July 23, 2023
“ … if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB1995)
When you put your faith in Christ – a supernatural miracle occurs in you.
God infuses a literal new spiritual life into you. Over time, you are transformed from the inside out. And they are radically changed.
Three Realities of the New Life
I. A New Creation
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ”
2 Corinthians 5:17a
The greatest miracle of the new birth is theologically called regeneration.
It’s a new life implanted
Kainos (new) means new in quality, new in kind.
Creation, it means something new is CREATED. You are re-created from the inside out. It starts in the here and now. It will be fully completed with you see Christ face to face.
"... even when we were dead in our transgressions, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER with Christ (by grace you have been saved),"
Ephesians 2:5 (NASB1995)
There is a part of you that is dead. Unresponsive. It doesn’t operate.
“we were dead in our transgressions …”
But then God implants a new life in you: “God … made us alive together with Christ …”
You become a new life, a new person. That is why this is a supernatural conversion, new birth, recreation. This is not you deciding that you want to improve who you are, so you decide to start practicing Christianity.
It’s impossible without experiencing a new birth: a new creation.
It is all possible and only produced by what Christ did on the cross. He took on the wrath of God for your sin. The wrath you deserved. He died in your place on the cross, so that He could make you alive as a new creation, when you placed your faith in Him.
II. Old Things Passed Away
“… the old things passed away …”
2 Corinthians 5:17b
It means the old person I was, is now gone.
It means at my core, I am a completely different person.
The old desires, the old appetites have completely changed.
In the center of every human being, at the core of who we are, we are essentially loves and appetites.
Before the new creation, our flesh rules our lives with all of its desires and appetites.
Afterwards, the miracle of rebirth. Our core loves and desires transform. The Spirit of God in us rules our lives.
The verse says that a new creation is followed by “old things pass away"
1. Before we are spiritually dead. The new birth brings us to life spiritually.
2. Separation from God – before Christ comes into our lives – we are separated from God – the new birth destroys that separation.
3. Our fear of death – is smashed because Jesus has cancelled death for us – we open our eyes in His presence, and live eternally with Him – when we pass out of this life.
The “old thing” I want you to focus on right now: your old nature is replaced by a new one.
The New Testament teaches that conversion, the new birth, transforms our nature.
The New Testament teaches that we become a new person inside – we have a new nature.
That new nature PRODUCES a new identity in you.
You belong to Jesus. You love Him with all your heart.
You live to love Him, you to want to please Him, and to be identified with Him.
You are in a life-process of becoming more like Him in your inner life and character.
The new birth
is NOT ME taking on a new religion, a new way for me to rehabilitate myself, to start behaving better,
is NOT the way I get God’s attention, to give me what I am ambitious for, to get me what I want.
This is who we are: we live a life where the old things are falling off of us.
The new birth is that a new life has been implanted into me, and I am in the process of so thoroughly changing, that ultimately, I don’t even want the same things I wanted before.
III. New Things Have Come
“ … new things have come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17c
The new things:
1. A new life has come to life in you. Therefore you have a new heart and spirit.
2. A new identity. You are an infinitely loved adopted child of God, an heir of everything He longs to give you;
3. A new purpose. It’s intensely personal. I want Christ to live His life through me and I will become a being of love, for the Lord, and toward others.
AND A NEW POWER
In Ephesians, the new thing that has come is a new power for change:
18 "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,"
Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
Regeneration is a power that is in the new life implanted in you to transform you into who God ultimately created you to be.
You now have a power that was just NOT present in you before.
This explains a new power to overcome addictions, which was just dead before.
This explains how a deeply selfish, harmful, toxic person transforms into a person of total self-giving love and encouragement.
It’s because you NOW have a power that was simply not there before.
And there is a new energy in you to cooperate with that change –
A focus and effort to live out that change in growing ways every day.
The Lord’s Supper
23 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.”
1 Corinthians 11:23–29 (NASB1995)