Saved People Are New Creatures
The first passage that troubled us in our study of modern soulwinning was 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This is talking about all saved people, those who are in Christ. You can’t be saved outside of Christ because He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Someone who is in Christ, is a new creature. It does not say he should be, he will be some day, it says he IS, present tense, a new creature. This means that it is not optional, it is automatic.
We become new creatures because our spiritual nature is made alive. It allows us to commune with the God of the universe. It really changes the person, and the change is visible to others.
There will still be a battle between the spirit and the flesh, but the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, which indwells all who are in Christ, will cause us to feel very uncomfortable when we violate God’s precepts. A true Christian who is living in violation of God’s precepts will be an unhappy person. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction and trials into his life until he repents.
This verse further says that old things, our worldly actions, interests, and sins, are passed away. Notice again, this is present tense. It is something that happens as soon as a person is saved. Because of the battle between the spirit and the flesh, and because it takes some time to learn God’s precepts, there will be a time of growth, but the true Christian will become more and more like Christ the longer he lives.
This time of growth will not end as long as we are on this earth. Like a child, there will be more growth in the early years, but the growth will always be there. If there is no spiritual growth, there is reason to question whether or not there is spiritual life.
Next we are told that all things become new. This means that our desires, our attitudes, our actions, etc. will change. We will no longer want to do the sinful things we used to do. We will want to please our Heavenly Father.
Over time, the places we go and the people we hang around will change. We will love going to church. We will hate going places where sin abounds. Our sweetest fellowship will be with other Christians. We will fill our minds with the Word of God.
Good works characterize Christians
The next verse that troubled us was Ephesians 2:10. Most Christians can quote, or are at least familiar with, Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
However, few can quote verse 10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
We know verses 8 and 9 so well because we like the fact that they tell us that we are saved by God’s grace, received by faith, without works. This is very important because far too many people think that works are necessary to obtain salvation. The problem is that we often push works so far away that we don’t see that, as Christians, we are to live according to good works. That is, we are to live according to the precepts of God as found in His Word.
We don’t obtain salvation because we do good works, we do good works because we have already obtained salvation. Those “Christians” who go around saying that they don’t have to follow the precepts found in God’s Word are probably not true Christians. At best, they are poorly taught Christians.
The Scriptures tell us that salvation changes a person. I know salvation changed me and my family. Today we see too many professing salvation with no desire for the things of God. They don’t read their Bibles to see what God expects of them. They don’t attend Church regularly. They aren’t concerned about the lost around them. If you read the Scriptures, you will see that it ought
To be continued…