Being A New Creation
Made in the image of God, that is who we are. Now for many
that statement might come across as arrogant. Especially for
those who see themselves as a more highly evolved primate or
animal. It is amazing when we understand, that our likeness is
Godís image, we see our fellow man in a completely new
light. Humanity is not just some living thing, which appeared
on the earth, but a direct creation of God, modeled after His
Our problem is we are in a fallen condition, left
alone; we donít know who we are. Jesus came to redeem us from
our lost and fallen state. In our fallen condition, we are
blind to our corrupt nature. For this reason, through
revelation, God revealed Himself to His creation.
From the very beginning (Gen. 1:2), the Holy Spirit
played a role in the creation of the universe. The Spirit also
revealed to us our fallen nature and the need for redemption.
Understanding our creation and fall does not complete the task,
without the Spirit of God; we could not comprehend the plan of
redemption. The Spirit draws us to salvation, so we can make a
choice for eternity.
Isaiah describes our condition, ďWe are as dead men in
desolate placesĒ (Isaiah 59:10); a dead man in a desolate place
has two problems. One he is dead, and second he is in a desolate
place, an unreachable region. This is our condition, therefore
not only do we require the revelation of our condition, we
require intercession so we can understand the solution.
Paul illustrates this point in Romans, in our
fallen state, we made gods out of the very creation, rather then
look to the Creator (Romans 1:18-20), we became corrupted. We
are blind to our condition; therefore, the Holy Spirit convicts
the world of their fallen nature (John 16:8). Once we
understand our condition, the Spirit, allows us to see Godís
plan of redemption, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
This is the process of redemption, from a fallen and
corrupt image of God; we are transformed into a new creation,
through Godís revelation, conviction and redemption. In each
step, the Spirit ushers humanity toward the road of salvation.
Our condition....Conviction of sin
Redemption, the word itself implies a problem. We
often hear this word, when we are turning in coupons or tickets
for a special offer. Think about this the next time you stand
at the grocery store, with coupon in hand. The ticket, allows
you to claim something held back. You are redeeming that item,
pulling it out of confinement. You are the items redeemer.
Like the box of cereal or bag of chips, we are subject to
another, we are under anotherís authority. Once we redeem the
box, we can remove it from the store. In the same way, once we
are redeemed, through the work of Christ, we can be removed from
the consequences of our fallen nature.
For example, imagine a man adrift in the vast Pacific
Ocean, floating on a log, along comes a rescue ship, calling out
to him, ďwe are here to rescue you, come aboardĒ. He waves the
ship off, yelling back, ďI am ok, I have this log, keeping me
afloatĒ. The man does not understand his condition. At any
moment a storm or shark could end his life, his salvation had
arrived. However, he is confident in his condition.
In many ways, we are like that man, before we know
Christ. We are in this vast ocean of life, floating away,
confident in our life and circumstances. We really do not know
what we deserve for our sins, we have no concept of who we are,
or what is required. Along comes salvation, and many times we
wave off the offer, confident in our log.
Only when we understand, we need redemption and
salvation, because we are lost, only then are we willing
to leave our log and come aboard the ship, called salvation.
The Holy Spirit convicts of our sins (John 16:7-11), giving us
the knowledge of sin, once we understand our condition, we begin
the search for salvation. Once the man in the ocean understands
his condition, he begins to look for rescue; he scans the ocean
for salvation, anxious for his very life.
7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage
that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not
come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 "And
when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment: 9 "of sin, because they do not
believe in Me; 10 "of righteousness, because I go to My Father
and you see Me no more; 11 "of judgment, because the ruler of
this world is judged.
The Love of God
One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to convict us
of sin; we need to see our bankrupt condition. However, why
does God want to redeem us? What is Godís incentive? God is
defined by His nature, which includes mercy, love and justice.
Godís love, mercy and justice is the reason for our
Our helpless condition caused God to extend His mercy and
love. God reached down into humanity and became our
intercessor, because no man could ever accomplish what God
16 He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there
was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation
for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
God love for man is so great; He was willing to take upon
Himself the sins, of all humanity. He was willing to be
humiliated and abused by His own creation, taking the taunts and
insults because He loved humanity who was created in His image.
16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
How great is the love God has? When we least deserved His
mercy we received it. Imagine a parent wiling to sacrifice a
child. Allowing the child to suffer and be humiliated, so those
committing the act could be saved.
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ
died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will
one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to
die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much
more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be
saved from wrath through Him.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Jesus came into
the world, not only to die for our sins, but to also set a model
for us how we are to act in a fallen world. From womb to death
the Holy Spirit was involved in the life of Christ, on the
earth. The Spirit formed the body of Jesus in the womb (Matthew
1:20, Luke 1:35).
Jesus through the Spirit offered Himself as our sacrifice.
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the
eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
before the world was formed, God is His omniscience knew Satan
would fall and man would follow. So even before Adam was created
and the universe formed, God, the Father, Son and
the Holy Spirit had put a plan of redemption in effect.
(See also Revelation 13;8, 17:8)
Remember, we are made in the image of God, which includes
the Holy Spirit. When man was created the God said, Let us
make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26)
18 knowing that
you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or
gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your
fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained
before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these
last times for you
I Peter 1:18-20
Since the plan of salvation was established before their was
even a universe, God also knew those in the world who would be
saved under this salvation. We read this in Ephesians, He chose
us before the universe was even made.
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him
in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus
Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
When Jesus came
into the world, the Holy Spirit was there every step of the way,
just as the Holy Spirit is in our lives. As part of the
redemption, we are transformed into the image of Christ, not
only in the world to come but in our life. We can see the
parallels in the life of Christ and our life in the Spirit.
Jesus set the pattern for us to live the transformed life, not
only after death, but also in our present circumstance.
Our spiritual birth is from the Holy Spirit. John 3:5-6
Spirit empowered ministry
The Holy Spirit works in the life of the believer allowing
him to do Godís work. I Cor. 12;7
We are to pray in the Spirit
We are also baptized into Christís death and have newness
of life in the Spirit, a picture of our new standing
with God. (Romans 6:4)
Christ died and was resurrected by the power of the Spirit,
in the same way we will be resurrected in the power of
the Spirit. Romans 8:11
Jesus told the
disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they received the power of
the Spirit from on high. As Christians, we are to operate under
the power of the Spirit, not our flesh (Acts 1:8). If Jesus
needed operate in the Holy Spirit, how much more do we?
Why did Jesus
have to die? Before the foundation of the world, God knew His
creation would fall because of their free will. Therefore, God
put a plan of redemption in action. The Second Person of
the Trinity, would become man, and die and suffer for the
sins of man. The death of Jesus would be an eternal atonement
for the lost.
In the book of
Job, Job looked forward to the coming of the Redeemer, he
yearned for His day, Job writes,
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at
last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I
know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for
myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart
yearns within me!
The Hebrew word
for Redeemer is
means to ransom, to play the role of a kinsman. The kinsman,
someone of the same family would redeem or pay what his relative
could not. In the book of Ruth, Boaz was the
kinsman-redeemer for Ruth whose husband died (Ruth 2:1).
Ruth was destitute, she along with her mother-in-law were forced
to beg for their survival, by gleaning the fields of Boaz. Ruth
had no idea of what her redemption meant. Ruth would then become
the great-grand-mother of King David, since her son was Obed
was near of kin, he had the right to redeem Ruth; this is why
Jesus came in human flesh. He came to be our kinsman-redeemer.
By becoming man, he became one like us, our kinsman. An angel
could not redeem us, because an angel is not a kinsman, but God
taking on flesh could do what we could not. He could pay the
penalty for our sins, by propitiating
the penalty of the sins.
25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through
faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His
forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously
committed, Romans 3:25
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not
for ours only but also for the whole world.
I John 2:2
paid the debt we owed, like Boaz who paid Ruthís debt, Jesus
paid our debt because of sin. We are now his, those who refuse
Jesus are rejecting his payment for their sins. This is where
the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is necessary for
the sinner sees himself or herself as a sinner, they see no need
for redemption. Why do I need to be redeemed? What wrong have
I done? Who have I offended? Who is God that I should worry
about offending Him? These are common refrains for lost people
who do not understand their condition.
Being Born Again
Once we are
convicted, we become aware of our sin. We understand
we need redemption. The Holy Spirit then draws us
to salvation, through faith, we believe and trust
in the work of Christ, who died for our sins. Believing
we repent for our sins, and receive forgiveness,
we are then justified with God because of the
atonement (Propitiation) of Jesus. We are then transformed or
regenerated, or born again. We may look the same
on the outside, but on the inside, dwells the Holy Spirit.
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler
of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
"Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one
can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus
answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one
is born again unless, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is
born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of
God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which
is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to
you, 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it
wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it
comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the
Spirit." John 3:1-8
person goes through the redemption process, first they need to
convicted of their sin, followed by faith in Christ, repenting
from sin. Can you list the steps in your life?
Steps in the Redemption process
A Fatherís Sacrifice
It was Oklahoma in the 20ís. John Griffith in his early
twenties, newly married and full of optimism. Along with his
lovely wife he had been blesses with a beautiful baby. With
excitement he was dreaming the American dream. He wanted to
travel and visit far away places. But then came 1929 and the
great stock market crash. With the shattering of the economy
came the devastation of Johnís dreams. Oklahoma was being
ravaged by depression and despair. And so John packed up his
few possessions and with his wife and little son, Greg, headed
East in their Ford. They made their way toward Missouri, to
the edge of the Mississippi River, and there he found a job
tending one of the great railroad bridges that spanned the
Day after day John would sit in a control room and direct the
enormous gears of an immense bridge over the mighty river. He
would look out wistfully as bulky barges and splendid ships
glided gracefully under his elevated bridge. Then,
mechanically, he would lower the massive structure and stare
pensively into the distance as great trains roared by until they
became specks on the horizon. He watched sadly as they reminded
him of his lost dream to visit far-off places.
Then in 1937 a new dream was born in his heart. He looked
forward to work shoulder-to-shoulder in intimate friendship with
His son, Greg, now 8. The first day of this new life brought
fresh hope and purpose. together they set off for the immense
bridge. Greg looked on in amazement as his dad pressed down
the huge lever that raised and lowered the vast bridge. As he
watched he was so proud of his father and how he could control
such a stupendous structure.
Soon it was noon. John had just elevated the bridge for some
ships to pass. Then, with his son in hand, they headed off for
lunch. They went down a narrow cat-walk onto an observation
deck over the Mississippi and watched as the ships passed
below. John told his son many stories about the ships and
their destinations. Then suddenly in the middle of a story,
they were startled back to reality by the shrieking whistle of a
distant train. Looking at his watch in disbelief he saw that
the train was on time and the bridge was still raised and the
Memphis Express was just minutes away! He suppressed his
panic, not wanting to alarm his son. He calmly told him to stay
put and quickly ran up to the control house. Then he checked
that the river was clear of ships and then looked to make sure
nothing was below.
As his eyes moved downward, he saw something so horrifying
that his heart froze in his chest. Foe there, below him in the
massive gearbox that housed the colossal gears that moved the
gigantic bridge, was his beloved son.
Apparently Greg had tried to follow his Dad but had fallen
off the catwalk. Even now he was wedged between the teeth of
two main cogs in the gearbox. Although he appeared to be
conscious, John could see that his sonís leg had already begun
to bleed profusely. Immediately an even more horrifying thought
flashed through his mind. For in that instant he knew that
lowering the bridge meant killing the apple of his eye, crushing
him to death.
Desperately he tried to think of a solution. A plan
emerged. He could climb down a rope from the catwalk and grab
his son and then rush back and pull the control lever just in
time for the oncoming train. But as soon as he had these
thoughts he realised the futility of his plan. There was not
enough time. What could he do? In anguish he considered the
oncoming train with its 400 passengers rushing closer towards
the bridge and certain death if he did nothing. But this was
his son, his only son, his pride and joy. In his mind he could
see the tearstained face of the boyís mother. But if he saved
him he would be letting many others die.
In a moment he saw there was only one thing he could do. He
knew he had to do it. So, burying his face under his left arm,
he plunged down the lever. The cies of his son were quickly
drowned out by the relentless sound of the bridge as it ground
slowly into position. With only seconds to spare the Memphis
Express roared out of the trees and across the mighty bridge.
John Griffith lifted his tearstained face and looked into the
windows of the passing train. A businessman was reading the
newspaper. The conductor was looking at his watch. Ladies
were sipping their afternoon tea in the dining cars. Others
were playing cards. A small boy, much like his son, was eating
ice-cream. Many passengers either seemed to be engaged in idle
conversation or careless laughter. No one looked his way. No
one even cast a glance at the giant gearbox that housed the
mangled remains of his son.
In anguish he pounded the glass in the control room and cried
out: 'Whatís the matter with you people? Donít you care? Donít
you know Iíve sacrificed my son for you? Whatís wrong with
you?' No one answered, no one heard. Not one seemed to care.
And then soon the train was over the bridge and off into the