All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 24, 2011
A New Creature
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2011 by Merle E. Koepke
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This Mini-Book is a continuation of other Parts of this series of Mini-books. It is very important that Christians understand what was written in the other Parts. The other Parts can be downloaded freely from our Web sites.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." What is 2 Corinthians 5:17 talking about? Many Christians today read the Scriptures, they quote the Scriptures, but they do not have spiritual understanding of what the Scriptures are saying.
In 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 it says, "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit...Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual...The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." This tells us that there are two creations of mankind. The first creation of mankind was man in the flesh, called "Adam," meaning "mankind." Then there was a second creation of man in the Spirit, called "the last Adam" also meaning "mankind."
These are two different creations of mankind. The first Adam was "a living soul," with a body of flesh and bones (created of this earth). "The second man is the Lord from heaven," a life-giving Spirit (from heaven).
The first Adam was not spiritual, whereas the second Adam is spiritual. The first Adam was in the flesh, whereas the Second Adam is in the Spirit.
It is sad that so many are not teaching the truth that is revealed in Genesis 2:7 & 1 Corinthians 15:35-57. It has been in the Bible for almost two-thousand years. Still, there are many teaching another doctrine. If Christians knew the truth, their whole lives would change and they could walk like Jesus walked. In 1 John 2:6 it says, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
Adam was the first man created in Genesis 2:7. Adam was not spiritual, but was earthly of this earth with a "terrestrial body" of flesh and bones (which needs air to breathe).
Christ is the last Man, created by God the day that Jesus arose again from the dead, with a "celestial body" (spiritual body), that does not need air to breathe. In Christ Jesus, we have eternal life, the same life that God has (which is called "zoe" in the Greek). This is the very life of God, which was in the Father and the Son from the beginning. In this new life we can enter into heaven and spend eternity with God.
Why do Christians still want to live like the world lives, when they should be living like God lives? How sad it is that Christians have been so long deceived by the enemy, not believing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A New Heart
This is a continuation of "Part 8 of A New Creature." Only parts of Part 8 are included in this Mini-Book. It would be very helpful if those reading this Mini-Book would first read all the previous parts. There is a lot more to "A New Creature in Christ" than what can be revealed in just a few Mini-Books. Other parts of this series on A New Creature can be downloaded from our Web sites listed on the first page of this Mini-Book.
The word "heart," used many times in the Scriptures means, "the innermost part of our being." Our heart is not in our mind, and it is not in our spirit. Sometimes the word heart may be speaking of our spirit, but it is the innermost part of our human being. It is the intentions of our heart that God looks upon.
God looks at our heart, which is the innermost part of our being, when He determines our intentions. In Proverbs 4:23 it says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Jesus said in Matthew 12:35, "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
Our soul, which is psychic, contains our mind and it is subject to the spiritual realm by the thoughts that come into our mind. Our heart is established by what we believe, as a result of what we do about the thoughts that come to our mind.
If we submit our mind to the thoughts that come from God, our heart will be established upon the Word of God. If we submit our mind to the thoughts that come from the Satanic realm, our heart will be established upon the thoughts of the enemy.
From the time that Adam and Eve submitted their thoughts to the words of the serpent our minds became corrupted by the Satanic realm. Man began to think like the Devil thinks.
The Devil's thoughts and God's thoughts are not the same. Therefore, the soul of man became corrupted by the thoughts of the Satanic realm. As mankind continued to receive thoughts that came from the Satanic realm their heart became hardened against the Word of God.
Knowing the hearts of mankind, God included "a new heart," in the new birth. This was spoken of in Ezekiel 36:26, saying, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
What is God talking about when He said He would "...take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh?" Sin had corrupted the hearts of mankind. Mankind in general preferred themselves before others. Mankind in general always looked upon their own desires and needs before they looked upon the desires and needs of others.
By not looking at the needs of others first, man's heart was similar to that of Lucifer before he was cast out of heaven (Isa. 14:12-14). God's heart always looks at the needs of others before His own needs. God knew the need of mankind to be delivered and protected from the works of the Devil.
Therefore, God sent Jesus to redeem mankind from the works of the Devil. Jesus came into this world as a Man, born of the Holy Spirit and a woman. Jesus' life came from God and His body came from the womb of a woman. Jesus, Who was "The Word of God in the beginning" received a human body born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary.
The Word of God became flesh, and took upon Himself all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sickness, and diseases. God saw our need, and delivered us from all our destructions. This is the Gospel that needs to be preached to the whole world, that those who will believe in their heart will be saved.
God knew the born again experience needed to be more than just a religious operation. Unless a person's heart is changed, they will only become religious with an outward appearance of Godliness but lacking the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5).
In the new birth, God did not remove the corruption that was in our soul. But, God did give us a new heart, whereby we could know the will of God, and do the will of God. In Hebrews 8:10, it says, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people"
When a person is "truly born again," there should be a change of the desires of their heart. In their heart there should be the desire to study the Word of God and seek those things which God desires for us (not the things of this world). There should be a desire to do the will of God (not the will of the flesh). There should be a change in the way they think.
The Apostle Peter wrote it this way, "...ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light...Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy...Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:9-11).
When a person is truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, they become different from those who are not born again. To the world, Christians become "...a peculiar people..." True Christians do not do things the way the world does things. They, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15). The love of God the Father is in them and they love the Word of God more than they love the world or the things of this world.
They have received from God "a new heart" which results in a new desire within them. The desires of their heart are no longer for the world or the things of this world.
Using a type and shadow (symbolic or figurative speaking) let us see this change in the heart of a Christian, When Adam was first formed of the dust of the earth, he became earthy (of this earth) (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45-48). Adam's body came from the earth, but his living soul came from the breath of the LORD God. The earth became as Adam's mother and the LORD God became as Adam's father. Adam belonged to the earth, for he was created of the elements of the earth. Adam belonged to God, because his life came from the LORD God.
Now, let us look at the "new birth." In 1 Peter it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Just as Adam's physical body came from the earth, in the new birth our spiritual body came from the Word of God. The Word of God is the seed of our new birth in the spirit.
In John 3:6 Jesus said, "...that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Our spiritual life came from God. Just as the living soul of Adam came from the breath of the LORD God, our life in the spirit came from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are born again of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is like our Father and the Word of God is like our mother.
When we use this as our example of the new birth as compared to the old birth in Adam, we will better understand why Peter wrote we are "...a peculiar people..." The world does not know us, because they do not know Jesus, Who is the Word of God that dwells in us. We are born again of "the Word of God and the Holy Spirit."
The desires of our heart have been changed. We no longer desire the world or the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15). We love God, for the love of God is poured out into our heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
God is our Father, and we desire to be like our Father. There is a desire in our heart to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15,16). This desire comes in the new birth, when we receive a new heart.
The Word of God is like our mother, whereby we love the Word of God with all our heart, just as a new born baby loves its mother. New creatures in Christ love the Word of God with all their heart. The Word of God is our life in the Spirit. We received our life in the Spirit from the Word of God. New creatures in Christ desire to live in the Word of God and by the Word of God.
What mother is there that, does not love her children? Jesus is the Word of God and He loves those who are His own, born again of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). This love of God is in our new heart, and we love Him as He loved us.
We have a new beginning, a new life in Christ Jesus. But we still have the same living soul that we had in the beginning. We still face the same enemy that Adam and Eve faced in the garden of Eden. The thoughts of the tree of knowledge of good and evil still come into our minds from the Devil. What will happen to us if we continue to receive the thoughts of the Devil?
Christians need wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Word of God, for it is our very life in the Spirit. We are born again of the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Without wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Word of God we can easily be deceived by the enemy.
When we were truly born again, we received the Love of God which was poured out in our heart by the Holy Spirit. It tells us in Romans 5:5, "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
This love of God must remain in our hearts until the end. Jesus said in Matthew 24:11-13, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold...But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." In 1 John 2:15-17 it says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." The love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit must remain in our hearts until the end.
To the Church of Ephesus, Jesus told the Apostle John to write, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love...Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:4,5).
To the Church at Sardis, Jesus told the Apostle John to write, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee...Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Rev. 3:3-5).
It is very important that Christians understand the New Creature in Christ Jesus. What happens when a person truly becomes born again in Christ Jesus? What happens after they have been truly born again?
It is not "once saved, always saved," as some teach. It is an opportunity with a new beginning. We are delivered from our past life in the flesh. But, we must continue in the Word of God and the Spirit to obtain unto eternal life in heaven. In the new birth we receive the earnest of our inheritance. We must continue in Christ to receive our full inheritance (Eph. 1:13,14).
God reveals spiritual things to us in types and shadows, symbolic and figurative speaking. When a new born child comes into this world, the mother loves that child with her whole heart. The mother knows the child needs to eat food to live. The mother feeds the child with her own milk from her own breast.
The physical life of the new born child is dependent upon the elements of the earth. The child's life in the flesh must be sustained by eating of natural elements of the earth. If the child does not get food to eat, it will die.
It is the same in the spiritual realm, concerning the new born again Christian. The LORD Jesus Christ is like the mother of the new born Christians. The spiritual life of the new born Christian is made up of spiritual elements. The main spiritual element of the spiritual body is "The Word of God."
We are born again of the Word of God, by the working of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Peter 1:23 it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Jesus is the Word of God. In type and shadow, Jesus said in John 6:53-58, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you...Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day...For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed...He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him...As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me...This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
Jesus was not talking about eating His physical body or drinking His liquid blood. Jesus was speaking of eating "the Word of God." Jesus explained this in John 6:63, saying, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The physical body of man lives by eating food (bread). The spiritual body of a new creature in Christ lives by eating the Word of God.
A mother feeds a new born child from her breast, knowing that the child cannot feed itself. Once the child is able to eat other foods, the mother begins feeding the child the foods it needs to grow and mature. All during that time the mother loves that child and does everything she can to help that child grow and mature.
Once the child can eat by itself, the mother no longer feeds the child, but makes the food available for the child to eat on its own. The food is provided, but the child must eat the food itself to continue to live.
It is the same in the spiritual realm. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus supplies everything we need to grow in the spirit. Jesus is the Word of God, Himself. Therefore, by the work of the Holy Spirit and the LORD, the Word of God is available to every born again Christian. Supernaturally, the Holy Spirit provides what we need until we are able to feed ourselves the Word of God. There are many ways the LORD works through the Holy Spirit to get the Word of God to us, that we can eat the Word of God and grow and mature in the LORD.
As new born Christians receive the Word of God they are to apply it to their lives and live by the Word of God, not the words of men. Religion will not help a Christian abide in the Word.
Jesus said in John 8:31,32, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Christians who do not continue in the Word of God will not stay free. They will easily be deceived by the enemy.
Christians are set free when they are truly born again into the body of Christ. But, if they do not continue in the Word of God, they may die spiritually. If the love of God that is poured out in their heart does not remain in them, they could die spiritually.
The New Testament is full of information concerning those who do not continue in the Word. Jesus gave a parable of the seed and the sower in Mark 4:13-19. In that parable, Jesus explained how that Satan comes and "takes away the word that was sown in their hearts."
The LORD Jesus Christ has done all He can to help those who are truly born again. He has given us His Word, whereby we can live and have eternal life. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, guide, leader, comforter, and teacher (1 John 2:27).
With all that Jesus has done for us, there is nothing else He can do if we do not continue in His Word. If we let Satan steal the Word of God out of our heart, there is nothing that the LORD can do for us.
Just like a mother in the natural world, she loves her children. She feeds them when they cannot feed themselves. But once they can feed themselves, it is up to them if they will eat, and what they will eat. She no longer has control over what they eat.
So it is in the Spiritual realm. The LORD feeds us until we can eat on our own. From that time on, the LORD has no control over what we do about the Word of God. If we do not continue in the Word of God, there is nothing the LORD can do for us. It is our choice what we will do about the Word of God. If we let Satan steal the Word from us, the LORD cannot do anything for us.
Just as with a child born into this world. The mother loves her child, and does what she can to help that child. But, if the child rebels, and refuses to listen to its mother, there is nothing more she can do. She continues to love the child, but it is up to the child as to what will happen if they no longer listen to the mother. Unless the child comes back to the mother and repents of its rebellion, there is nothing the mother can do except pray. Before prayer will help there must be a change in the child's attitude toward its mother. That change is called repentance.
This is the way it is in the body of Christ. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, a person is living separated from God and the LORD Jesus Christ, who is the only one that can save them.
Jesus gave the example of this in Luke 15:11-32. The one son of this father took his inheritance and went off into another country and wasted it. All the time that son was gone from his father's house the father could not do anything for that son. He remained a son of the father, but he was lost and was dead, "because he left his father's house." Being away from his father's house, that son lost everything he had. The father could do nothing for this son, because he left his father.
When Christians leave the LORD and the Word of God and desire the world and the things of this world more, the LORD can do nothing for them. They become lost, and even spiritually dead. What will happen to Christians who are lost and spiritually dead?
Speaking of the one son in Luke 15:17-19 it says, "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!...I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee...And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." Without true repentance this son would have still been lost and dead.
God loves His children who are born again in Christ Jesus. Jesus loves those who came to Him and received Him as their LORD and Savior. Neither God the Father nor the LORD Jesus Christ can do anything to help a Christian who walks away from the Word of God and follows the worlds system. God has given us His Word and God cannot change His Word.
Jesus is the Word for God that manifests in our flesh (John 1:14). Without the Word of God working in our lives, we are lost and dying spiritually. Each one must do what the one son of the father in Luke 15:17-19 did. They must repent and return to the LORD (which is the Word of God), and they will be forgiven. If they will repent and return to walking in the Light, which is the Word of God, they will be forgiven.
Look at what happened to the one son in Luke 15:20. It says, "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." His father "...saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." God loves every one of His children, but cannot do anything for them if they do not repent of their sins and return. In 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Any Christian who has left the Word of God and went back to seek the things of this world, needs to return and confess their sins to God. Then God will forgive them and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.
God has compassion for those who have left the Word of God and went following after the world. Even in the churches today, just like in the Church in Ephesus in Revelation, there are many who have left their first love (Rev. 2:1-5). Unless they repent, and return to the Word of God, they could be lost, and could even die spiritually. This is serious for anyone who says they are a Christian and goes away from the Word of God and seeks the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17).
In Luke 15:21 it says, "And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." That is true repentance. Following this sons true repentance, it says in Luke 15:22-24, "But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet...And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry...For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
Once this son truly repented, then the father received him back and restored his relationship and fellowship. What would have happened to this son if he had not returned and confessed his sin? He was spiritually lost. He was spiritually dead.
Where do the lost and dead go when they leave this earth? Hell is waiting for those Christians who have left the Word of God and gone to following the world. They left their first love, the love of the Father and the Word of God. They loved the world more than they loved the LORD.
Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "...that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This is not just for those who do not know the LORD. It is for everyone who is not living in the Word of God. The Word of God is the life of the spirit. When the spiritual man stops eating the Word of God, they could die spiritually.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Word of God is our life in the Spirit. We must live spiritually by eating the Word of God. Jesus said in John 6:53-57, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you...Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day...For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed....He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him...As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."
Christians must continue to live by the Word of God. Christians are the body of Christ here on earth. Just praying for the lost is not sufficient. The LORD Himself is interceding for those Christians who are lost (Heb. 7:25). Christians must be talking to those who have left the Word of God and have gone back into the worlds way of living. Those who have lost their first love need to be saved. They need to return to living by the Word of God, not by the ways of the world.
Christians do not need to be going to Churches that do not teach the Truth concerning eternal life in Christ Jesus. Churches that teach for money, and worldly gain, could be in great error. See 1 John 2:15-17, and Revelation 3:14-21.
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