(January 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, esteemed theologian, shares on this great truth…
The apostle Paul mentions the term ‘new creation’ twice. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ And in Galatians 6:15, ‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.’
To help us understand the phrase ‘new creation’, let’s consider a couple of things about God:
- Only God is the Creator
In the first chapter of Genesis we see that he created all things – the stars, planets, earth and all that is on it including the sea, rivers, all vegetation and every animal, finishing with his creation of humankind.
Nothing has come into existence apart from him. And nothing can exist unless it has been created by God.
- God is concerned about making things new
We discover this in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, the Old Testament has many references to God’s promise to make new things, such as in Isaiah 43:19, Ezekiel 36:24-29 and Jeremiah 31:31-33.
This activity of God is also seen in the New Testament that speaks of new life, new birth, new commandment, new covenant, new and living way, new heaven and new earth, and so on.
At the beginning of time God created something absolutely new (Genesis 1:1). In the same way, when we are incorporated into Jesus Christ through faith, another miraculous act of creation takes place. Our lives can no longer be simply defined in terms of this world; we now have a newly created spiritual dimension.
Take hold of this!
Because of your new creation, you are a child of God, you are a new person. And, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:24 (NKJV), ‘…put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’
But we need to grasp the fact that the term ‘new creation’ does not mean that in becoming a Christian we experience a spiritual makeover and become an improved and better version of what we once were! No, the term means that in us God has created something that is completely fresh, unique and designed for eternity!
This is what the late, much respected Christian writer, CS Lewis, meant when he wrote: ‘God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged creature.’
But note this reality!
Does this mean that when we become a new creation, we no longer sin?
The reality is that, regrettably, we will continue to sin because the influence of our old nature continues to trouble us. But we are in good company!
Here’s what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:18-24: ‘I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?’
What wonderful hope!
But then in verse 25 he added the answer thankfully, ‘Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.’
What a wonderful hope and assurance we have because of our new creation in Jesus Christ.
Dr Jim McClure, author of several books and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives. Love, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage will be available in an electronic version in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats with hyperlinks (as is Dr Jim’s well-researched Grace Revisited) and is offered free.
Link for pre-booked orders: firstname.lastname@example.org.