The Miracle of Our New Birth
Jesus revealed where sin resides in man when He said, “From within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things come from within man and defile man (Mark 7:21-23).” By this statement, Jesus did not mean that sin resides in our physical heart; otherwise we would need a physical heart transplant to be freed from sin. Jesus meant that sin dwells in man’s unregenerate heart since everyone is born with a heart of sin (a sinful nature). The Bible says this was our spiritual condition before we were born again of God’s Spirit (Psalm 51:5).
God’s solution to save us from the malignant power of sin and certain spiritual death was to perform a divine heart transplant. God used His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross to spiritually remove our terminally sin-sick heart and replace it with His Son’s divine heart when we were born again (Romans 6:1-6; Colossians 2:11-12). By this divine operation of the cross of Christ, God completely delivered us from all indwelling sin, so that His Son could dwell in us by His Spirit (Galatians 2:20). The Bible says, “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6).” Thus God included us in His Son’s death so that His resurrected Son might sovereignly live in us. This is the miracle of our new birth.
Now that we have Christ’s new heart within us, we do not have to keep practicing sin. For through His death, Jesus once and forever dealt with the “sin factory” that was within us, by destroying and removing our sinful nature. Since we have been born again of God’s Spirit, how should we now live as Christ’s disciples? Each day, we obey Christ’s command to deny ourselves, carry our own cross and lay down our natural (unconverted) soul-life for His sake and the gospel’s sake (Mark 8:34-35). In this way, we prove by our actions that we are dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11; Galatians 6:14). Does this mean that we will never sin again? Of course not! Whenever we do sin, we continue to ask and receive God’s forgiveness for our sins (1 John 1:9). But now that sin is no longer our master, we are able by the Spirit to “put to death” our old sinful way of thinking and acting and “put on” Christ’s way of thinking and acting (Romans 8:12-13; Ephesians 4:22-24). Thus, by our faith in the truth of the cross of Christ and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are being transformed into Christ’s image and so prove that we are, indeed, Christ’s disciples (Romans 8:29; 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the promise of the New Covenant and God’s eternal purpose for His elect, so that Christ would be over all and in all! (Ephesians 3:8-11; Colossians 1:27; 3:11).