For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The first video game console we owned that really excited me was Nintendo. For a very long time we only owned the game that came with the console because purchasing other games was just too expensive. I would run Mario all over that screen day and night if they let me. No matter how far I got, I always ran out of lives before reaching the end of that last level. I would try my best to dodge those little creatures and make sure not to fall in the gaps in the ground, but something always got me. My saving grace were the extra lives I could find and accumulate to last just a little bit longer. In my perfect world those lives would have been unlimited, rendering my enemies ineffective in their attacks as I could just rise from death and start all over again.
For God to regenerate and renew us through his Holy Spirit is like giving us unlimited extra lives. We once were lost and deceived on the road to destruction. We were actually living in death. We felt alive and thought we were alive, but we were really spiritually dead. The enemy had his grips on us, and he thought he had us defeated. When God washed us clean and new, he gave us new life. He completely charged us up, and that means that death is just an illusion for us. The physical body may end in time, but our spirits and souls go on forever. Our enemy may think that he has taken us out, but nothing he can do will keep us from rising again. This is the work of God’s renewal and regeneration within us keeping us going until the end of the game.
Life can often feel like a war zone, and the truth is that we do live in a state of perpetual spiritual warfare. As long as we are in this order of things, we have an enemy who is bent on bringing us bloodshed and pain. For those who remain lost, he has them dead in his hands right now. However, he does not know when God will cause a lost one to be found and to be renewed to life. That is the gift of transformation we have been given, and our hope should be to see the same gift imparted to those who remain lost today. Let us contend for this work we have experienced within us to be replicated in those we know have not yet been found. Father, thank You for your renewal and regeneration bringing us from death to life eternally, and bring salvation to the lost people we know in our lives.