The Victorious Christian Life

A Lesson Series for the Earnest Christian

© 2002 by Thomas W. Finley, 2013 Revised Edition

Lesson Two: View of the Believer as a New Creation

This view of the believer depicts the truth of who we are according to spiritual reality. It does not represent how we always live in our daily experience in this life. The view of the believer in Lesson Three will cover the matter of our daily experience.

We are a “new creation” according to God’s spiritual view, according to our “position in Christ,” and also according to actual spiritual reality. When we are born again, we became such totally new creations.

“Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:16, 17)

In the passage above, to recognize someone “according to the flesh” means to view them from an understanding and perspective that is merely human. In contrast, to know others and Christ in a spiritual way is to perceive them with spiritual revelation and according to spiritual reality. In Matt. 16:13 Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Their answer indicated that people viewed Jesus as perhaps John the Baptist or one of the prophets. But, Peter then correctly recognized who Jesus really was, not just who He appeared to be by human estimation. Because Peter had spiritual revelation of who Jesus was, he could say that He was the Messiah. The passage above then states that “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.” This means that a believer correctly viewed according to spiritual reality and revelation is a totally new person.

Notice in the passage above it states that the old things have passed away and now new things have come. The person we now are, according to the realm of spiritual reality, is totally different than the person we were before our regeneration (our being born again). It is important to realize that this radical difference is in the spiritual realm, not in the realm of what we and others see and experience here and now in our fleshly existence. Yet, as we shall see later, the effect of this spiritual change can increasingly be manifested here in this life.

Who we now are “in Christ” is not just a matter of how God views us. It is not just a theoretical matter. An actual change has taken place in our being. When we believed in Christ we were literally “born again” with a new life imparted to us by God. This new life is in our being today. Jesus described this new birth in John 3:

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (Jn. 3:6)

Here Jesus contrasts our physical birth from physical parents to our spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is specific here in telling us that what has been born of the Spirit is spirit, referring to our human spirit. We believers are of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body. This is shown in the following verse:

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:23)

The new birth changes our person according to the spiritual realm and it also begins a process of real change in our life here and now. At the moment we are born again, our human spirit is completely changed by the impartation of the life of God. Our soul and our body, however, are not really changed at the instant of the new birth, except, of course, our thinking about Christ and His redemption has changed. Our soul has the basic faculties of our mind (thinking), our emotions and our will. Our living as humans is an expression of our inner soul, and thus our living is based upon our thinking (our mind), our emotions and our will (decisions). This expression of our soul, how we live our lives out,should gradually change in our experience in this life now, based upon the spiritual change that has already taken place in our spirits. Also, the use of our bodies should also begin to change after we are born again.

The new birth of our spirit brings the impartation of a new disposition within our human spirit. This disposition has the holy nature of God, which is the holiness of His moral character. The Bible tells us that we are born again of the imperishable seed of God through the living word of God (1 Pet. 1:23). This new holy disposition within is also seen in the fact that we have become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). In line with the rest of the Bible and the context of this verse, we understand that “the divine nature” is God’s unique and pure moral character, not His personal attributes of deity like omnipotence. Our human spirit is said to be alive, or literally “life”: “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive [literally, “life”] because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10). The “life” here speaks of the unique moral character of God’s life as the essence of our reborn spirit.

The new disposition now in our human spirit gives us a desire to be obedient to God. This new disposition gives us a strong desire for holy living. Also, this new disposition gives us all new capacities for living as a human being. This holy disposition equips us with “the mind of Christ,” which is the ability to understand spiritual truths, to know God, and to have a way of thinking like God (1 Cor. 2:16). Also, because we possess a new disposition, we have a new capacity to exhibit godly emotions. All of the admonitions of the New Testament to love are based upon this new capacity, which is God’s love within us, within our new disposition (1 Jn. 4:7). Finally, we have a new capacity to choose (the will), which is inherent in the new disposition. Christ always chose to do the will of the Father, and we now have Jesus’ life in our new disposition.

In the next lesson we shall see something of the inner battle within us, which frustrates us from always living in accordance with our new disposition. Nevertheless, it is extremely important for us to continually confirm the truth of what has happened to us when we believed. At that point, according to the spiritual realm, we became new creations. We are now no longer who we were. As we are now “in Christ,” that is we are now “united with Him,” the old things have passed away and new things have come. We have changed radically. In addition, even now in our experience something has happened. We have been reborn in our human spirits. Our spirits have been reconstituted with a holy disposition, which matches the holy character of God, our Father. Surely our response to these truths must be “Hallelujah!”

Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ Seekers of Christ

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13, NASB)