The Holy Spirit and new life in Jesus
3 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behaviour, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father (Col 3:1-17).
In my Where do you come from? blog I have written about the need for there to have been an energy source before anything came into being. In my What does it mean to say we have a new life in Jesus? blog I have written about new life springing from the frozen ground and that being like us when we become a new person in Jesus.
In today’s blog I want to take thoughts from both of these blogs and write about the energy source that empowers us to become a new person in Jesus.
Our extract above from Colossians reveals that to grow in Christ we need to feed on the word of God (3v16), kill off anything within that belongs to our human nature (sensual (v5) and social (v8) sins) and clothe ourselves in kindness and love (v12-14).
None of that can come solely from our willpower no matter how hard we try. Paul had an outstanding education in the requirements of God’s law and he tried the best of his ability to live a holy life and he said,
I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (Rom. 7:19).
Paul conceded that the ONLY way that our lives can be fruitful and full of vitality for Jesus is when…“ through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live (Rom. 8:13). The Holy Spirit regenerates us, creating us anew so that we have new desires and new cravings quite different to our old nature and in so doing enabling us to resemble Jesus more and more.
Let’s give the apostle Paul the last word on this process:
10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:10-15).
All quotations are from the NLT.