:

"For  who among men knows the things of a man, except the  spirit of  man  within him? So also no one has known the things  of  God except the spirit of God" (v11).

Knowledge about  the physical realm of existence is discerned  by possessing  the human spirit, and knowledge about  the  spiritual realm of existence is discerned by possessing the spirit of God:

"But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit from God; that we may know the things freely given to us by  God" (v12).

Paul  reminds the Corinthians that they are not human  as  others are  human; they have been given the spirit of God. A truly  converted  person  is a new creature and has been  given  access  to knowledge and understanding from God. This understanding includes God's  plan  for humanity, who and what God is,  and  many  other things pertaining to the spirit realm:

"Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but  in  words  taught of the holy  spirit,  comparing  spiritual things with spiritual things" (v13).

The knowledge taught by Paul, other apostles, and elders was  not obtained  from the spirit of man; it was knowledge  conveyed  to them through the spirit of God that was in them.

"But  a natural man does not receive the things of the spirit  of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to  know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (v14).

A human with only the spirit of man can neither receive nor understand the  things of God, because such humans are of the original human  creation. The elect of God however are not of the original creation; they  are  a part of the New Creation, which contains  both  the spirit  of man and the spirit of God combined:

"But  truly  the  spiritual one discerns all things,  but  he  is discerned by no one. For who knew the mind of the Lord?  Who will teach him? But we have the mind of Christ" (vs.15-16).

The truly converted person who has been transformed by the spirit of  God  into  a new and different creature  can  understand  the things  of  God (1.Cor.2:11). However, those who  have  not  been transformed cannot understand spiritual things.

SUMMARY

It is vitally important to understand that, when the spirit of God enters  a person, that person actually becomes a  member  of the  Family of God. This event is a fact; it  is  not  something ethereal  or philosophical; it is a reality. A  truly  converted person  is different from other humans because they are beings that  had previously never existed  in the physical or spiritual dimension before Jesus. They are a new and different species—they are the  New Creation.

"Of  his  own will begat he us with the word of  truth,  that  we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures" (Jms.1:18 KJV).   See also  Eph.2:10; 4:4.

"Therefore  if any man be in Christ, he is a new  creature:  old things  are  passed  away; behold, all  things  are  become  new" (2.Cor.5:17 KJV).

"For  in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision avails anything,  nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Gal.6:15 Para.).

"It doesn't make any  difference  now whether we have been circumcised or not.   What  really counts is  whether we really have been changed into  a  new  and different people." (Gal.6:15 Taylor).  

Circumcision was an outward physical sign of having an  agreement with  God under the terms and conditions of God's system of  worship before the advent of Jesus Christ.  The  new  agreement between God the Father and his elect children is spiritual; it is made in the  heart, mind, and spirit, and it is an agreement between God the Father and his children who are sons of his New Creation.

Being a Christian is more than having one's name on the rolls of a church  organization.  The awesome truth is that a  truly  converted individual is not a part of the human family;  they are part of the Family of God.

The  relationship  that  exists between  God  the  Father,  Jesus Christ,  and  the elect of God is not philosophical;  it  is a relationship between beings of the same kind and of the same family.

By B.L. Cocherell, file b6w3