"He is a New Creation"
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
A new year is beginning and stands before us to walk through it. Its halls will be filled with new resolutions, new joys, new challenges, new obstacles, and likely even new failures and sorrows. Perhaps at the beginning of this New Year, it is good for us to remember one very important "new thing" in Scripture—the new creation.
Paul tells us that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. He also tells us that the old things have passed away and that all things have become new. What is new or refreshing about being in Christ? Let us take a look at three aspects of this new creation.
A new slate.
When we obey the gospel, our record of sin is washed away and our slate is made clean. Every sin has been forgiven and will not be laid against us in God's court (Jer. 31:34). In his second epistle, Peter addressed the danger of a shortsighted and forgetful Christian, saying:
"For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins" (2 Pet. 1:9).
It is so important for the child of God to recognize and continue to remember that his debt of "old sins" has been paid for. He should never take for granted God's grace nor forget the debt which he was forgiven through the blood of the beloved Christ (1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 1:5). Remembering our debt will affect our view of God and our view of our fellow man (Matt. 18:21-35). Let us rejoice that our slate is made new, but let us also sorrow that it had to be made new. Let us never forget that we were cleansed from our old sins.
A new birth.
One of the new things of being in Christ is that we are born again (Jn. 3:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:23). Thus, when we are baptized into Christ's death, we bury the old man of sin and begin life anew (Rom. 6:3, 4). Paul states,
"knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin" (Rom. 6:6).
Our "old sins" and "old man" have been done away with when we were baptized into Christ. Nothing can speak more of a new beginning than a new birth. This is how an old man can begin anew, and as the phrase would imply, it brings in other new things.
A new outlook.
Christ died for our newness of life, and therefore our outlook should be toward Him.
"And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:15).
Old goals are replaced by new ones. Old troubles and trials fade away into new hopes. Self-promotion is replaced by a mind that will "esteem others better than himself" (Phil. 2:3). Self-will is replaced with letting "the will of the Lord be done" (Acts 21:14; cf. Eph. 5:17). Worldly thinking is overcome with new pursuits that set the mind on things above (Col. 3:2).
As a new creation, how does your priority list read? What does your treasure look like? "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21).
1 Unless noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Name the New Thing
- What new thing would God create in Numbers 16:30?
- What new thing would God create in Jeremiah 31:22?
- If anyone is "in Christ," he is a_________________ (2 Cor. 5:17).
- Jesus is the Mediator of ______________________ (Heb. 12:24).
- What will Jesus make new (Rev. 21:5)?
- What new thing did John write (1 Jn. 2:8)?
What do you suppose this is? See 1 Jn. 4:21; Jn. 13:34; 15:12.
- What new thing are Christians exhorted to put on (Eph. 4:24)?