When a person comes to Jesus and believes in Him, God gives him a divine nature. This is called REGENERATION. The divine nature desires the pure and unadulterated Word of God. That was why Jesus says, “The spirit is willing.” The spirit is willing to be taught by God. The spirit is willing to pray.
Jesus’ disciples slept when He was praying. Their flesh were weak.
At Pentecost, they were regenerated when they received the Holy Spirit and were given a divine nature. They were born again.
I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
In the case of Paul, there was an old Saul and the new Paul. Paul explains his spiritual conflict in Romans 7:14-25.
How about your own experience? Can you discern the old “I” and the new “I” after you came to the Lord Jesus Christ?
In many spiritual renewal and holiness movements within Christianity, Christian gurus advocate ascetic exercises that put much restrain on the body. Fasting, abstinence from certain foods, bodily disciplines and meditations are attempts to REFORM the old nature. Many religions also teach this. But the old nature cannot be reformed! God sees the old nature as beyond reformation (Gen 6:5; Mk 7:21-23). It has to be crucified to the CROSS of Jesus Christ. The believer who reckons himself dead to sin but alive in Him has victory over sin and his sinful nature. A victorious Christian is regenerated by God. He stands on the ground of Christ’s victory over sin.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come.
“The old has passed away” does not refer to the cessation of the old nature. It refers to the passing away of old things – old prejudices, old mind set, old enslavements, old viewpoints, etc. If you diligently study the Bible and apply the truths of God’s Word as guided by the Holy Spirit, you will acquire new insights and wisdom from God over time. The new things refer to new relationship with the triune God, new spiritual consciousness, forgiveness and spiritual freedom, etc.
The Christian retains human attributes that belongs to the old nature. When he yields his body and mind to the works of the flesh, the fruits are ugly (Gal 5:19-21).
The Christian is regenerated by the power of God when he accepts the salvation plan of Jesus Christ and is given divine attributes by the Holy Spirit. As he yields his body and mind to serve Christ and obey the word of God, he will display exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) in his life.
Continue to yield your body and mind to serve Christ and obey the word of God so that your life will bear the fruit of the Spirit!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo