This past week we covered the third lesson on “Knowing our Salvation.”
In the first two lessons we covered many things, such as our being chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and our being justified out of faith in the redemptive work of Christ (Rom. 5:1).
In the third lesson we went on further to see aspects of our salvation we can experience and enjoy based upon Christ’s redemptive work. Such aspects include: regeneration, passing out of death into life, resurrection, ascension, renewing, and being set free. I will share what I got out of regeneration and renewing.
In John 3 we see this matter of regeneration in a clear way. John 3:3 says,
“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, Truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The “him” in this verse is referring to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and called Him “Rabbi,” and referred to Him as a “teacher,” revealing that he came to Jesus seeking fora new teaching, perhaps to improve himself (John 3:1-2).
Often times, it is true in our experience that we come to the Bible to look for a teaching, but we miss a crucial point—that what we need is not more teaching but life. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born anew. He needed to be regenerated—to receive the life of God in addition to his human life. The life of God is the Son, Jesus Christ Himself (1 John 5:12). Nicodemus did not need teachings, religion, or things to help improve his behavior, but rather Nicodemus needed to receive Jesus Christ as his life. Nicodemus was probably a very moral man, but regardless of whether we are moral or immoral, if we do not have the life of God, God will not be satisfied with us. Thus, when we are saved, all our sins are forgiven and washed away, and we are also regenerated by receiving Christ Himself—not a religious teaching, but a living Person!
Secondly, in Romans 12:2 we see the matter of renewing.
“And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.”
When we are regenerated, God enters into our spirit—we receive His life and we become children of God (John 3:6, 1:12-13). Now God is in our spirit and He can never leave—we are eternally saved! But God does not want to just remain in our spirit; He wants to spread into our soul and all its different parts—our mind, our emotion, and our will. In Romans 12:2 we see He wants to spread into our mind to renew our mind. He does this through the “renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
Many thoughts that we have need the new element of Christ to be added into it. The Spirit wants to spread into our thoughts and change how we think. May we allow the Spirit who dwells in our spirit to spread more into our thoughts, to add to them the new element of Christ for the renewing of our mind day by day!