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Becoming a child of God is not the end of God working in us. The next step is the reshaping of our spiritual being to the image of the Son. God has already clothed us with Christ; now it is time for the Holy Spirit to start to bring the inner man closer and closer to the image of the Son.
What are some of the processes included in the Christian life?
There are several processes included in the Christian life. These include regeneration, justification, sanctification, redemption, and renewal.
Regeneration consists of first, begettal, and secondly, being born again. The passing from spiritual death to spiritual life in Christ. (Titus 3: 5)
Justification is being declared righteous on the basis of a perfected faith (obedient faith) in God and Jesus our Lord. (Romans 5: 1; James 2: 21- 26)
Sanctification is separation to God and also a separation from evil things by the Holy Spirit through the word unto salvation. (1 Thessalonians 4: 3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2: 13; 1 Peter 1: 2: John 17: 17)
Redemption means to buy out, especially of a slave to freedom. We have been redeemed from all iniquity and every lawless deed by the precious blood of the Lamb to God. (Titus 2: 14; 1 Peter 1: 18, 19; Revelations 5: 9)
Renewal is the transformation of our nature into the image of the Son, to make new, the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God. (Titus 3: 5: Romans 12: 2; Colossians 3: 10)
Is this renewal prophesied?
Yes, Ezekiel spoke of this transformation about five hundred years before it began to occur. God promised that He would give His people a new heart and spirit and that His Spirit would dwell in them. (Ezekiel 11: 19; Ezekiel 36: 26, 27)
How is renewal accomplished?
The Holy Spirit accomplishes the transformation into the image of Christ. Working within us by the renewing of our minds. (Titus 3: 5, 6; Romans 12: 1, 2))
Where does this take place?
Although the outer physical man is decaying, the inner mans is being renewed day by day. This is not an instantaneous process but one that requires perseverance. (2 Corinthians 4: 16)
What are the qualities of God to which we are renewed?
Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted according to the lust of deceit
Put on new self which is in the likeness of God
Speak the truth with one another for we are members of the one body
Do not sin in our anger, let go of it each day
Donít give the devil an opportunity to entice us
Work with your hands so you wonít be tempted to steal
Guard your mouth so that your speech may be wholesome and uplifting
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that dwells in us with our thoughts and actions
Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice.
Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving as we have been forgiven in Christ.
Ephesians 4: 22- 32
What can aid us in this process?
We have already been clothed with Christ in the mind of God.
(Galatians 3: 26, 27)
The link between sin and condemnation has been broken. Romans 8: 1- 3)
Now when we sin we are not automatically condemned because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has set us free from the law or principle of sin and you die. This is great news! This means that our transformation or renewal is not to achieve righteousness of which we may boast, but to become what God already has accorded to us by virtue of being in Christ.
What specifically can we do to contribute to this renewal?
We need to remember that our relationship with God is not monergistic (as some believe and teach) but it is synergistic. Monergism means that the Holy Spirit acts alone in regard to salvation. This does not mean we are equal participants with God but the relationship requires our cooperation. A good example of this is: Work out you salvation with fear and trembling for God is at work within us both to will and to do. (Philippians 2: 12, 13)
Seek the things above. (Colossians 3: 1)
Set your mind on things above. (Colossians 3: 2)
Ask, and it shall be given you.
Seek, and you shall find.
Knock, and it shall be opened to you
(Matthew 7: 7)
Why is this important?
As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What we think about is important to how we will act. Think on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely and of good repute and we will act truly, rightly, honorably, purely, and in loveliness and in reputable ways. (Proverbs 23: 7; Philippians 4: 8)
Remember you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God
Consider the earthy body, as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, and evil desire, greed that is idolatry
Put aside anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, lying
We are chosen of God, holy and beloved. We are not some piece of trash, of no value. We are children of the King and should act accordingly
Put on heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing on another, forgiving
Why and how should we forgive?
Because we have been forgiven. Since we have experienced grace we can be gracious to others. (Ephesians 4: 32)
Why are we able to forego taking revenge?
Because God has appointed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness. He will do a better job, if we believe that it can help us in our walk. (Acts 17: 31; Romans 12: 19)
Instead put on love above all things, it is the perfect bond of unity
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing. Spend time in the word daily
Sing and be happy. We belong to the Lord and he cares for us.
Do all in the name of the Lord. What is our intent?
Some special relationships.
Wives- be subject to husband, as fitting in the Lord
Husbands- love you wives, donít be bitter, die for them
Children- be obedient, well pleasing
Fathers- donít exasperate children, reasonable, discipline with love
Slaves- obey your Master as you do the Lord, from the heart
Work heartily; we serve the Lord
God judges righteously
Is renewal by the Spirit a salvation issue?
Salvation not based upon deeds which we have done in righteousness. By His mercy and grace He saves us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing by Holy Spirit. Yes, renewal is a salvation issue. (Titus 3: 5, 6)
Why then do we obey?
Initially we obey to perfect and complete our faith, as we enter into a relationship with Christ.
Subsequently we obey to be conformed to the righteousness that God has already attributed us by virtue of being in Christ
Can we fall away despite all that God does?
It is impossible for me to read the epistle to the Galatians and the Hebrew without concluding we can fall away. (Hebrews 6: 4- 6;Galatians 5: 4)
What are some general concepts that will help us?
Think on good things; fill our mind (Philippians 4: 8)
Flee from evil, canít play around (1 Corinthians 6: 18; 10: 14)
Donít be deceived evil companions corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15: 13)
Be careful; donít think you cannot fall (1 Corinthians 10: 12)
Assemble with the saints; encourage one another. Donít be so foolish to think that you do not need encouragement. (Hebrews 10: 25)
Pray without ceasing. We may not understand all of Godís ways but trust Him. (1 Thessalonians 5: 17)
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Last Update 07/23/08