Christ’s New Creation
The Apostle Paul gives a testimony of his transformation from a persecutor and murderer of Christians to becoming an Ambassador of Christ in his epistle:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. THEREFORE, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, THE NEW CREATION HAS COME: THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW IS HERE!
(2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). That new person that was raised up is the “new creation.”
To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:12-13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God:
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
We did not inherit the new nature or decide to re-create ourselves anew. Neither did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat.
“Old things have passed away.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.
Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived.
The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind. The things we once loved, we now detest.
The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We.. ‘put off the old man with his deeds’, and put on the.. ‘new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ (Ephesians 4:24)
”Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.
“and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being made holy day by day, sinning less frequently by God’s grace. The power of the Holy Spirit in us enables us to daily destroy sinful thoughts and desires and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by righteousness. We count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12).
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
The new creation is a wondrous thing, formed in the mind of God and created by His power and for His glory.