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 existencethe 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 formsa 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 behaviorexcept 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 creationthe 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.
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 Godthe New Creationwho 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 grainit may be of wheat or of the restand 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-beinga 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 lifeimmortality 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-beinga 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 immortaltheir 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.
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 speciesthey 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