If anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation.“For the love of Messiah compels us; because we judge thus: that one died for all, therefore all died. He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. Therefore we know no one according to the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Messiah according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Yeshua the Messiah, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Messiah reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:14-19
Messiah Jesus called us to repent and believe the Good News of the God’s Kingdom.
Jesus spoke these words at the beginning of His public ministry.
“The time is fulfilled, and God’s Kingdom is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News.” Mark 1:14-15
Even after His resurrection Jesus proclaimed God’s Kingdom.
Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus showed himself to the apostles for 40 days speaking about God’s Kingdom and told them they would soon be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
3 To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about God’s Kingdom. 4 Being assembled together with them, he commanded them,
“Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. 5 For Yochanan (John) indeed immersed in water, but you will be immersed in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them, “It isn’t for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
9 When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing, 11 who also said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Yeshua, who was received up from you into the sky, will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.” Acts 1:3-11
Ten days later on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out.
Peter explained the outpouring, then called the crowd of Jews to repent and be baptized in water “for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Yeshua whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter said to them, “Repent and be immersed, every one of you, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” 40 With many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Acts 2:36-40
For centuries, “repent” was the emphasis. The “by grace you are saved’ portion of the gospel of the kingdom was obscured by works of penitence. Many Christians still try to get right and be right with God by their own reason and doing.
About 500 years ago, Martin Luther and his contemporaries, John Calvin and Ulrich Swingle, put it in the forefront. The emphasis of the Catholic Church had been on doing works for salvation. The reformers proclaimed, “by grace you are saved!” Luther emphasized grace in respect to the kingdom and concluded: “In no other sense are we to view the kingdom of Christ, so far as it is understood, than how we are to live before God.”
Today, most Christians get the “by grace you are saved” message and “get saved” but many do not comprehend what precedes getting saved “repent” and follows with “forgiveness” and “baptism in the Spirit.”
Repent is a strong action word and not to be taken lightly. Repent means much more than saying I’m sorry; just as salvation means much more than getting saved from going to hell. Repentance means turning away from our old unregenerate nature with its practices. When we repent, we set our new being to forsake wickedness and serve God in righteousness and justice. We can do that because God regenerated us and renews us in the washing of regeneration.
We see the work of God our Savior, the Holy Spirit and Messiah Jesus our Savior in the washing of regeneration.
N. T. Wright puts washing of regeneration “washing of the new birth.” (The Kingdom New Testament). Born again.
1 Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all humility toward all men. 3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the mikveh of rebirth (regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Yeshua the Messiah our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:1-7
“It must be remembered in the New Testament times repentance and faith, regeneration and conversion, baptism in water, reception of the Holy Spirit, incorporation in Christ, admission to church fellowship and first communion were all parts of a simple complex of events which too place within a very short time, and not always in a uniform order. Logically thy were distinguishable, but in practice they were all bound up with the transition from the old life to the new.” The Epistle to the Ephesians, 1969, pg 79, F.F. Bruce.
Paul explains our new way of life after repentance as dead to sin and alive to God.
1 If then you were raised together with Messiah, seek the things that are above, where Messiah is, seated on the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4 When Messiah, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 For these things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 7 You also once walked in those, when you lived in them, 8 but now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. 9 Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, 10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, 11 where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, or free person; but Messiah is all, and in all. Colossians 3:1-11
The depth or union in Messiah Jesus is beyond human minds. We can only understand by the Holy Spirit to our spirit, as Paul preached in the full gospel of the Kingdom in Romans 6 and 7.
We were baptized into Messiah Jesus death so we can walk in newness of life. 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were immersed into Messiah Yeshua were immersed into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through immersion into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Our old man was crucified with Messiah Jesus 5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Dead to sin alive to God 8 But if we died with Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him, 9 knowing that Messiah, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him! 10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
Don’t let sin reign in your mortal body. 12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 Also, do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
You became bond servants of righteousness 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Don’t you know that when you present yourselves as servants and obey someone, you are the servants of whomever you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were delivered. 18 Being made free from sin, you became bond servants of righteousness.
Present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh; for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification. 20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.
You have your fruit of sanctification and the result of eternal life 21 What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, being made free from sin and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification and the result of eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord. Romans 6:1-23
In the same way, we died the law 1 Or don’t you know, brothers* (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives? 2 For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Messiah, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death. 6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:1-4
God is the is the source of our life in Messiah Jesus 26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that don’t exist, that he might bring to nothing the things that exist, 29 that no flesh should boast before God. 30 Because of him, you are in Messiah Yeshua, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, as it is written, “He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ___________________________________________________________
Even though God has made us new beings, we do not fully understand everything we know about God 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands. 25 He isn’t served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath and all things. 26 He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live, move, and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’ 29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man. 30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:24-31