When we put on a new shirt or blouse, it can change our whole outlook on life. Instead of dingy and tattered clothes, new clothes can just make us feel good. Scripture tells us of something we need more than we need new clothes…our life needs to be made new.
As we look around this fallen world, most people see no need for Christ. They may think He was a nice man who taught wise lessons. He was a nice and very wise Man, but He is much more. Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. In Him, we find new life, so the sinful life of worldly ways becomes dingy, worn, and needs to be renewed.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee seeking truth, came to Jesus and confessed that he knew Jesus was a teacher come from God, but it’s not enough to know that Jesus’ teachings are good. In order to find salvation through Him, there’s more required than just head knowledge about who Jesus is.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:5-7).
Nicodemus was confused, but Jesus explained the truth to him by explaining an incident recorded in Numbers chapter 21. The Israelites had spoken against God, forgetting that He had brought them out of dismal slavery in Egypt. God sent fiery serpents that would bite the people and bring death. The people finally admitted that it was their sin that had caused this, and the Lord told Moses to make a serpent of brass (a symbol of sin) and put it on a pole. When someone looked to that symbol of sin on the pole, they would be healed. That seems like a strange story until Jesus fully explained it.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
The Israelites admitted their sin, repented, and God sent the cure for sin. The ultimate cure for sin and the eternal death it brings is looking to Jesus, who became sin for us and died on the cross at Calvary.
The world holds many temptations and struggles. It’s human nature to sin, and that separates us from God. Sin is burdensome, and it takes a toll on us. We grow weary of the unfulfilling life of sin. It may seem that there’s no point in living. Then, you look to the cross and realize that God truly loves you. He gave His life so you can live. You may think that sounds like a nice pie-in-the-sky hope, but when you look at your life and see all the sinful things you’ve done, you only see your sin. Don’t be discouraged. There is no sin you’ve ever committed that God won’t forgive.
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
Jesus said that, so you know it’s the truth. The only thing that will condemn you to eternal death is if you choose to reject the free gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ. If you do that, then He hasn’t condemned you, but you’ve condemned yourself.
Once you have seen your need for salvation through Christ and accepted His sacrifice for your redemption, you need to put on the “new man.” Just like an old garment, the old man (or woman) needs to be changed. When you repent, you don’t need to go through your entire life telling God (or any man) every sin you’ve ever committed. You’ve probably committed more sins than you can even remember. Repentance is changing your mind about the sin you once embraced and turning away from it. Once you’ve changed your mind, begin living life in a new way. Turn away from the ways of the world.
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19).
People who haven’t come to the saving grace of Christ don’t understand how lost they are. We can see the results of this lasciviousness, which is unbridled lust and moral impurity, in many lives today. Abortion, homosexuality, child abuse, cold-hearted murders, and more are signs that the world is in the clutches of Satan’s power. When you come to a saving knowledge of Christ, the immorality of the world should no longer appeal to you. You put on the new man who follows Christ.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Friends and family may not understand your new attitude and try to pull you back to the life of sin you once embraced, but don’t turn back. You have a new life in Christ. You are a new creation.
John was one of the men closest to Jesus when He walked this earth. He must have been amazed to learn of being born again and the Holy Spirit living inside of believers. He knew that Jesus first brought His Good News to the nation of Israel. Though the nation as a whole rejected Him, a few Jewish men and women chose to follow Him. Because the leaders rejected their Messiah, salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus is open for all people.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).
This is a spiritual rebirth. The word translated “son” actually means a child, son or daughter. Being a child of God is a privileged place. By faith we accept His death, burial, and resurrection, and that means we are reborn into a new life in Christ. As newborn children, we need to learn of God’s ways. Scripture is our textbook, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Measure your life by Scripture, and put on the new man instead of holding onto the old.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:8-10).
Our works won’t save us, but once we claim Christ for salvation, we need to work on our way of life. Our new life in Christ should show to everyone around us. The old man should be gone, and the new man should be an example to the world.
Jesus Christ came into this fallen world to become the final sacrifice for our redemption. His death was not a tragedy but a victory. His blood wasn’t tainted by sin, and only our faith in His death, burial, and resurrection will bring eternal life. Only God’s pure blood could pay the price of our redemption. When we truly accept Him, our life is no longer our own. We need to live for Him.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
That isn’t asking too much. Jesus shed His blood for you; you accepted His sacrifice, so now you need to put aside the sin that the world accepts and live for Christ. Apply Scripture to your daily life and walk in His ways. Put on the new man and let the world know that you’re a Christian.
It’s important for you to have answers ready for anyone who wants to know about the changes they see in you. People will want to know why you prefer to spend time with Christian friends rather than partying with old acquaintances. Your old friends may have some cruel words to say to you, but don’t be discouraged. Witness to them and help them come to salvation through Christ.
“And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ” (1 Peter 3:13-16).
The word “conversation” is the King James way of saying “way of living.” If your life reflects Christ, don’t be ashamed, but show love and have answers for those who only mock Christ who lives in you. The first Christians faced violent persecution, but they would not deny Christ even if it meant death.
Brothers and sisters, the world is in a mess. This mess is caused by the evil workings of Satan. We represent Christ to this fallen world, and the new man needs to be put on and left on. Christ was crucified to purchase our redemption.
“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” (Romans 6:6).
Christians belong to Christ, and our sins that brought eternal death were nailed to the cross. Our salvation is secure when we accept Christ’s blood sacrifice.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
That’s a very secure place to be. You can only show your appreciation by living for Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When you give your life to Christ, don’t let your past sin control your new life in Christ. Put off the old man and put on the new man. Live for Him who died for you.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
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