"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

Many people try to live godly lives without a clue on how to BE the new creature God says they are. When a person is saved, oftentimes this is as far as they go. They latch on to "I'm going to heaven" and that's it. They never learn more than "being saved" so they live out lives of struggle and defeat, waiting to go to heaven.

People "try" to be good and change their old nature themselves. They fall, pick themselves up, fall, pick themselves up, and then fall and stay down. They are operating in the same fashion they did before salvation, but trying to make themselves walk right without any help.

Our spirit was renewed immediately but our mind still thinks the same old way.

So how do you BE that new creature? God says you are a new creature, so you are a new creature. Being a new creature in Christ is just that—you are brand spanking new and have a fresh, clean slate.

You have a new life, new choices, new future, new options—a new YOU. Who you were and what you did before you took Jesus as your Savior is now called the "old man."

Just because I tell you that you are a new creature doesn't mean you will act like one. I went years as a defeated Christian before latching on to the "faith message" and learning the "how to's" that should have been added to my "you're going to heaven" message.

First of all, the new creature in you comes out by renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).

Then Ephesians 4 and 5 help you understand some of the things you can do in order to function as this new creature. Ephesians 4 starts off in verse 11 and 12 with the five-fold ministry, telling us that these people are "gifts" to us to help us mature and to build up our foundation of faith. Then in verses 22 and 23, you find that you need to renew your mind.

The best thing you can do is to find a good Word-based church, sit down and shut up. Sit down under good faith-teaching ministries and learn. You will learn more with your mouth closed than you will with it open.

You may be excited about what Jesus has done for you but other than telling people what He's done for you, be quiet and learn how to operate in this new life.

No one expects a first grade student to be proficient in calculus. No one hands a toddler the keys to their car. In our natural life, we learn and grow into maturity. It is the same with our new spirit life. Learn and grow into maturity.

Colossians 3:9-10 says you've put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new one with his renewed mind. A renewed mind is simply that you've changed your thoughts from your old way of thinking to God's thoughts.

This in turn will change your old way of acting into the way He wants you to act. New thoughts change old actions.

I highly recommend you supplement church services with other teachings. Don't leave all your learning to your pastor. This is why www.CFAITH.com is so vital. You can find everything you need under one roof!

Every topic you need information on has good articles written about it. Supplement with faith teaching on satellite, cable, Web sites, magazines, books, videos, and audiotapes.

There is no excuse for ignorance.

Ephesians 4:22 says, "put off concerning the former conversation the old man"—so what you say is vitally important. Don't run around telling everyone what your old man used to do.

Some people minister by telling who they used to be and who they are now in Jesus. I don't recommend doing that right after salvation. It has been my experience that people who constantly talk about their past never get past their past.

I am reminded of a former lesbian who was constantly called on to give her deliverance testimony in church. She began to have trouble with the temptation to go back into her former lifestyle. People would counsel her to stay in the Word and stop telling people who she used to be, but sadly, she has now backslidden and has left the church completely.

She talked constantly about her past and never took the time to renew her mind; consequently her "old man" kept creeping back in. She went back into her old thought patterns and old way of acting.

You will always add to your foundation. You will never arrive. Someone once said, "Christianity is a journey, not a destination." You don't "get there" and find you know it all. Always learn and grow until Jesus comes back.

Ephesians 4 and 5 show areas YOU have to take responsibility for. YOU put on the "new man" by reading your Bible, YOU put away lying, YOU quit stealing, and YOU speak faith-filled Words.

Realize as you choose to do these things, when you renew your mind to the Word of God, you will find help. You won't be doing it on your own.

If you blow it, remember that God's mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23). Repent, renew your mind daily (2 Cor. 4:16) and go forward.

The more you renew your mind to God's way of thinking (His Word), the less you will act like that old man. You have His Word on it!

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