What Does 2 Corinthians 5:17 Mean?
Having outlined the frailty of man’s flesh and the mysterious glory of Christ’s cross, Paul reaches his climactic conclusion, that anyone, who is in union with Christ, by believing His finished work on Calvary paid the price for their sins, has been made a new creation. Trusting that Christ’s death burial, and resurrection is the core of the glorious gospel… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old things passed away; behold, things have become new.”
No matter what race or age, gender or heritage, nationality or language, education or intelligence, colour or ethnicity… the gospel of Christ is for ANYONE and everyone. ALL who believe are positioned ‘IN CHRIST’, by faith. Everyone is given an opportunity to become a completely new person, with a new nature and a new life. By faith, we become part of God’s NEW CREATION, and the opportunity to be born of the Spirit of God, washed in Christ’s blood, and become a member of His Body, is available to ALL.
All who believe are born anew and covered in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Old things are passed and gone, and by the power of the Spirit, we are made a new creature that has been born into the family of God. Old things have passed away. The old life is replaced by the new – and by faith, we have become new creatures with a heavenly destiny and a glorious inheritance. We are positioned in Him, seated with Him in heavenly places, and have been made joint-heirs with HIM.
When the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, He entered His new life – His heavenly ministry. And by we are in union with that life. We are identified with Him and have become one with Him. We are united together with Him – and have received the indwelling Holy Spirit, to lead us, and to guide us into all truth. Paul himself was a prime example of a life that was radically changed, by grace through faith in Christ. From being the greatest persecutor of Christ and His Church, be became one of His most ardent admirers – dedicating his life for the One he loved so dearly.
As the greatest oppressor of the early Christian Church, the apostle Paul was supernaturally changed on that road to Damascus, when Jesus made Himself known to him, and Paul repented of his past life and turned to the Lord for His great salvation. And Paul became a new creation in Christ – old things were passed away in his life, and behold, all things became new, as he boldly began proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
This new life is an abundant life, with a totally new nature and an eternal destiny. This new life in Christ is given to each believer as a free and eternal gift of God’s grace. This new nature is not a patching-up of the old sin nature, nor a re-training of the old sinful self. God does not patch up the old but makes us something that is entirely new, something different, something wonderful.
Throughout His earthly life, Christ was ‘in God’. He was filled with the Spirit and walking with God. He remained in sweet communion with His Father and delighted to do His bidding. His food was to do the will of His heavenly Father and to finish the work He had sent Him to do. The Lord only did those things that He heard from the Father – for God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ. In the same way, the new life of a believer, which is in union with Christ, is to live out this earthly life in Christ and for Christ – only saying and doing those things that we hear from HIM – daily delighting to do HIS will.
We are to live in sweet communion with the lovely Lord Jesus and only do those things that we hear from Him. Let us always remember that in Christ we are not the old model, repaired or mended. It is not the old life that God reconditions or restores. We are not simply set-right, but made an entirely new person; we are born into a new creation; we are identified with Christ.
Let us accept this truth in righteousness and true holiness by faith, and in everything we do, let us do ALL, to His praise and glory, from this day forward – even forevermore.
Thank You, Father, that in Christ all things are made new. Thank You that in Christ, old things have passed away, and I have been made a new creation, in HIM. Help me to truly understand that this amazing truth is not only something for the future but something that took place the moment I believed in Christ as Saviour. I pray that I may come to a deeper understanding of what it is to be a part of a new, and heavenly creation in Christ, in His name I pray, AMEN.