From Death to Life

From Death to Life

At the dawn of creation, God fashioned mankind, endowing not only a body of flesh and blood but also an immortal soul. Yet, humanity defiled this soul with sin, bringing upon all the curse of physical and spiritual death. Nevertheless, God made a path to redemption, a means to escape sin’s power and decree of death—a spiritual birth.

Dead in Sin

The sentence of death was passed upon all people because of sin, which forever separates mankind from God. Romans 3:23 teaches, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In His love, God made an avenue whereby His creation might be liberated from the curse of sin and death. He sent His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to transform the soul of man from death to life. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). From a place of despair, we now have hope and the promise of eternal life through God’s redemptive and sanctifying power. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Gospel Message of Hope

A core message of the gospel is the call to “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Conversion signifies a profound change, a complete turnaround. It redirects one’s life, habits, philosophies, and paths. An untended soul leads to eternal ruin. Jesus declared, “Except ye be converted…ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). 

Remedy for Sin

What is the antidote to sin? How can one turn from the carnal passions and desires that dictate the direction of life? It requires divine intervention, a spiritual birth. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3-6, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Beyond natural birth, there exists a spiritual birth that profoundly alters and transforms the spirit of man. Spiritual birth demonstrates the miracle of life as does natural birth. God changes what is corrupt, unrighteous, and contaminated with sin to purity, cleanliness, and godliness. The apostle Peter refers to this rebirth in 1 Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God.” This spiritual birth stems not from earthly lineage, which ends in death, but from the Word of God, which imparts life.

The Miracle of Salvation

When one accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, God performs a miracle, transforming the life. “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). The power of sin is broken, and innocence and purity are restored through this spiritual birth. The believer no longer continues in sin but reigns over it through the power of the new birth. The prophet Isaiah describes the cleansing that occurs in this experience: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” God purifies and cleanses the soul in this spiritual birth.

Spiritual Birth

Scripture refers to this spiritual birth as regeneration, an act of renewal, revival, or rebirth. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). The full plan of redemption and salvation involves the cleansing of the soul from sin and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This brings about the regeneration of the soul. Ezekiel prophesied of this wondrous experience: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36: 25-27). Praise be to God! The Lord cleanses us with His blood and with the water of the Word. He removes the old, hardened, sinful heart and puts His Spirit within us. This spiritual birth empowers us to follow the Lord’s ways and live a life of holiness.

Only Comes From God

While one must willingly open their heart to God to undergo this spiritual transformation, no human decision or purpose alone can bring about a divine transformation of a sinful life. True spiritual rebirth comes solely from God, not through any spiritual or national heritage. As John 1:12-13 states, those who become the children of God are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Salvation is not earned or achieved through human effort. “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).

Not by Our Works

Many seek spiritual life and redemption through their actions, deeds of goodness, moral virtues, or religion. Yet, true life and holiness are attained only through the divine work of God. “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Adherence to rites, rituals, traditions, or even high moral standards cannot earn us God’s acceptance. Redemption is beyond human capability; it requires the Creator’s power to initiate a spiritual birth.

The Spiritual Man

We exist as both physical and spiritual beings. While the outward man will perish with sickness and death, “the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). Paul refers to the spiritual man in Colossians 3:9-10: “Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” The old, sinful self is replaced with the new self, created in God’s image.

Partakers of the Divine Nature

 Salvation’s purpose is to bring people from a state of sinfulness to a state of purity. This spiritual birth brings about a profound change in nature and disposition. “That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4). While we still have human desires and temptations, there is a transformation of moral character. Ephesians 4:24 instructs us to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” 

Evidence of a New Birth

Though we still have the strengths and weaknesses of our natural personalities, once our soul has been converted, there is power
with God to resist the moral sins that once separated us from Him. Evidence of the new birth is outlined in 1 John: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (1 John 3:9); “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (1 John 5:4); “Ye know that every one
that doeth righteousness is born of him”
(1 John 2:29). This signifies a radically altered moral and spiritual life.

Identity and Growth in Christ

As naturally-born children assume the identity and genetic makeup of their parents, so do those who have been born again. Ephesians 3:15 states that the whole family in heaven and earth is named after the Father. As born-again Christians, we identify with God; and our desires align with His will. Just as a newborn child grows and matures, so does a spiritually reborn individual. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him [Christ] in all things” (Ephesians 4:15). While this growth is a lifelong journey, there are no greater blessings than those that come from a born-again experience.