Monday, 17 August 2015
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore” builds upon the thought (which was also a “therefore”) from the previous verse. Paul continues to expand on the meaning of our new life in Christ. In order to do so, he says that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Being “in” Christ comes by faith in Him. This is the thought of Romans 10:9. When we believe, we are saved. At that moment, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit according to Ephesians 1:13, 14. This is our “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” It is a one-time occurrence upon belief in Christ.
From that moment, we are “a new creation.” God positionally sets us in the heavenly places at that moment (as noted in Ephesians 2:6) showing that salvation is a “done deal.” The concept of eternal salvation permeates Scripture. Verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:7, when looked at objectively, can mean nothing other than this. To assume that we are a “new creation” and yet could suddenly become unsaved is unfathomable.
From the moment we are saved “old things have passed away.” In the Greek, there is an article in front of “old things” and so it should be rendered, “the old things.” The things that we were once identified with are no longer applicable to us. This does not mean that we have attained perfection or that many saved people won’t choose enormously bad paths to follow. Rather, this is speaking of how we are considered from God’s perspective.
In Him, “all things have become new.” This is a shadowy mirror of the words of Isaiah 43 –
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?” Isaiah 43:18, 19
Because Paul says here that we are “a new creation,” it is an act of God, not of man. Only God can create. Thus, what man does after this moment is irrelevant to the status of the person. He is created anew by God and therefore what man does no longer has any bearing on the new creation. Paul alludes to this in Galatians 6 –
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” Galatians 6:15
It is God who makes new; it is God who seals His redeemed; and it is God who will continue to save them until they are brought into His presence. The finality of the decision is His and, once again, it shows quite clearly the doctrine of eternal salvation. As Solomon notes in Ecclesiastes 3 –
“I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14
Life application: By a simply act of faith in Jesus Christ, a person moves from Adam to Christ. We are saved by God and become a new creation. Concerning salvation, we cannot add to what He has done, nor will what He has done be taken from us. Therefore, let us live our lives for Him, knowing that our eternal rewards and losses are based on the lives we live from the moment of our salvation.
Heavenly Father, just as You created all things, You word says that when we receive Christ as Lord we become a new creation in Him. As only You can create, then this surely means that we are forever Yours because of His work. I cannot imagine the trade! All of my past life is washed away by the work of Another. I am new, pure, and undefiled in Your eyes because of Jesus. What a blessing to know that heaven isn’t up to me. I am saved, once and for all, by faith alone. Hallelujah and Amen.