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I. THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL
A. Paul’s dramatic declaration, that we have become a new creation in Christ with all things becoming new, has vast implications. The “he” that is a new creation is our spirit man. All things pertaining to our spirit become new. The real you is our spirit man which is made alive in Christ.
17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new… 21 that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:17, 21)
B. To understand the glory of the new creation, we must first understand that God created humans with three parts—spirit, soul, and body. Man is a spirit, he has a soul, and lives in a body.
23 May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless… (1 Thes. 5:23)
C. Our spirit is the place where we communicate with God. Our soul speaks of our personality, consisting of our mind, emotions, and will. Our body has five senses which enable us to receive from the physical world. Many believers do not know who they are in their spirit. As we receive training for our body and soul, so we must receive training related to our spirit.
D. Before Adam sinned, his spirit governed his soul and body. His five senses were subject to his spirit. After he sinned, he became spiritually dead. He lost his ability to relate to God. Everything was reversed, and his body (five senses) and soul (emotions) gained power over his spirit. His spirit became subordinate to his senses. His spirit lost dominion and his five senses took over.
E. At the new birth, our spirit is joined to the Spirit, and we are filled with His supernatural life.
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Cor. 6:17)
F. At the new birth, our spirit man was so radically refashioned that Paul uses the term “created.”
24 Put on the new man which was created…in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:24)
10 Put on the new man who is…according to the image of Him who created him… (Col. 3:10)
G. Because our spirit man is very different from our soul and body, it cannot be discerned by our emotions (soul) or our five senses (body). Thus, it is referred to as “hidden” from our five senses. Paul referred to our true life, or our spirit man, in this age as being “hidden” in Christ.
4 The hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle spirit… (1 Pet. 3:4)
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Col. 3:3-4)
H. As Jesus stands boldly before God with righteousness in His spirit, so do we, even in this age.
17 We have boldness…because as He is, so are we in this world. (1 Jn. 4:17)
I. Old things passed away: We were under condemnation before God. We were powerless before sin (at the heart level). We were under darkness, lacking the ability to understand the Word, or to receive divine direction for our life. We were destitute, without hope of a good future in God.
J. All things have become new: Our former condemnation has passed and now we are accepted and enjoyed by God. Our former powerlessness and darkness have passed and now we have the authority of Jesus’ name and the indwelling Spirit which enable us to resist sin, sickness, and Satan, walk in victory over sin, and to receive new understanding of God, His Word, and His will. Our former destitution has past. Now we have a divine destiny in God.
K. The gospel is the good news of salvation, about receiving God’s righteousness (in three tenses): 1) Justification: our legal position—past tense focused on my spirit (I have been saved) 2) Sanctification: our living condition—present tense focused on my soul (I am being saved) 3) Glorification: our eternal exaltation—future tense focused on my body (I will be saved). We experience the fullness of our salvation in three time frames. One third of our salvation is complete, the salvation of our spirit. Our spirit was created anew in holiness (past tense).
II. A NEW ORIENTATION: LIVING ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT
A. Our primary orientation is determined by the information that we rely on the most, either from our fives senses or from our spirit. We are to shift our primary orientation from living by our five senses, physical appetites, and emotions to what has occurred in our spirit. This is called walking according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1, 4, 5). We do this by living with confidence that we are enjoyed by God, as we dialogue with the indwelling Spirit, confess the Word, and choose godliness.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Rom. 8:5)
B. We are transformed by changing the way we think. We must live in agreement with God’s Word. Only as our mind breaks its agreement with our flesh (five senses and emotions) are we freed.
32 You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Jn. 8:32)
2 Be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Rom. 12:2)
C. The “spirit of our mind” speaks of the whole atmosphere and perspective of our inner life. This involves saturating our mind with the truth, which in turn orients our life more to our spirit man.
22 Put off…your former conduct… 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Eph. 4:22-23)
D. The renewing of our mind always includes the confession of the Word back to God. Confession engages our inner man in the salvation process. Paul quoted from Deut. 30:10-14 in this passage.
8The word is near you, in your mouth…that is, the word of faith… 9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart…you will be saved [delivered from the penalty and power of sin]. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation [complete deliverance]. (Rom. 10:8-10)