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People are born sinners. The prophet David in the Old Testament tells us, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies” (Psalm 58:3). And Solomon adds, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15). Also, the prophet Isaiah affirms, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
And in the New Testament, the apostle Paul stresses the same truth, “I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14) “deserving of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) because of Adam’s disobedience (Romans 3:19; 11:15; John 3:16, 17). And he explains that as by one man sin got into the world, and death through sin, and thus death infected all men because all men sinned; so also by one man, Jesus Christ, salvation entered into the world, and life through righteousness, so that everyone, being justified by faith, might be redeemed (Romans 5:12).
Christ redeemed sinners from their sinful nature
God in His infinite mercy planned a way of salvation to sinners. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Through the death of God’s innocent Son, it became possible for sinners to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
As by Adam sin entered the word, by Christ’s redemption, victory over sin was won. The plan of redemption restored sinners’ opportunity to get to know their Savior and to choose to obey Him. “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Now sinners can accept God’s free gift of salvation and be saved from their sinful nature. “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). But while God’s love extends to all sinners, it directly benefits only those who accept it. For love requires reciprocity in order to be fully effective.
New nature through God’s Spirit
Jesus declared, Verily, “verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When a sinner accepts Christ as his Savior, he receives instant justification for his past sins. Then, God’s Holy Spirit starts the process of sanctification in his heart which continues through his life as long as he remains connected to Christ through study of His Word and prayer. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4). It is not possible for one branch to depend upon another for its life; each must have its own personal relationship to the vine. And each must bear its own fruits.
Those who are born from above will have God as their Father and will resemble Him in character. Paul says, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:12–16). “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1–3; John 8:39, 44). Believers will seek, by the grace of Christ, to live above sin and not submit their wills to do evil (1 John 3:9; 5:18). Thus, their nature will be changed from a sinful nature to a righteous one.
In His service,