In our last lesson, we discussed what it meant to be born again, that in our spirits, our hearts are changed. We used 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We began to see that when we are born again, a total transformation has taken place in our spirits, and the only way to know what has transpired in our spirits is through the Word of God. We can't perceive it through external things, and we can't perceive it through our emotions, because that is in the soulish realm. But in the spirit part of us, there is a total transformation.
Let me use a few scriptures which show the things that took place when a person received Jesus into their life. Ephesians 4:24 says, "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." When a person is born again, their spirit becomes righteous and truly holy. The Bible actually speaks of two types of righteousness.
There is a righteousness you produce through your own actions, and you must maintain that type of righteousness in relationships with other people. If you don't live right and do right, your boss may fire you or your spouse may divorce you; so you need to have your own righteousness. God, however, doesn't accept you based on your external righteousness. God literally gave you His righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says that God the Father made the Son to become sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. So there is a righteousness which goes far beyond our external righteousness and is based on what God did for us. We literally received the righteousness of God by faith in Christ. We were created in righteousness and true holiness. We aren't growing into that righteousness; we are already righteous. A simple definition is that we are already in right standing with God.
God is pleased with us based on Christ, not on anything else. Our spirits are where the change took place. We're already created in righteousness and true holiness and are brand-new creatures. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." In our spirits, we are perfect and complete. There is no sin or inadequacy. Ephesians 1:13 says, "After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."
Some of you may think, Well, when I first believed on the Lord, I did believe I was totally forgiven and cleansed, and everything was fine. But since that time, I have sinned, I have failed God again. If you did, you failed in your actions and your mental and emotional part, but your spirit did not sin. It was sealed just as a woman puts fruit into a jar and then puts paraffin over it to make it airtight and to keep all impurities out. God sealed you, so when you were born again, you received a new spirit, and sin does not penetrate your spirit. You have a new identity. For you to have relationship with God, you have to fellowship with and worship Him, based on who you are in your spirit not in your flesh.
This is really the great transformation in the Christian life, that a person has to change their identity. You have to relate to God based not on what you do in the physical realm, not what you think in your mind, but by who you are in the spirit based on what He has done for you. That's a completed work, something that does not fluctuate (change back and forth). You were created in righteousness and true holiness. That is the spirit part of you, and to fellowship with God, you have to worship Him in spirit and in truth. You have to stand in this identity of who you are in Christ.
- Read 1 Corinthians 6:17."But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." - 1 Corinthians 6:17The only way we can know that total transformation has taken place in our spirits is by the Word of God. What does this verse say has happened to us?Answer
- Read Ephesians 3:17."That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love." - Ephesians 3:17Where does Christ now dwell?Answer
- Read Ephesians 3:17."That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love." - Ephesians 3:17How does this happen?Answer
- Read 1 John 5:12."He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." - 1 John 5:12Who must we possess to have salvation?Answer
- Read Colossians 1:26‑27."26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." - Colossians 1:26‑27What is the mystery that was hidden from ages and generations but is now made known?Answer
- Read Ephesians 4:23‑24."23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." - Ephesians 4:23‑24What was created in righteousness and true holiness?Answer
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:21."For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." - 2 Corinthians 5:21Whose righteousness do we possess?Answer
- Read Ephesians 1:4."According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." - Ephesians 1:4What is the standing of the believer before God?Answer
- Read Ephesians 1:6."To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." - Ephesians 1:6How were we accepted?Answer