Renewed and Reborn :: By Nathele Graham

Christianity is not a religion; it is a way of life. Before we met Jesus, sin was our way of life. Maybe the sin wasn’t considered really bad by human understanding but was more gossiping or using our Lord’s name to cuss. After being born anew, our way of life needs to change. We must repent and turn from sin. We must conform to Christ in thought, word, and deed. Unfortunately, we will always be subject to our sin nature and fall short of perfection. Thanks to Adam, sin is part of our life.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned(Romans 5:12).

Adam was not surprised that his sin caused the fall of creation because God had told him that eating the forbidden fruit would cause death. That death was spiritual and separated mankind from God. Adam willingly ate the fruit which God specifically told him not to eat, and found out that God was right about it bringing death. Ever since that first sin, people have blamed God for the results of our sin. That just isn’t right. God has given us guidance through Scripture so that we aren’t ignorant of His expectations for us. God gave the Law to Moses, which gave rules for living.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come(Romans 5:14).

The Law couldn’t take sin away, but it was a teacher that taught what sin is. It also gave instructions for sacrifices to cover sin, but those sacrifices could never take sin away. Our sin nature is still very strong, but God is stronger than any sin we might commit. From the ones we perceive as small (white lies) to the ones we see as huge (mass murder), there is no sin that God won’t forgive if we truly repent.

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many(Romans 5:15).

Adam sinned, and we all face eternal death. God stepped into His creation and shed His blood on the cross, and He conquered death for all who repent and are reborn. The gift of grace is free but has to be accepted. I don’t know about you, but I am very thankful for this free gift of salvation. I believe and hope you do, too. Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, but we didn’t abolish them. God expects us to live moral lives according to Scripture.

Today, we have the Old and New Testaments to guide us. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works(2 Timothy 3:16-17).

If your life does not conform to God’s word, then you need to change your way of life. If you attend a church that preaches a watered-down Gospel, find a Bible-teaching, Christ-centered one. Use Scripture to guide you. Sin is never acceptable to God, but repentant sinners are.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(1 John 1:9).

Those are encouraging words from the Apostle John. Use Scripture to shine a light on your sin, then confess your sin to Jesus and ask to be forgiven. Don’t try to twist God’s truth to condone your sin. God never changes, and His word is truth.

The gift of grace and salvation is free, but there is a responsibility. We cannot work to earn our salvation, but we can show our appreciation to God by doing good works in His name and honoring Him with our life. When you were a child, if your father gave you a gift and you treated it as if it was no big deal and you deserved it, would your father be happy with you? Or would he see you as a spoiled brat? The gift would still be yours, but your father would be disappointed in the way you treated the gift. God’s gift of salvation is more precious than any earthly gift we can receive. The treasures we have on earth will rust and decay.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also(Matthew 6:19-21).

In this life, we tend to look at what other people have and want those earthly treasures, too. We don’t appreciate what God has given to us but covet what others have. There will always be someone who has more earthly wealth, and you’ll find that the more you have, the more you desire. Honor God by being content with what you have, but seek Heavenly treasures. The thing to remember is that at the end of life, none of the wealth of this world will go with you to your final reward.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?(Mark 8:36).

Think about that. What have you done to get treasures of this world? Did you lie? Did you steal? Did you blame others for your own mistakes while climbing that ladder of success? I think of Hollywood stars or famous musicians and politicians, and always wonder how many sins were committed in order to gain that fame, fortune, and power. I also look at pastors of mega-churches and listen to the unbiblical things they teach. It may tickle ears and appease worldly lifestyles, but God’s truth is compromised. Go back and read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. They may be wealthy, but are they saved? That’s between them and God.

As Christians, we are to live our life to glorify God. My Grandmother always said, “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your mouth.” We want people to see Christ living in us and want the peace and joy we have in Christ to shine through. Christians need to love others, but in no way should God’s truth be compromised.

How do we live life to honor God? Start by studying Scripture. Don’t take verses out of context in order to justify a favorite sin of which you don’t want to repent. Allow God to change you. Paul encouraged the Christians living in Ephesus, “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(Ephesians 4:17-18).

It’s always tempting to follow the crowd. Everybody is having a good time, so what will one wild party harm? For someone who is renewed and reborn, it’s easy to not fall into temptation because we have turned our life over to Jesus. So sex, drugs, and alcohol shouldn’t tempt us. Those parties are all fun and games until someone crashes their car and people are killed, or a baby is conceived and now you want to kill it. Even this behavior can be forgiven, but there must be true repentance. When we come to Christ, we repent and turn from sin. Sin really isn’t fun, but Satan can make it look that way. The truth is, there is no fun in drunken parties. Many people don’t even remember what they did, so how enjoyable is it really? It doesn’t honor Christ at all. Worldly people have hardened their hearts to Christ.

Who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness, but ye have not so learned Christ(Ephesians 4:19-20).

Those who don’t know Christ have no moral standard to guide them. What does “lasciviousness” mean? Basically, it means unbridled lust. On the other hand, Christians have Scripture to guide our path, and lascivious behavior should not tempt us at all. Why would a Christian want to follow the world down the path of destruction?

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus: 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, wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another(Ephesians 4:21-25).

Paul encourages those in Ephesus, and us, to listen to the teachings of Jesus and be changed, that is, “put off the former conversation.” The word conversation means your way of life. Old sinful ways are forgiven and hold no sway over you anymore. You are a new person in Christ… you are renewed and reborn, so live like you love Jesus.

God is unchanging, and what He wrote in Scripture is as true today as it was in times past. In our modern “woke” society, sin is accepted, even by “Christians.” Anyone who calls sin what it is, is considered a hater. People may change and accept sin, but God never changes. He will forgive repentant sinners but won’t accept the sin. What if God did change? That would make Him capricious.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever(Hebrews 13:8).

Consider this. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of the great wickedness there. God had sent two angels to rescue Lot from Sodom before judgment was sent. When they got to Sodom, the men of Sodom wanted to sexually abuse them. The wickedness of Sodom was great, and God had to stop it from spreading and corrupting everything. Lot had to leave the city before the judgment, but once he was safe, judgment came.

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground(Genesis 19:24-25).

God was serious then about this sin of homosexuality, and He hasn’t changed His mind. Study Romans chapter 1 to understand that God hasn’t changed His mind. Today, the “woke” people would have us accept this evil, and even some “Christian” denominations embrace this sin. But true Christians know why God judged Sodom and Gomorrah and that He doesn’t change. It is those of us who have been renewed and reborn who need to conform to God and His ways. He will forgive those who truly repent.

Everyone struggles against sin, and most of us have a “past” that didn’t honor God. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God(1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

You may need to look up some of those words to understand what sins Paul is addressing. Corinth was a city engulfed with much sin. In spite of that fact, there were some who came to faith in Christ. Unfortunately, the congregation was “woke” and accepted sin and were proud of their open-mindedness. Paul took them to task and admonished them to turn from their wickedness. Before Paul met Jesus, he was a man filled with sin, but once he put off the old man and was renewed and reborn, he did mighty works for God. Today, we benefit from the letters he wrote regarding Christian life. Those letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are a guide for how to live a Christ-honoring life.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:11.

We need to be living sacrifices to our Lord. He sacrificed everything for us. Are you washed, sanctified, and justified? Are you renewed and reborn? If so, then start living your faith.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

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