Several years ago an orthopedic surgeon performed an operation on my son to repair a torn ACL. The operation didn’t restore his knee to its original condition, but it did allow him to walk, even though he still experiences pain from time to time.
Recently my wife had surgery to remove a ruptured disk in her back. Once again it was successful, but she, too, was not restored to her original condition. She was spared much of the pain she was experiencing, but her back will never again be like new.
Then it was my turn to have surgery. I tore the meniscus in my left knee, and part of it had to be removed. Yet again a successful operation alleviated the pain I was experiencing. But my knee will never be what it once was.
There was another operation, however, that was performed on me that was “without hands.” It was a spiritual operation performed by God the moment I was saved. I was sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and made alive (Ephesians 2:1), being raised with Christ through faith (Colossians 2:12). I put off the body of the sins of the flesh (Colossians 2:11), and have been forgiven of all my trespasses (Colossians 2:13). This operation no doctor can perform. It can be experienced only by submitting to Jesus Christ in faith. This is the “new birth,” and it didn’t make me better, it made me an entirely “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).