“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you…
“Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Ezekiel 36:25-29,33-35
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“You have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off our old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:21-24,31-32
There are many things that can be cleaned and renewed, and it is prudent not to waste when an object can be revitalized or repurposed. But when we become children of God, our existence is more than revitalized. When we are saved unto true life in Christ, we have a new life as new creations in Him. He cleanses us so deeply He replaces our heart and spirit with new, so we beat divine blood and breathe holy air. When He gives us a new identity, He reorients our motivations and inclinations, thinking and walking.
Do we live as those who’ve been made new? Are our daily minds so transformed that we filter news and listen to media with a biblical perspective, or choose by the Spirit’s leading not to read or listen at all and spend our time altogether differently? How has the Lord Himself guided our thinking, or do we simply absorb and regurgitate what someone else has surmised? How keenly do we feel, and exhibit, the fruits of the Spirit in everyday interactions? It’s one thing to ‘behave,’ yet another to pulse with such new life that we impulsively respond with the righteousness of true life. (Acts 16:6; Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 6:18-19)