What does it mean that a Christian is becoming a new man / woman?
One day when a man asked Jesus how He was able to perform the miracles He did, Jesus answered the man by saying a person needs to be "born again" to be right with God (John 3:1–15).
Although every human desires "do overs" and to start again, Jesus knew this wasn't possible without something spiritual happening and the only One who could truly grant new starts is God Himself.
Paul understood this and wrote that a relationship with Jesus was the only way a person could become new. "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:14–17).
What Jesus and Paul knew was that each person is "new" when they were born and that miracle could be replicated spiritually. Christianity allows for a person who is "dead in the trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1) to be resuscitated, to "put on the new self" as Ephesians 4:20–24 explains it.
Our moral choices may be improved, and we may become better persons, but nothing we can do will grant us a re-start or new life. Our sinful flesh must be done away with (Luke 9:23; Romans 6:6–7), not just improved upon. When we are made new by Jesus, our old nature cannot work in harmony with our new nature—they fight (Romans 8:12–14).
We are all created with a physical body, but also with a soul and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23), but before a person meets Jesus and becomes a Christian, they are controlled by their soul and body. The spirit is not awakened until we decide to intentionally identify Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and the Holy Spirit begins a work in us to make us more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).
Our bodies are now at the control of the Holy Spirit when we allow Him to direct us. Our bodies become a "living sacrifice" and our minds are renewed (Romans 12:1–2). Our priorities change and our energies are more and more directed toward godly pursuits. Our actions show this. Galatians 5:19–25 calls this the fruit of the Spirit.
Rebirth, new birth, or being born again is just the beginning. God continues to work in us to make us holy until we see Him face to face (Philippians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:27).
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