Jesus said that in order to understand eternal things we must be "born again". This term has often been used to describe a great change that has occurred in the life of a believer. This great change alters our perception of life's trials and helps us to understand God's love and constant presence around us. In the 2nd letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes his most personal, and with heart wrenching honesty, his understanding of the value of earthly trials. These earthly trials can be God's power at work in our weaknesses. The change produces a spiritual union with Christ that we now participate in as a new creation, a union with Christ that summarizes our experience of redemption. We have been redeemed! The old self is reduced and the new self is uplifted. Mark tells us of new wine that must be contained in a new wine skin, for the old wine skin is no longer compatible with the new. Our great change in knowing Christ has imputed to us not only our sin upon Christ, but also Christ's perfect righteousness to us. This imputation is the basis for the change in our moral character.
Do you notice then that you no longer do the things you used to do? You no longer hang with the same folks you used to hang with. You no longer say the things you used to say. The new wine has been poured into the new wine skin so that now you can drink from the cup of God's blessing.