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“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)
Under the Old Covenant, God had written His law on stone tablets and given them to Moses. Under the New Covenant, rather than stone tablets, God is going to put His law in the minds of His people and write it on their hearts.
God is not talking about a new set of rules to follow, but a radical change that will be performed, not by the individual, but by God’s Spirit. Other places in Old Testament prophesy, this change is called a “new heart” and a “new spirit.” In New Testament terminology, we call it “rebirth” or “regeneration.”
Jesus shed blood on the cross is part of that New Covenant. Paul writes, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:5-6 NIV) Rebirth or regeneration stands at the beginning of the Christian life.
What evidence, then, do we look for in order to have the full confidence this rebirth has taken place? If anything did really take place on the inside, then it will make its way to the outside. John tells us, “We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3,6 NIV) The accuracy of our claim is measured by whether or not we live as Jesus did during His earthly life and ministry. Simply put, saved people live like Jesus.
Contrary to popular belief, living like Jesus doesn’t mean that you just go around doing a bunch of good things. Rather, living like Jesus is a matter of who controls your heart. It is a matter of total surrender. If you are not willing to give up control of every facet of your life, or if you hold something back, then you will never truly live as Jesus lived.
So, what does it look like to live like Jesus? Well, it’s not some great hidden secret. All you have to do is read the gospels. Then you compare how Jesus lived to how you’re living. While it might not always be a pleasant task, it certainly is not a difficult one.