17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
New creations… that is what we become when we accept Christ as our Savior, but what is meant by that and to what extent are we new?
After all I still have the same body, same number of fingers, toes, same height, etc..
I still struggle in my mind with many of the things I struggled with before I accepted my Lord. And unfortunately I still sin in some of the same ways. The truth is I still have the same body and my mind has not been “rebooted” and wiped clean, so what is new and what has changed that makes us the new creation Paul writes about?
Our heart has changed…
At our salvation God removes our old wicked heart (heart of stone) and replaces it with a good heart (heart of flesh) in which the Holy Spirit now dwells. So if we have new hearts that are good then why do we still make some of the same mistakes…?
When we are “born again” we are spiritual infants that begin a process of walking with Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit. Just as it takes time to learn and grow when we were literally babies, it takes time to learn and grow spiritually. It is a refining process of renewing our minds and becoming more and more of the man or woman God designed us to be (leaving behind the crucified old self and old ways), this process is called sanctification.
Even after our salvation God allows us to have free choice of what we do, how we think, etc… for He is a God of loving relationship not of forced control.
We also need to remember we still have any enemy that hates us and wants to destroy us and by becoming followers of Christ he kicks his game into overdrive for his risk just became greater (that you will bring others to God and live in your reflection of God’s glory). He will continue to lie to us, to try to get us to believe that we can not trust the heart of God and that we are still the old people we used to be.
There is an age old argument amongst Christians over and apparent conflict in scripture that is the heart of man wicked or is it good? There are many passage to support both of those views and they are indeed both true.
The heart of man is wicked before we accept Christ
1. 5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5
2. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
The heart of man is good after receiving Christ as Savior
1. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19
2. ”But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart,who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15
3. ”Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
I know this maybe be new to you and if you are struggling with the thought of this new heart then ask yourself this question, if the heart remains wicked after our salvation then do many of the passages of the bible makes any sense? For example Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Which do you Think the Psalmist is writing about is he saying:
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your wicked heart?
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your good heart?
We do have new hearts and we are learning to walk in this new creation, but we are still flawed, broken people that Jesus continues to pursue to heal and restore. Just as we learn when we are young we will make mistakes and potentially fall back into old ways. If we continue to pursue this relationship with Christ those things will slowly fall away and in the meantime that is where God’s grace abounds.
For more on this topic you can listen to the podcast of our radio show from this past Saturday at this link The Good Heart
Walk today in the truth that your heart is good
Have a blessed day,