What does it mean to be a New Creation in Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
So what does it mean, ‘if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation’?
Becoming a new creation is what happens to a person when he/she becomes a true Christian. Jesus taught that the only way we can be saved or enter the kingdom of heaven is if we become born again (John 3:3).
John 3:3 says: Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
To be “born again” also implies that we must become a totally new person with a new life.
Our first birth was natural, but our rebirth was supernatural.
To become born again our old self or old nature must die and replaced by a totally new nature or new creation.
The Old Self / The Old Nature / The Flesh
The Bible teaches that the first time we were born, we were born of the flesh. We were born by natural means through our parents. However to be born for the second time, we must be born of the Spirit. So our rebirth must be the work of God.
John 3:5-6 says: Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
When we are born of the flesh, we were all born with a sin nature, or with the natural inclination to sin against God. We all inherited our sin nature from Adam who was the first human. When Adam sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, unfortunately all of humanity inherited their sin nature from Adam (Genesis 3:1-24).
Romans 5:12 says: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
Romans 3:23 says: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
So the consequence of sin is death or spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
In the flesh or in our old nature we are rebellious against God and we are prone to commit all kinds of sins. Galatians 5:19-22 lists the works of the flesh and the eternal consequence of living in accordance to the works of the flesh
Galatians 5:19-22 says: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So our flesh or old nature is actively disobedient to God and His word. Our flesh is at enmity with God and the works of the flesh will ultimately lead to eternal punishment, unless we change and transform into a brand new state that God accepts. So we cannot be reconciled with God unless we become born again as a new creation.
How Do We Become A New Creation
We become a new creation by believing in Jesus Christ and receiving Him as our Lord and Saviour.
John 1:12-13 NLT says: But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose on the third day. Christ died in our place, as our Substitute, to atone for our sins and allow us to enter into a right relationship with God.
We cannot pay for our own sins and transgressions by our own effort or works and therefore Jesus Christ became our Substitute by paying our debt for sin. This debt or penalty for our sins was paid through the sacrifice and blood that Jesus shed on the cross. Christ alone was qualified to pay our eternal debt for sin and He alone fulfilled God’s perfect requirements of God’s laws on our behalf.
1 John 2:2 says: He (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
Our salvation and transformation into a new creation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Our salvation is a free gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
As a new creation we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. We are blameless, forgiven, justified and righteous before God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Therefore just as we inherited our sin nature from one man (Adam), when we become born again through faith in Christ, all our sins are forgiven and we are declared righteous by God because of one Man – Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:15-19 NLT says: But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ… 18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other Person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
The Results of becoming a New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
When we become a new creation, we become totally new people. We are totally changed. We are citizens of heaven because of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20). We are reconciled to God because of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18). We are no longer slaves to sin and therefore sin no longer has power over us (Romans 6:14). We are to put off our old nature and instead put on our new nature (Ephesians 4:24-32).
But does this mean that we won’t ever sin again? No, we will still make mistakes and still sin along the way, but we now have the ability to control our sinful impulses unlike before.
Sinless perfection will only be achieved when we have gone to be with the Lord in Heaven.
However in this life, through Christ we will overcome various sin and temptations as we grow and mature in Him. Our sanctification becomes a process which results in genuine change and spiritual transformation and growth in Christ.
Therefore our attitude towards sin becomes different. We are no longer slaves to sin. Instead we begin to hate sin rather than enjoying the pleasures of sin. We begin to hate our old self / sinful nature but desire to continually imitate Jesus Christ and grow spiritually. We will avoid walking in the flesh but desire to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-24).
We begin to hate the works of the flesh, but love the things of God and grow in our love for God.
We will put off our old self and walk in the new man through Christ.
Ephesians 4:22-32 NLT says: Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to change your mind about sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
Through faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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