What is “Newness of Life?”
Becoming a Christian is not simply joining a church or declaring that you are a Christian because your parents were or that you were born in a Christian nation. Being a Christian is not a membership into an organization, nor is it something that you can earn by working for it. No, becoming a Christian is much more. It is becoming a member of God’s family in a real and substantive way. A Christian is a son or daughter of God.
The first step that you must experience is spiritual birth. This is birth from above provided to us by the Holy Spirit when we accept the atoning gift from our savior Jesus Christ. You see, He died for our sins, substituting Himself out of love for us. This spiritual birth is available to everyone by turning to God and declaring, “God, I ask you to forgive me of my sins and I accept the free gift of Jesus who died on my behalf.”
When you pray that prayer what happens:
First, you experience a spiritual birth.
This is a birth from above which is some times referred to as being ‘born again’. You see each person who accepts Jesus as their savior is born again, not in body but in spirit. When we were conceived by our parents, they created our body with a mind, will, personality and emotions. Sometimes this is referred to as body and soul. When we are born from above, God creates in us a new birth, a spiritual birth. This spiritual birth is from God above and will never die. This is what is called eternal life.
Second, we become children of God, fully adopted into his family.
As believers with our new spirit, our new life, we are now part of God’s family.
Romans 8:15 – “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!”
John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Third, our name is written in the Book Of Life.
This book will be opened by Jesus at the end times. When Jesus opens the Book Of Life, He will find our names listed.
Revelations 20:15 – “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Paul discusses in Philippians 4:3 those Christians, “…whose names are in the book of life.”
Fourth, The Holy Spirit gives us presents.
Romans 12:6-8 – “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy with cheerfulness.”
Fifth, being on this side of the cross, our God deals with us in grace.
He is a loving God who wants nothing but the best for His children. This does not mean that nothing bad will every happen to us, but It does mean that God is there to turn everything ultimately into good.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Sixth, we can never loose our salvation or our status in God’s family.
You see when the spirit is born in us, we have eternal life with God. It was God himself who died for us as Jesus Christ. Jesus is God, a part of the one God or trinity. If God himself died for us can their ever be a better substitute for our sin death than God himself.
John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
John 10:27-30 – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand; My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Seventh, while on earth and before Jesus returns, we are given the opportunity to earn rewards that will be provided to us in heaven and in our after life.
2 Timothy 4:8 – “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do, do you work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Galatians 5:22 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things their is no law.”
Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Next, we must understand that when we first become Christians, we are babes, infants in Christ. Our purpose and goal is to begin our Christian walk by becoming more mature each day, month, year, etc. There are many things that babies do not understand. God did not choose to make us instant theologians but rather wants us to embark on a life of Bible study, worship and prayer.
You will not be able to see much difference in a newly born Christian than a non-Christian. This difference will become more and more apparent as the Christian matures.