The culmination of the effects of regeneration is a new life markedly different from how life would otherwise be. The New Testament is fond of contrasting the life of the sinful flesh with its Spirit-regenerated alternative to clearly distinguish for Christians what their life is and is not.76 One example is found in Galatians 5:19–23, which was part of the original question on which this chapter is based. It says:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
For the born again Christian, this new life is like a bud that flowers. Bit by bit, as we are sanctified and grow in holiness through faith and repentance, we blossom to become who God intends us to be.
One thing that has helped me to appreciate this fact is to occasionally ask myself some questions about what my life would be like had God not regenerated me. These questions include:
- Who would I be today?
- What would be different in my life?
- What would my marriage be like?
- What kind of spouse would I be?
- What kind of parent would I be?
- What kind of sin would ensnare me?
- What would my emotional state be?
- What would my future look like in this life?
- What would my eternity look like?
If I am honest, I find myself incredibly thankful and worshipful for the new life to which God has regenerated in me. I can think of nothing in my life that I would exchange for the unregenerated alternative.
What changes are you most grateful for in your life since being born again?
- Rom. 6:19–22; 1 Cor. 6:9–11; 1 John 2:15–29.