All Things New

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”   (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

            In regeneration the Lord Jesus Christ makes chosen, redeemed sinners new creatures. Regeneration is commonly called the new birth. In fact, the Holy Spirit tells us plainly in Titus 3:5 that the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit are same thing.

 

New Man

 

That which is produced in regeneration is called the new creature and the new man. Those who are born again are said to be new born babes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Peter 2:2).

 

That new man, the new creature, we are told is “created in righteousness and true holiness.” That simply means that he is created by two great works of omnipotent grace: justification and sanctification — redemption and regeneration — righteousness imputed and righteousness imparted.

 

            That new man is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). He is that which is born of God and cannot sin, because he is born of God (1 John 3:9). This new man, this new creature is what the Holy Spirit speaks of when he tells us that all who believe have been made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

New Heart

 

That new creature is given a new heart and a new spirit, a new understanding, to know and understand things never known nor understood before. The regenerate soul has a new heart which knows God, not merely as the God of nature and providence, but as the God his Father, the God of all grace. The believer knows God in Christ the Mediator. He is made to know the love of God in Christ, the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it which were made and given to him in Christ before the world was created.

 

Our Lord Jesus tells us that this knowledge of God in Christ is eternal life (John 17:3). Those who have eternal life, those who are made new creatures in Christ by the new birth know Christ and the fulness of God’s grace in him. They know and enjoy the pardon of sin through his blood, justification by his righteousness, atonement by his sacrifice, and acceptance with God through him. They know and enjoy complete salvation in and by Christ.

 

In this new heart are new desires after heavenly things. The regenerate soul has new affections, which are placed upon things above, new delights in them, and new joys, which arise from them (Ezekiel 36:26; 1 John 5:20; 1 Corinthians 2:9). In this new man are new eyes, with which to see the kingdom of God. To some, God does not give eyes to see divine and spiritual things, but to regenerated souls, he does. They have seeing eyes, made by the Lord (Deuteronomy 29:4; Proverbs 20:12). They see their lost state and condition by nature, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and their utter inability to make atonement by anything they can do. We see the insufficiency of our righteousness, our impotence to every good work, and our complete inability to change our condition.

 

Regenerate souls are made to see their need of the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and of salvation by him. They have the eye of faith, by which they behold the glories of Christ’s Person, the fulness of his grace, the excellency of his righteousness, the virtue of his blood and sacrifice, and the suitableness and completeness of his salvation.

 

Moreover, in the new man are new ears to hear the good Shepherd’s voice. They have them from the Lord, and blessed are they (Revelation 2:11; Deuteronomy 29:4; Proverbs 20:12; Matthew 13:16-17). They hear the word in a manner they never heard before; they hear it with understanding, and receive the love of it. Now we are able to distinguish the voice of Christ from the voice of a stranger. We know the joyful sound of the gospel, and rejoice to hear it.

 

The new man has new hands with which to work and serve his Master. We have the hand of faith, to receive Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, to lay hold on him for life and salvation, to embrace him, hold him fast, and not let him go. With the hand of faith, we are now able to handle him, the Word of life, and receive from him grace for grace. We have hands to work with, and do our work from better principles and for better purposes than law could ever give. — “The love of Christ constraineth us!

 

Those who are born of God have new feet with which to walk, with which to flee to Christ, the City of refuge. We walk to Christ on the feet of faith, and walk on in him all our days just as we received him in the beginning. God’s children never outgrow the simplicity of faith. With these new feet of faith, we run with cheerfulness in the way of his commandments, following hard after him, and follow on to know him. By the grace of God, the heaven born soul runs and is not weary. He walks and does not faint.

 

Grace Alone

 

If the regenerate soul is a new creature in Christ, if regeneration is a resurrection from the dead, as the Word of God everywhere declares that it is, then it is utterly absurd to imagine that man has anything to do with the work. Can man create? Can man raise the dead? What nonsense it is to talk about people being born again by their free will, their decision for Jesus, saying the sinners’ prayer, walking a church aisle, being baptized, or going through some religious ceremony! The new birth is God’s work. Our Lord does not say, You must do something to get born again. He says, “Ye must BE born again!” The new birth is God’s work and God’s work alone! It is he and he alone who makes chosen, redeemed sinners new creatures. The new creation is his work of grace, for which he shall have all praise.

 

It is written, “Even when we were dead in sins, (God our Father, by the power of his Holy Spirit) hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-7).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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