“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” 2 Cor 5 vs 17
You want to look for another common verse of the scriptures that Christians quote after Jn 3 vs. 16; you then have to see 2 Cor 5 vs. 17. Yet it appears as if these scriptures are the least understood. Many don’t really understand what this verse is talking about, and its implications.
Talking about the new creature, you will need someone to confuse you about what it actually means. New does not mean a repair of the old. If for example you have used a particular pair of shoe for 3 yrs, and then you discovered that the shoe are now worn out due to use. You wanted something befitting, and your father has promised you a new one. If your father takes from you the one you were managing and gave it to a cobbler to help you amend it. He did all the payment, and made sure that the shoe becomes presentable again. He then comes and gives it back to you.
Would you call that a new pair of shoe? Definitely No! It’s still your old shoe that has been amended. Even though you can continue to wear it, it does not change the fact that it is not new.
That’s the mentality many bring into Christianity. The scriptures made it clear. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”. The person in Christ becomes a new creature. He is not become an upgraded version of the old creature. I think it is also important for you to know what the old creature is. It is simple common sense to know that if there is a new creature, then definitely there must be an old creature. So let’s see briefly what or who the old creature is.
The book of Genesis shows us what happened in the very beginning. The book shows us how God created the first man Adam. Adam indeed was created in the very image of God. He was given dominion over all the works of God’s hand and had access to all things. God placed him in the Garden of Eden, lacking nothing. He didn’t have to pray for food or clothing, he didn’t have to pray against sickness, or intercede for the lost to be saved. Adam had all things. Yet we still saw that Adam use to have fellowship with God. One would want to ask what the content of Adam’s fellowship with God was. Many claim to have fellowship with God, yet the content of the fellowship are the things we listed that Adam never had to pray for. I believe Adam was just basking and enjoying God’s presence. At this point, Adam was the only creature, so there was no division into either old or new creature.
Yet something happened when sin entered. Adam felt unworthy of God’s presence. He had to hide from God’s presence. His consciousness changed to his nakedness. He felt he was inadequate for God’s presence, signifying an evil conscience that came in with the fall. Now there was no way the fellowship that existed between him and God could continue. He was dead spiritually to God. With this fall came other evil vices like sickness, crime, etc. The devil had the full authority to operate because Adam turned over his authority to the devil. Adam now made the devil look powerful. And of course the devil exercised his authority over the only creature since it has been given to him.
What this resulted into is that everyone that came out of the generation of Adam inevitably became of the same fallen nature. They put on the very nature of Adam, having a guilty conscience not worthy of God’s presence and glory. It is good to note that the problem of sin was with man. He was not fit for the presence and glory of God again. Even if God decided to continue relating with man as if nothing happened, man wouldn’t have been able to handle that. So God played the story of redemption from the very Garden of Eden till Jesus. Everything that happened within that period of time all pointed to Jesus. God knew that for this fellowship with man to be restored, there needs to be a new man.
Since corruption entered the Genesis creature, God will have to go through creation once again to be able to achieve what he had in mind in the very beginning. The implication is that there will now be two creatures; the old one and the new one. The old creature is the one that is dead to God; the new one is the one that is alive to God again. God was very patient and orderly in the way he planned to recreate man. He used the events of the old creatures to prophesy the new one. He wanted them to know of the new thing he will be doing. Prophets were raised who prophesied how God intends to make this new creature a reality. Some of them longed to see it, but couldn’t because it was not meant for their time. And finally when all had been set, he sent Jesus his very son to make this new creature he was planning a reality.
The law and the prophets had prescribed how the process of making this new creature a reality. The law required that the lamb that must be used as a sacrifice in the process of making this new creature must be pure and without blemish. Isaiah the prophet also saw concerning this process when he prophesied that a virgin shall give birth. John the Baptist also saw concerning the process, when he declared to the people “behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. They were all referring to Jesus. Jesus had to be born of a virgin without the input of the sinful man; that is the old creature. He had to be pure without the sin nature for him to be accepted as the perfect sacrifice. So Jesus had to fulfill the law and the Prophet’s prophecies. These were all written and spoken concerning him.
Jesus the perfect sacrifice was offered on the cross. The anger of God was fully poured upon him. This was a judgment of the sins of the whole world. So what Jesus did was to bear this judgment for all men. The judgment has been hanging on man since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. God did this to show that he is a righteous judge. The sin of man had to be punished in Jesus. The righteous Jesus was made sin for the world sinners. While hanging on the cross, the veil covering the holiest of all in the tabernacle was rent from top to bottom. The holiest of all signified where the presence of God dwelt. It signified where and how fellowship with God was achievable, and only very few selected had access to it. What the body of Jesus broken on the cross did was to make access to the holiest of all possible for man. Man now has access to the very presence of God again. But it didn’t end there. The death and the resurrection of Jesus all have implications.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Eph 2 vs 10
If you are asked the question, where were we created? The answer to that question will differ depending on who you are. If you are a new creature, the answer wouldn’t be the Garden of Eden, and it wouldn’t be your mother’s womb. The answer will be IN CHRIST JESUS. See that scripture above. We are his workmanship, meaning the work of his hand. And we were not created in the Garden of Eden but in Christ Jesus. How? In his death and resurrection!
Since the old man died to God, the new man must receive life again. It is not a repair or a recovery, it is a new life. That life is in Christ Jesus. He obtained it for us through his death and resurrection. So the new creation was not created in Eden, but in Christ Jesus. It was the human Spirit that was recreated; a new man totally different from the old one. God was now fulfilling the promise he had made through his prophets that he would give man a new heart. He didn’t repair the heart of the old man, he gave a new one. It’s called the recreated human spirit. So your spirit man, which is the real you was created in Christ Jesus. What God did through Jesus in those 3 days was to recreate you. Yes! You were recreated after God in righteousness and true holiness. He sanctified you and made you holy. That is the new you, and very true in your spirit man. Remember you are a Spirit, who has a soul and lives in a body.
You will notice that when you became born again you didn’t feel any different in your body. Even your soul was still the same. Being born again is what gave you access to be recreated. It is coming to believe and accept all that Christ did for you in death and resurrection. It is the pathway from the old creature to the new creature. And what do you do to make this transition? You simply believe! You believe and confess Jesus as your lord and savior. In that instant, what happened is that you were recreated. You have a totally new Spirit which is alive and responsive to God. Not only that, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. You became the very habitation of God, made possible by the Holy Spirit living inside of you. Your body now becomes the temple of the living God. The very presence of God that Adam the old creature lost at the beginning now comes to be in you. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit that he shall be in you forever. You are now the new creature in Christ Jesus.
Now that your spirit is recreated, it becomes your duty to allow your soul and body to follow that pattern by renewing your mind with the word of God. You now receive the word of God with meekness which is able to save your soul. It was God’s duty to recreate you (your spirit man), it is now your duty to allow this salvation to be evident in your soul and body. How? By allowing your thought pattern to be shaped by the word. When your thought pattern change, it will definitely affect your words and your actions. If you do not renew your mind with the word, you will only exist like the old creature. People will not be able to differentiate you from the old creature because the change took place in your Spirit, which is invisible.
Remember you were created unto good works. They are the good works God ordained before that you walk in them. You couldn’t walk in this dominion before God recreated you. To know what the good works are, look at the life of Jesus. He walked in perfect love. His communion with the father was perfect. You are now a son too, so you should follow in his steps. It is not a struggle for the new creation because all these are true in your spirit. You only need to release it into your soul and body. So confess with me
“I am a new creature, old things are passed away, I was created in Christ Jesus unto all good works, I am a son just like Jesus, God is my father, and He lives in me by his Spirit, I am righteous just like Jesus”
Written By Ajayi Samuel (April, 2016)
Feel free to join the chat, ask questions and also share your insights and resolutions.