And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.1 Corinthians 15:49(HCSB)
As members of a race of fallen sinners, we have the indelible imprint of the first Adam on our spirit, soul, and body. We are born dead in our sins. We are born with a corrupted sin nature, which is impregnated with wickedness and is at enmity with God, and we are born in a physical body that starts the lifelong process towards death from the moment we draw our first breath.
But God in His grace purposed before the foundation of the world that He would save all who would believe in Him. But the enormous cost would be the sacrificial death of His beloved Son, His only begotten Son, His perfect, heavenly, eternal life given in exchange for our fallen, earthly, mortal, cursed life.
So deep was the stain of sin on the body and soul of man, that it was impossible to recondition or retrain the old fallen nature. The old sin nature cannot be retrained or mortified; it cannot be cleansed or improved. The old sin nature has to remain in the place of death, nailed to the Cross, replaced with a new life, the resurrected life of Christ - a new nature that we receive at salvation.
The sentence of death is on every man that is born into the world - and none are exempt. And so crimson are humanities sins and so polluted mans' sin-stained life, that every characteristic of man needs to be started afresh - for all are born in the fallen image of sinful man who was made from the dust of the earth, but only those that bear the image of the heavenly Man will see the kingdom of God.
The only way to be redeemed is to be moved from the old creation into the new in order to bear the image of the heavenly Man. The only way for sinful man to become a new creation in Christ is to be given a regenerated spirit, a sanctified soul, and an incorruptible body as a gift of God's grace. But sin MUST be punished. The wrath of God against the sins we commit and our inherent sin nature must be satisfied - and this could only be accomplished if a sinless substitute willingly exchanged His perfect life for our sin-stained being. And THAT is what happened at the Cross.
It is only by faith in the sacrificial death of Christ that our spirit can be regenerated and new life breathed into us, at salvation. The old, soulish, fleshly life, so impregnated with sin cannot be renewed, but a new God-breathed life is given at salvation - the new life in Christ.
And the body? The body that began its march to death the moment we were born into this world will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, when the heavenly Man comes in the clouds to take us to be with Himself.
Our old, corruptible, ageing, deteriorating body will be changed into a new, perfect, incorruptible body. This mortal body will be changed into the immortal state, for flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God. But just as we, who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, were born in the image of the man of dust, so too we will also bear the image of the heavenly man - for He Who started a good work in us at salvation WILL complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.
Our spirit has already been regenerated. Our soul is being conformed into the image of Christ, day by day, from glory to glory, and the day is coming when we will finally reflect the full image of the heavenly Man, for this corruptible body will put on incorruption.
Let us reckon ourselves dead to sin by keeping the old sin nature nailed to the Cross by faith, and let us reckon ourselves alive to Christ as we allow His Holy Spirit to direct and govern our lives - to His praise and glory.
Thank You, Lord, that You purposed from the foundation of the world to save mankind. Thank You that by grace through faith in Christ, I have been transferred from the old creation in Adam to the new creation in Christ. Thank You that my spirit has been regenerated and I have been given a new nature in Christ. I pray that I may keep the old sin nature nailed to the Cross. I praise and thank You that one day, this mortal body will be clothed with immortality, because I now bear the image of the heavenly Lord Jesus. In His name I pray, AMEN.