Becoming a New Creation
(Joh 10:10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
In the beginning God created the physical realm and it was made perfect. That is to say that it was uncorrupted and untarnished by sin. When Adam transgressed everything changed. The creation became defiled and corrupted and there was enmity (hostility) between God and man.
As a result of the fall of mankind from the grace of God he became separated from God because his spirit was dead after the transgression.
(Gen 2:17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
(Gen 2:17) But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death. (Douay-Rhemis)
We know that the day in which Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil that they did not physically die. In fact they both lived some 900 more years (Adam 930 years). What died on that day were their spirits.
According to the book of Genesis man was created and made in the image and likeness of God. God is a tripartite being (God the Father – God the Son (The Word) – God the Holy Spirit). Man is also a tripartite being (the spirit of man – the soul of man – the body of man).
(1Th 5:23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When the spirit of man died, for all intents and purposes man became a two part being. He was no longer whole. His communication with the Father, in the spiritual sense, had been cut off because of the transgression.
Subsequently the soul of man became subject to the desires of the flesh (the body of man).
It is clear from the beginning that the soul of man was caught in the middle of the battle between the spirit which is the bridge between the heavenly realm and man and the body which is the bridge between the earthly realm and man.
In simple terms the spirit connected us with our Father and the physical realm with the ruler of the earthly realm, namely Satan. Subsequently the soul came into submission to the body and mankind became more and more depraved as time passed.
What is the evidence of this truth?
In the garden God gave one law to show mankind how to live up to His standard and before the last words from heaven was spoken to the people of God by the prophet Malachi there were some 613 laws in existence. Things had become so out of hand, that is to say that man had become so depraved, that after Malachi there was some 600 years of silence from heaven (the so called Transtestimental period). God was no longer speaking to mankind.
God then began to again speak to His people and he did so when he spoke to Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias, the parents of John the Baptist. This was also the first time in recorded biblical history where the Holy Spirit came to indwell mankind. (Luke 1)
Note: This was a type and shadow of that which was to come through the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost after Jesus returned to the Father. I say that this even is a type and shadow because John was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in his mothers womb.
(Luk 1:15) For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
We as Christian believers are not filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb. This only happens when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
(Joh 1:12) But as many as received (take hold of) him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The ASV states that we receive “the right” to become the sons of God. ( Douay-Rhemis – “the power” , LITV – “the authority”, Scriptures 1998 – “the authority” and the Textus Receptus 1894 – “the authority”.
The point here is that Jesus gave believers the ability to become sons of God. It did not happen when the people of that time received Christ or believed on His name. It was something which was going to happen not something which happened immediately.
I say this because Jesus had not yet died on the cross and the wages, that is to say the debt, of sin had not yet been paid. Therefore there was no salvation until the price of sin had been paid with the blood of Christ. Further more their becoming sons of God could not take place until their baptism with the indwelling Holy Spirit which didn’t happen until Pentecost.
When Christ died on the cross the price for our sins were paid. We were made righteous and clean in the eyes of God. Because our position had changed, in so much as we were justified in the site of God, mankind was no longer at enmity with Him. Because of this when we accept Jesus as Lord our spirits are regenerated (born again) and we can now receive the indwelling Holy Spirit.
(1Pe 2:24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (healed – made whole).
Upon accepting Jesus as Lord and being born again we are once again made whole, that is to say that we are restored to the fullness of the creation of man before the transgression. Because of the sacrifice of our Lord and the rebirth of our spirit we are now reconnected with our Father spiritually and are back within His good grace.
The problem, if you will, is that although we have, by accepting Jesus, changed positionally in our relationship with God we have not changed conditionally. Positionally we can now approach the Father because we have been justified by the blood of Jesus. Our flesh however and the earthly desires there of are still an affront to God and the cross did nothing to change that. Subsequently our condition did not change.
(Joh 6:63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:
The work of the cross was spiritual and had nothing to do with the flesh. In that sense our condition is still the same. Our souls are still subject to the desires of the flesh. Our objective as new creations in Christ Jesus is to elevate our condition to the level of our position. That is to say that we are in the process of being transformed into the image of Christ.
(2Co 3:17) Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(2Co 3:18) But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.
How is this accomplished?
We submit to the Holy Spirit.
Before we were saved and our spirits renewed (born again) our souls were subject to the flesh. For our entire lives, before accepting Christ, our souls had conformed to the physical realm. What our carnal eyes saw, what are carnal ears heard and what our sense of touch felt became our reality. Our perception of the physical realm and the thoughts which were associated with those perceptions brought our souls into submission to the body (the flesh).
Now that we have become born again we have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to bring our will (which is in the soul) into alignment with God’s will and become the sons of God.
Most people, including many Christians believe that their thoughts come from their brain and their emotions from the heart. They believe that the essence of who they are is within the body. Let’s see what scripture says!
(Jdg 10:16) And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
(Psa 86:4) Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
(1Ch 22:19) Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God;
(Eze 24:25) Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds (nephesh – soul), their sons and their daughters,
(Mat 26:38) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
(Luk 1:46) And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
(Act 2:27) Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
In these few passages ( of which there are many more) we see that the soul (nephesh) grieves, rejoices, seeks the Lord, is sorrowful, magnifies the Lord and goes to hell. We also see that the word nephesh (soul) in Ezekiel 24:25 was translated into the English word “mind”.
The fact is that the Hebrew word nephesh is used 749 times in the old testament.
Uses of nephesh:
Soul 416 times, Souls 58 times, Life 100 times, Heart 12 times, Mind 11 times, Desire 9 times,Pleasure 4 times and Will 4 times to offer a few examples of the use of this word in the Old testament text. In the Greek new testament text the equivalent word used is psuchē which is used 105 times and is translated into the words soul, life, mind, heart and doubt.
We can see that in both the new and old testament texts that the soul is the essence of who we are. It is the seat of emotions. It is where our personality dwells. Most important of all it is where our mind resides.
Brothers and Sisters I pray with all of my soul that you grasp this precept.
Before anything in the physical realm was made it was first created in the spiritual realm.
(Gen 2:3) And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.
God rested from all His work which He created and Made!
In the Hebrew language there is a distinct difference between creating and making something. Let’s examine linguistically how man was made.
(Gen 1:26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(Gen 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
In verse there seems to be a dialog between God and another or others (Let us make). Most Christians believe that God was speaking (having a discussion with) to Jesus and or the Holy Spirit and I agree with that thought. It is also clear in light and within the context of these verses that no action was taken until verse 27 when God “created man”. Now even though man at this point in time was created he was not a finished work in so much that he was not yet made manifest in the physical realm. This did not occur until chapter 2:7.
(Gen 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Now God had, before making man manifest in the physical realm, given them dominion over the fish, birds, cattle and over every creepy thing over the earth. He did this before man was in existence on the earth.
(Gen 1:28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
(Gen 1:29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
(Gen 1:30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
God also “blessed them” and spoke to them telling them to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it”. He also told them what was given to them for food. All of this before they were formed from the dust of the ground!
What exactly is going on here? How is God blessing and speaking to man and woman before they came into existence in the physical realm?
Many people believe that God created the world, destroyed it and remade it. The believe this because of a misinterpretation of the English word replenish which is used in Gen 1:28.
The fact is that this Hebrew word mala (transliterated u-malu) means to fill or to be full of – to accomplish – to put at an end. There is not even a shade of meaning to imply that this word is a refilling or replenishing (as it is understood in the English language).
Therefore we must take the scripture at face value that God is telling them to fill it for the first time!
Further evidence of this biblical truth can be seen in a verse found in Genesis 5:
(Gen 5:2) Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Again we see that they were “created” but not yet made manifest in the physical realm!
Notice that “in the day they were created” (a finished work) God “called their name Adam”!
Now the Hebrew word for “created” is bara which in Hebrew thought means to bring something into existence from nothing. It is not the same word as that which means something that was made (asha). Even more note worthy is that scripture doesn’t even state that Adam was made. The word says that Adam was “yatsar” (formed) (to be squeezed into shape – to be molded into a form as a potters clay) (Gen2:7).
Further more even after Adam was “formed” and after God breathed the breath of life into him and he became a living soul, Eve was still within him. It was some unknown time later, after He put man into the garden and after he was told not to eat of the fruit and after God formed the beasts of the field, the birds of the air and brought them to Adam to name them and after Adam had named them that Eve was finally “made” by God.
Now, taking all of this into consideration how did God talk to Adam and Eve in Gen 1:28-29 if they were not yet on Earth? Because they were first “created” spirit beings and then “formed” (Adam) and “made” (Eve) in the physical realm!
Why is this so important to understand?
Because we are not physical beings with a spirit as most Christians conclude. Scripture is clear that we are spirit beings (souls) with a spirit which dwell within a carnal (pertaining to the flesh) body. Scripture tells us that Adam “became a living soul”. His spirit died and his flesh died but his soul continued on.
Weather it returned to God, went to Paradise or to some other place or it went to sleep, his soul continued to exist. We are also living souls. That is who we are. We are not the flesh that we see in the mirror.
I tell you all of this because when our spirits were dead our souls were subject to the desires of the flesh and we were in bondage to the desires of the flesh. Because we were born again, our spirits quickened, possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit who brings our soul into submission to God’s will, we can bring our bodies into submission to our will which has become God’s will.
This is the biblical transformation process as illustrated in scripture. This is how we are transformed into the image of Christ.
This is The New Covenant that we become transformed into the image of our Lord, the first fruit of a new creation.