Friday, November 3, 2017

Regeneration is a New Life

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).

The new birth is the beginning of a new life. Perhaps like me you had a crisis conversion, and perceived your new birth as a great experience. Or perhaps you only gradually became aware of your new birth as a Christian. Maybe in fact you were brought up in the faith and cannot remember a time when you did not believe. Regardless, the fact is that you, as a Christian, are now living a new life. The beginning of that new life was the point at which God regenerated you, whether you were conscious of it as an event or not.

Paul tells us about the beginning of the Christian life in Ephesians 2. He first says that originally we were spiritually dead—dead to the things of the Holy Spirit. Though we were dead, we were still walking around. And how did we walk? We “followed the ways of this world” (Ephesians 2:2a). We wanted to be like other people, and that was our primary concern.

Also, we followed “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (v. 2b). That is, we walked under Satan’s influence, and this meant that our lives were characterized by fulfilling “the cravings of our sinful nature” (v. 3).

One of the greatest words in redemption comes next, the word but. Paul writes, “But because of His great love for us, God … made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (vv. 4–5). God did not leave us dead, but brought us out of death to life. A dead man cannot raise himself. It was God who did this. The only power over death is the power of God. He alone can bring something out of nothing, and life out of death. That first step, that brought you and me into a whole new life and made us new creatures, was accomplished by a creative act of almighty God.

The same almighty creative Power that gave us our new birth into the kingdom of God is what sustains us day by day. Reflect today on what it means for you to go from death to life. Are there things in your life that need to die and be regenerated? Ask God to reveal one area of need today. Seek His power to accomplish that change in your life.