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"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17
Have you ever wondered about being a new creature in Christ? What does that really mean? If we are a new creature and all things are new, why do we still feel the same old way? Why are the old temptations still so strong? Why doesn't being new in Christ seem to have much effect on our current life?
The Bible is true. If it states we are a new creation [and it does!] then it must be so. After you read that last sentence satan will likely place the thought in your mind: "Then I guess I am not a real Christian because I still think in the old way." Remember, he is the father of lies.
To understand the above scripture, we must understand what happened at salvation. Before we accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour we were zombies. Our mind and our bodies were alive, but our spirit was dead. We walked though life separated from God, the Source of Life. We were not alive in a complete sense. We were the living dead.
What happens when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour? We are born again. Our spirit is united to God's Spirit. We are truly and completely alive for the first time. We can come into the presence of God freely. We are "in" Christ which means that God sees and accepts us as if we were Christ Himself. No longer do we have to be embarrassed or afraid of the presence of God. We can enjoy Him forever.
The above being true, why do we still have the old sinful thoughts and actions? Why are temptations so strong? Why does it seem like the old nature is still alive and well?
The answer is that our spirit has been born again, but our body and our mind were already alive. They were not born again, although some people do experience instant healing or deliverance. God has commanded us to retrain our mind on how to think. When we were zombies we could only think the world's thoughts. We developed deep patterns in our minds which in turn instructed our bodies how to act. Now we have a choice. We can choose to follow the old way - which is the way we have trained ourselves to act so it is the easiest path to follow - or we can choose to train our mind to think God's thoughts and follow His commands. Our body is a servant. It will follow whatever way we choose to think.
We ARE a new creature in Christ. That is fact. However, if we do not renew our minds and make conscious, daily choices to follow God we will still live like a zombie.
Our body reacts to the outside world the way we have trained it. If we have trained it to respond in lust to certain sights, then it will take a constant purifying of our mind to retrain it. If we have trained it to act in fear when certain events happen [or we thinking they are going to happen], then it will take retraining to remove the fear. This is a step-by-step lifetime project. Each wrong thought and response is a stronghold that must be captured. Some are stronger than others, but all must fall before the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It takes faith and obedience applied through the power of the Holy Spirit, but the victory is already yours if you will renew your mind in the ways of God.