changing from the inside out, metamorphosis, new heart/alive spirit, new holy and righteous nature, new man/new woman, old heart/dead spirit, old man/old woman, old sinful nature, reprogrammed, residual stinking thinking, retrained, spiritual wellbeing, spiritually alive new creatures, transformed
We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. …By God’s grace, you, who were once slaves to sin, obeyed from your heart the pattern of teaching to which you were exposed; and after you had been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (I am using popular language because your human nature is so weak.) For just as you used to offer your various parts as slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led to more lawlessness; so now offer your various parts as slaves to righteousness, which leads to being made holy, set apart for God. ~ Romans 6:6, 17-19, CJB
Believers in Christ Jesus, who truly have been born again, saved, indwelt, and infilled with God’s Holy Spirit, are NOT “sinners” saved by Grace. The believers who see themselves as “sinners” who have been saved by Grace very well just might still be experiencing the residual effect of their old man/old woman’s sinful nature. That is to say, it was their old sinful nature (old spirit, old heart) that programmed their minds to think and their bodies to behave sinfully!
Truthfully, even though believers have a new holy and righteous nature (new heart, new spirit), their minds and bodies haven’t been thoroughly changed (successfully reprogrammed). Believers still have some of their old wrong and/or sinful values, beliefs, and practices, and these old patterns need to be transformed. In a nutshell, their leftover sinful thinking and sinful behavior must experience a metamorphosis, because their residual stinking thinking and ungodly behavior need to change and become more like Christ’s.
When believers were born again from above, God immediately gave each one of them their NEW man, NEW woman nature—their new supernaturally alive spirit, which now is DEAD to sin. That is to say, every believer’s born-again spirit cannot sin anymore, because God put in every believer’s supernaturally alive spirit His Perfect Will, Character, Values, Desires, and so forth. In other words, God has given every born-again spirit its spiritual wellbeing (see Ephesians 4:20-24)!
Even though the Scriptures support this Divine Truth about believers’ new spiritual nature, about believers being born from above, those Scriptures haven’t stopped so many believers in Christ Jesus from calling themselves “sinners” who have been saved by Grace. The main reason so many believers still think they are “sinners” saved by Grace is because they have not fully comprehended that what actually happened in their born-again spirit was a complete metamorphosis—a complete transformation, similar to the caterpillar becoming the very unattractive chrysalis (larva), which then changes into a very gorgeous butterfly.
Because some believers are unable to grasp the abovementioned Divine Truth, they do not speak about themselves in accordance with the way God now sees them, and He sees each one of them as a brand new creature! Once again, just like the caterpillar’s metamorphosis—the distinct change in appearance, character, condition, or function—results in the new butterfly, which is a totally different creature, the same is true about every born-again believer. He or she has become a completely new and different creature than he or she was before his or her spiritual transformation took place!
The Scriptures tell us that:
…if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new! And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, CJB
In these verses, the apostle Paul makes it clear that believers’ old sinful nature “has passed” away. He did not say that their old sinful nature is “passing away,” but rather he says that their old sinful nature (their old spirit/old heart) doesn’t exist anymore!
Put differently, as born again spiritual beings, believers are NOT “becoming” new. They indeed ARE completely new, because these once spiritually dead human beings are now spiritually alive creatures! Furthermore, since it is their born again innermost being (their new spirit/new heart) that not only is spiritually alive but also is that part of them that Christ Jesus has saved, justified, imputed His righteous to, and presented before God as perfectly holy, there is no way that this spiritual creature also can still be a “sinner” who has been saved by Grace!
While born again and saved believers have become a totally brand new spiritual creature, they still have two parts of their whole being that have not completely been transformed or saved: 1. their soul (their mind, will, desires, emotions, conscience, and imagination); and 2. their body. These parts were neither instantaneously changed nor miraculously saved, when their innermost spiritual being was suddenly transformed and supernaturally saved! Once again, when believers do not fully understand that they immediately became a new man/new woman in their born-again spirit but remained the same man/same woman in their soul and body, this is the main reason why they will continue to call their new man/new woman saved self a “sinner” who has been saved by Grace!
Because believers’ soul and body have not become instantly transformed, nor instantly saved, this Divine Truth is why God gave believers His Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit gradually could transform believers’ old stinking thinking, old desires, old emotions, old flesh, and so forth. Contrary to some people’s opinions, God’s Holy Spirit is the One who is inside them sanctifying them.
After believers have received God’s gift of salvation and are indwelt and infilled by God’s Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit starts progressively purifying (making holy; perfecting) believers’ souls. Moreover, the Holy Spirit also starts the glorification process—He gradually changes believers’ corrupt bodies so that ultimately they will be able to stand before a holy God wholly (entirely; totally) perfect (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Because of God’s Grace (Christ Jesus’ atoning sacrifice), and because of the power of His Holy Spirit, believers in Christ Jesus are being changed from the inside out. As previously stated, inwardly each believer has been given a new nature—a new heart/new spirit. This new nature, new heart not only IS perfect, righteous, holy, and sinless but also is the center of every aspect of each believer’s new spiritual life.
More important, believers’ new nature, new heart (human spirit) has the same power (the Holy Spirit) in it that raised Christ Jesus from the dead (see Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:18-20). The Holy Spirit in believers also is the mind of Christ Jesus (see John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:16b). Additionally, God also put in believers’ new nature the fruit of His Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). Lastly, God also has put inside believers’ new heart/new spirit His Perfect Will (see Philippians 2:13) so that they will prefer to do what He wants them to do, which He says in His Word is everything that is moral, pleasing to Him, and achievable (see Romans 12:1-2).
By the aid of the Holy Spirit, who is inside every believer, followers of Christ Jesus are able to work out of themselves their salvation—to work out of themselves EVERYTHING God has put inside their born again, saved human spirit. This working out of them what God has put inside them begins with believers’ daily submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit, who prompts and leads them to repent (change their attitudes and the ways they think).
When believers change the ways they think, by changing their attitudes about why they should be in agreement with God’s Perfect Will inside of them, a change that is achieved when they are being faithful and obedient to God’s Word, believers also are transforming (reprogramming; renewing) their souls. Indeed, the primary reason why believers are being changed from the inside out is because it is every believer’s soul that controls how much of his or her born again, sanctified (holy, perfect) spirit will flow through his or her soul and into his or her body.
As mentioned earlier, every believer’s innermost born again, saved new spirit is the center of all spiritual activity. From the spirit this spiritual activity flows to the soul, and the soul controls how much and which spiritual activity will be sent to the body. For this reason, the Holy Spirit’s ultimate goal is to sanctify (purify; make holy and perfect) the soul of every believer until each believer is thinking with the mind of Christ, and until every believer’s body is behaving Christ-like. Put differently, it is every believer’s Holy Spirit led soul that releases out of each believer’s born-again spirit EVERYTHING God has placed in it (a.k.a., the soul is working out of every believer his or her salvation).
Working out believers’ salvation, therefore, only happens when what is inside them, in their new nature (in their born again, saved spirit), can be seen outside of them. When believers are doing God’s Perfect Will, they are demonstrating to others how much like Christ Jesus they have become. For this reason, working out believers’ salvation is believers showing the world that the Christ-like lifestyle they are living is the genuine result of the Holy Spirit’s progressive sanctification, or the process by which their individual human soul and body each gradually obtained God’s Holiness nature (His perfect, sinless nature), which every believer’s born-again spirit immediately obtained.
Finally, once the individuals who call themselves believers in Christ all understand the relationship their spirit has with their soul and body, none of these born again, saved believers will ever refer to themselves as “sinners” saved by Grace. Saying that they are “sinners” saved by Grace implies that God hasn’t given them everything that they need in order to live holy and righteous lives on this Earth. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Every vital spiritual gift that is promised in the Word of God already has been given to every believer via God’s Grace (Christ Jesus who paid the price for everything believers would ever need) and by God’s Holy Spirit. More important, it is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that changes every believer’s life from the inside out. The transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit changes every believer’s spiritually dead spirit to a supernaturally born again sanctified (holy, perfect, righteous, and sinless) spirit; changes every believer’s imperfect and worldly soul to a sanctified (perfect and holy) soul; and changes every believer’s decaying and corrupt body to a glorified (perfect and holy) body!
There can be no doubt that God certainly saves everybody just as he or she is, but it is evident in His Word that God never intended to leave anybody the way He finds him or her. God always intended that after each believer received His gift of salvation that His Holy Spirit’s sanctification process then would change each believer from the inside out!
God’s plan always has been to transform the spirit, soul, and body, and this Divine Truth is why as born again, saved believers we are NOT “sinners” who have been saved by Grace. Our regenerated, saved spirit no longer is a slave to sin but rather a slave to righteousness (see Romans 6:17-18); thus, our born again, saved spirit can no longer sin, because it is now righteous, perfect, and holy!
The bottom line is this: Born-again believers are spiritual beings, who are holy and righteous. Unfortunately, as long as they are physically alive, these spiritual beings will live in a decaying natural body, while their mind (soul) gradually is being reprogrammed (retrained) to do what the Holy Spirit teaches. Eventually, their decaying body will be completely glorified, and then their completely sanctified spirit and completely sanctified soul will live in their completely sanctified body! Thank You God!
For additional information about manifesting what is on the inside of us on the outside of is, please read my blog entry: Working God’s Perfect Will Out of Us.