Positive Spiritual Attitude Lesson 2
In the last lesson I pointed out how that there are so many Christians commenting on what a wretched sinner they are and how they have been saved by the grace of God. Yes, that is proper theology, that we were dead in trespasses and sins and we once did walk according to the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Please note that this wretched person who was us, is in the past tense. Note what we read in I Corinthians 6:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (vs 9-11)
We want to take careful note of the words, “But you were washed” not only washed but sanctified and justified. In other words we are no longer that wretched sinner that did all those awful things and lived that depraved life style, we are a new person, or as we read a new creation in Christ, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (II Cor. 5:17). We need to keep this before us that all things have become new, we are no longer that sinful wretch in need of a savior, we have a savior who has made us over into something brand new. This is what is conveyed in the new birth, that we have been born again, “…who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). In order to enter into or even to see the kingdom of God, one must be born again (John 3:3-7). Being born again is a Scriptural imperative through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let us be careful to grasp this important truth, God the Father has made this new birth possible as all things are done according the will of the Father; it is through faith in the Son of God that enables the new birth; and then it is the life giving action of the Holy Spirit that completes the new birth. We are no longer the men or women that we once were, the old life is dead, we now live in the reality of this new born again life. Does it not make sense that is how we ought to live as those who have been born of the will of God? We see this same doctrine in the ordinance of baptism. As we read in Romans 6:
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (vs 3-6)
This text gives us the doctrine that water baptism symbolizes. The doctrine is that when we trust in Christ we are then submerged into His death and raised up in His resurrection. Water baptism is an excellent picture of this doctrine, that as we are submerged into the water, we identify with His death and as we are raised up out of the water, we identify with His resurrection. For our purposes in this article, the point is that our old life is now dead and we are now dead to sin that we should not live in sin anymore. We are to be living this new resurrected life. Now, should not this be our claim, our testimony, our announcement to the world, I am no longer what I was, I have been raised together with Christ. In our next lesson we will pursue this further to see what our position is in Christ.