Cynthia title
Most of us who have lived long enough have some regrets, some things we wish we had not done or had done. Those circumstances in our past cannot be changed, but we can be changed; we can be given a fresh start with a new attitude. That is what spiritual rebirth is — to be given a new life (Romans 6:4). When we repent and are baptized into Christ, as described in Romans 6, our old self is crucified with Christ, buried, and we become a new creation (Colossians 2:12; 3:9 –10). God not only forgives, but forgets ALL of our sins — EVERYTHING (Psalm 130:3, 4; Colossians 1:14; 2:13)! That is amazingly mind-blowing. He gives us a clean slate — a new start. He also gives us His Holy Spirit in order to live a new life (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13 –14; Romans 6; 8). God’s Spirit in us gives us a new mind and a new heart. First Corinthians 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ. We do not look at the world or ourselves the way we used to (Philippians 2:5). We have new eyes, a new focus, and a new attitude (Ephesians 4:22 – 24; 1 Peter 4:1, 2).

How do we maintain this new spiritual attitude when we still have a sinful nature (Romans 6 – 7) and still have the same problems as we had in the past? When we give our life to God, when we are baptized into Christ, His Holy Spirit helps us overcome our sinful nature (Romans 6 and 8 discuss this thoroughly). Romans 8:12 says we have an obligation to live by the Spirit, and Romans 8:5, 6 says we are to have our mind set on the Spirit and controlled by the Spirit. Romans 8:13 says “by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body” (see also Colossians 3:5). Romans 8:14 tells us that we are to be “led by the Spirit of God.” We are to set our heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3:1– 2), fix our “thoughts on Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1), and “be transformed by the renewing of” our mind (Romans 12:2). How do we do this?

Jesus is God and the Word in the flesh (John 1:1, 14). To know God is to know His Word and vice versa. We are to put God’s Word in our mind and heart daily. Psalm 119 describes beautifully our relationship and attitude toward the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is “living and active.” We are to crave it (1 Peter 2:2) and use it (2 Timothy 3:15, 16) and put it into practice (Matthew 7:24  – 26; James 1:22; 1 John 2:5, 6). Having been baptized, we now have unbroken fellowship and communion with God in our mind and heart (Philippians 4:4 – 8; Colossians 3:15 –17; 4:2). God’s Holy Spirit, Christ in us, helps us to understand and apply God’s word to our life, and to pray. (Romans 8:26, 27; Ephesians 1:17 –19; 3:16 –19; 6:18).
— Cynthia Clayton
Photo: Patty Gibson

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