The new birth is a miraculous experience in which the human spirit, dead through sin, rises into newness of life in Christ Jesus. This is the only way to escape the wrath of God which will be released in full measure on all who reject the blood sacrifice of Jesus as atonement for their sin.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:4-6
This new life, as Paul so clearly described in the verse below, is a life dedicated to the Lord:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The new life that we now live on earth is best described as an ambassadorship; our citizenship is in heaven, and we are here only to represent the interests of heaven on earth. This world is not our home.
Walking in this fallen world as a new creation in Christ is not without challenges, as we all know. There is no way that we can escape the contamination that is in the world; it comes to us from all directions, no matter where we turn. The filth of the world clings to our feet. How do we deal with it? Peter had an interesting experience from which we all can learn:
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:6-10
It is the parts that touch the world that need cleaning—our eyes and ears especially, as they are portals to our soul. Judas was the unclean one, but the rest of the disciples were clean because they had been cleansed by the Word that Jesus spoke to them:
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:3
Have you noticed how the reading of God’s Word cleanses your mind? A chapter or two at a time does wonders for the renewing of your mind. It certainly helps to “set your mind” to see things from a heavenly perspective, instead of flowing along with the world’s carnal ways.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
Setting your mind on things above keeps you in touch with Home Base so that you don’t become compromised by the pollution of this world. Our calling requires a clear mind, as is expected of ambassadors.
Reading the Bible is like looking into a spiritual mirror where we can see the spots in our lives that need cleansing. It shows who we really are in Christ, as opposed to the world’s view of who and what we are. Looking into this mirror transforms us to become who God made us to be:
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Remember, God still wants us to express His image in which we were originally created. Yes, the Holy Spirit uses the Word to work on our inner man, bringing us to maturity as sons and daughters of God. This cleansing can simply not happen without the regular washing by the Word. Jesus uses the Word to wash the church, His bride, so that she will be ready when He comes to take her Home:
…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26,27
Jesus is preparing His bride; He will certainly not marry below His stand! He gave us the Word and we should use it generously to prepare ourselves until we go home to be with Him.
The Holy Spirit also works with the Word to bring about the new creation man and woman through the new birth, which is why preaching the Word is so important:
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5
The preaching of the Word sows the seeds of truth into the life of the sinner, and prepares him for the regeneration of his inner man by the Holy Spirit—the Word and the Spirit always work together!
In His last prayer on earth, Jesus prayed for His disciples, and all who would believe in Him—a prayer worth studying in depth by everyone. He makes very clear how we should conduct ourselves during our time on earth:
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:15-17
Let’s keep our feet clean as we journey here below!
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