A new creation
Today’s scripture reading is 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. The apostle Paul encourages believers, “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 The verses may be familiar to many new believers.
This scripture gave me comfort whenever I felt frustrated and depressed, because it seemed to me that the tough time will eventually pass and there will always be a new beginning.
Every person in Christ is a new creation.
In this scripture, Paul not only wants believers to live a new life, but he also wants them to understand the differences in their identities and behaviours after they turn to the Lord. From Paul’s perspective, every person in Christ is a “new creation”, and “new creation” means that the old self has died. Paul recalled that he was once “unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin,” Romans 7:14 and “good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature”. Romans 7:18 Therefore, God sent his one and only son to die for us, and gave us the Holy Spirit to destroy the evil deeds inside our bodies. Moreover, God mentioned in the Old Testament that he will give us a “new heart” to obey God’s commands, so that our old sinful selves will die and our souls will be reborn, hence Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ,” and described his new life as “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
To be made new in the attitude of your minds.
Paul indicated that a person who is reborn will have different behaviours compared to before. Paul reminded believers, “You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” Ephesians 4:17 These people are ignorant, darkened in their understanding, have a stubborn heart and spirit of stupor, or indulge in every kind of impurity and full of greed. He exhorted the disciples who had received Christ’s teachings, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires,” Ephesians 4:22 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”, Colossians 3:5 and “you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other”. Colossians 3:8-9 Moreover, he taught believers “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24, and be “renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:10
Those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Paul believes that these changes result from “Christ’s love compels us” 2 Corinthians 5:14 and “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 Today, we are saved and became a “new creation”—have we put off our old selves and put on our new, holy selves, relying on the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and live for the Lord?
Lord, search us and know our hearts. We pray for your help. Amen.