The New isn’t the Old Fixed Up

by Brian Coatney

No one can get victory by new resolutions, or by ardent desire to be different. Yet, desire is a key because faith is meaningless unless deliverance from sin is available. Then a seeker can desire it, take it, and be taken.

No one does this, however, without desperation, for desperation drives transformation. Additionally, there must be something (someone really) available, or all is hopeless. Desperation eventually comes about by holding on to an Old Covenant mentality, as if the Law is still needed as a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24). The Old Covenant schoolmaster, however, could only operate on a fleshly shadow level—never bring about a new creature—and those of old who were righteous, were righteous only because of faith in God’s promises.

This is the beginning, and it is exciting, even while the suffering saint appears awful and unchanged, for desire can lead the desperate person to take the new birth, which goes beyond being saved (conception). The new birth is living as the new man (delivery). It means sins washed away surely; without that, there is nothing. But also comes understanding of Christ in you (Col. 1:27), which is more than inviting Jesus in as an addition to, and helper to, the same old failing self.

This is where the new birth, seen for what it is, proves radical. The old self had to die. Yes, it had to die in Christ, not just be faint or weakened, but dead. There had to be a funeral, whereby the old self died in Christ and was buried in Him, never to be again the old man (Rom. 6).

Now comes the miracle—the resurrection—for a totally new creation is birthed from the heavenly womb, and this can look confusing, for there the Christian is, in the same mortal body, with the same personality, yet to see the new birth is to know that something happened that never happened before.

One who is born again is not the same person operationally as before. The transformation comes not of you, for you are born not of the will of the flesh or of the will of man but of God (John 1:13). You have let God bring you out of the womb into the kingdom of God—from conception to delivery.

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