As I stated in the introduction of this series of articles, I believe there are six foundational truths that new Christians should be familiar with very early on in their Christian life. The first, which this article will focus on, is the reality of the believer’s new life. Let’s examine two texts:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:1-6)
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,… (Colossians 2:13)
The Apostle Paul uses very vivid language concerning the former state of the Ephesian and Colossian believers. In both texts, Paul says they were dead in trespasses and sins. The death that he is speaking of is spiritual death, which is due to the sinful nature every human is born with because of Adam’s sin. Every human being born since Adam and Eve transgressed God’s command has been born with a sinful nature and is spiritually dead. To be spiritually dead or dead in trespasses and sins is to be without spiritual life and separated from God. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that no one can see the kingdom of God (or be in the kingdom of God) unless one is born again.
However, once new life is granted to unbelievers, they are in union with Christ and are spiritually alive. This is known as regeneration and the Holy Spirit is responsible for it (Titus 3:5; John 6:63). Some of the terms the Bible uses to convey this reality are to have a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26-27), to be alive in Christ, born again or born from above (John 3:3), raised from the dead (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12, 3:1), new life (Romans 6:4) and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). This new life exists because the Holy Spirit not only causes spiritual life, but also because He indwells every believer (Ephesians 1:13) as a promise of future salvation. This new life also transfers us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).
Going from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive is no small matter. In fact, it is miraculous! Regeneration and conversion are miraculous gifts from God that change who we fundamentally are. Was that something you were taught early on in your Christian life? Imagine a new believer being taught this early in his Christian life.
Now that we’ve considered the new life and how that makes us subjects of the Kingdom of God, next we will consider the Kingdom, the King of the Kingdom and our relationship to Him.
Grace & Peace,