August 3, 2020
New Life, New Way
Christians confuse the new birth that
saves us with the new way that
transforms us. So let's consider the
new birth (John 1:12-13; 3:1-8) is an
act of God's grace by which His Spirit,
in response to our plea, suddenly
implants His Son's nature in our humbled
hearts after we have repented of our
sins and believed the true gospel of
salvation through Him alone. It is a
divine, mystical, instantaneous
encounter with God, a spiritual
regeneration not produced or aided by
any good works. It is always accompanied
by an unmistakably changed heart, a
definite turning from sin, and a hunger
for God's Word. This is New Testament
Though saved by grace, turned from sin,
and regenerated in heart, the new
convert, now a born-again Christian, is
not yet living the full-orbed Christian
lifestyle. That must be learned.
Cooperative works are now required. The
believer must now become his Savior's
disciple by dedicating his (or her) life
to study Christ's teachings, walk in His
ways, and learn from Christian leaders.
As the convert persists, and grace
assists, transformation manifests. The
more we persist, the more transformation
- the formation of Christ's character in
us - manifests. This is never
instantaneous but always occurs over
time. It is not a single experience but
a sustained education. This is New
If we stop persisting in faith-inspired
obedience, our transformation stops. We
remain saved by grace alone but
underdeveloped by disobedience alone.
And un-Christlike! The new life remains
present but dormant, the old life
remains present and manifest, and we
remain regenerated but immature - and a
grief to our Savior and His Spirit!
This, sadly, is New Testament carnal
Christianity (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). The
We must walk in our Savior's new ways!
Daily. Hourly. Moment by moment. Never
abandoning the quest for spiritual
maturity. Persisting again and again
after every failure of sin or self,
determined to be Christ's disciple (John
8:32-32). What ways of Christ must we
We must learn a new way of devotion,
seeking Christ in the "secret place"
daily. We must learn a new way of
fellowship, gathering with other
committed believers regularly for
instruction, encouragement, and
correction. We must learn a new way of
study, reading and researching our
Bibles to feed and educate the
Christ-nature in us.
We must learn a new way of submission,
humbly yielding our wills to our Lord's
will at every decision point. We must
learn a new way of guidance, no longer
letting our human reason lead but
instead allowing the Holy Spirit to
prompt, check, and guide us in the paths
He has chosen (Romans 8:14).
We must learn a new way of prayer,
taking every need to God immediately in
faith with thanksgiving (Philippians
4:6-7). We must learn a new way of
mercy, forgiving every offender every
offense every day. We must learn a new
way of love, befriending every true
Christian of every church at every
meeting and in every good work.
We must learn a new way of worship,
forming the habit of adoringly thanking
and praising God "at all times," in
private and in public, in prosperity and
in poverty (Psalm 34:1; 1 Thessalonians
5:18). We must learn a new way of
enduring tests of faith, loyally,
patiently, trustingly, and obediently.
We must learn a new way of
self-examination, not slowly and
resentfully but quickly and humbly
confessing every sin to Christ and
receiving His forgiveness and cleansing
(1 John 1:9).
We must learn a new way of serving
faithfully, doing what Christ has
assigned us daily, fully, reliably, when
we feel like it and when we don't. We
must learn a new way of waiting on God,
continuing to seek, serve, and worship
Him, content "whatever" our situation
may be (Philippians 4:11), until He
fulfills His promises, plans, and
visions in His time and way. We must
learn a new way of ministry, for love of
Jesus setting aside our desires, and
sometimes our needs, to serve others'
spiritual and natural needs (John
And we must learn a new way of accepting
our Christ-appointed sufferings, the
spiritual crosses and thorns He sends
for His higher purposes and our ultimate
good, and let them do a deep work in us,
conforming us to the image of the Man of
Then spiritual growth occurs. The Seed
of God's Word in us matures. Character
formation thrives. We are no longer
carnal but spiritual Christians. The
carnal nature is present but dormant and
the Christ nature present and manifest.
Jesus' life is seen in us - and others
come to Him: "And I, if I be lifted up
... will draw all men unto me" (John
12:32). And instead of being grieved,
He's pleased: "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21, 23).
This is New Testament success.
Have you never experienced the New
Birth? Repent of your sins, tell Christ
you want to be "born again," and ask Him
to come into your heart today.
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of
the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
already received the New Birth? Walk in
the New Ways! Walk in New Testament
discipleship! Walk in New Testament