2 Corinthians 5:17 Butterfly and Chrysalis

I am a New Creation

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Cor. 5:17 NLT

I am a new creation in Christ is the whole premise of everything we do, say, create and provide at All Things New. Therefore, I want to take some time to dive into the astounding truth of this verse.  A lot of us Christians miss it and therefore, don’t experience the deep transformation of our lives available to us in Christ, whether its health or some other area.

The foundational truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is that you do not need to change yourself because you’ve already been changed.

Take a moment and let that sink down and take root in the soil of your heart.  If you’ve spent your life, money, energy and emotions trying to change yourself (and who hasn’t?) with minimal success then you need to get your heart around this. Paul is saying that if you are in Christ, the old you – that one whom you’re secretly ashamed of and disappointed in and want to hide, the one who has sinned over and over again, the one who overindulges and has little to no self-discipline, the one whom you accuse and criticize of being fat, lazy, stupid, useless, unacceptable, a failure, ugly, old, helpless and hopeless, the one who worries, frets, controls, cheats, lies, manipulates, self-victimizes and blames, and the one who despairs, is angry, bitter and resentful and has little to no peace – is gone for good.  And in her place is someone new.

Brand. Spanking. New.

How is this possible?  Let’s look at a couple of other verses.

I am a New Creation because I was crucified with Christ

“My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 NLT

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Galatians 5:24 NLT

“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.” Romans 6: 3-5 NLT

When you chose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and freely accepted his work on the cross for atonement for your sins in that moment you were united with Christ.  You joined Him in his crucifixion, death and burial.  We don’t know how God did it, we just know that He did because He said as much. All your sins and their resulting physical, mental and emotional mangling and deformity – that old you – were transferred from your physical body and life and put upon his. They were nailed to the cross, crucified and killed with Him.  So, when Jesus died all that deformity and anguish also died. When He was buried they were buried with him.  They lay there still, dead and buried because Jesus left them there when God raised Him three days later.

I am a New Creation because I was resurrected with Christ

Romans 6:3-5 is clear we were nailed to the cross with Christ, died with Him and were buried with Him. But it’s just as clear that we were raised with Him in His resurrection. The old you is dead and gone.  It’s the new you who got out of bed this morning. It’s the new you reading this post.  You now have the very life of Christ Himself living in and through you.  Christ gave his life both for you and to you (Romans 5:10).  This means you are like Christ in your spirit: holy, blameless, complete, victorious. Furthermore, you have the mind of the One who thought of and created all things. You have the heart of the One who loves the Father and wants to do His will. You are united with the One whose very essence is Love and Truth. You have the power of the One who conquered the world system and overcame sin and death.  You have a new identity. This is your new creation, it’s who you are.

Especially relevant, with your new identity you have a new name. You have a new family and a new home. A new inheritance and destiny is yours. Now you are God’s true son and Jesus is your big brother. You have countless true brothers and sisters and your true home is Heaven. Your inheritance and destiny are more wonderful than eye has seen and ear has heard. You are eternally blessed, favored, loved and accepted.

So tell me again what you need to change?  Tell me again what a terrible sinner you are and how you need to and are going to repent and just try harder to fix this or that in yourself, work harder, focus more, or be more disciplined?  Tell me again what you lack?

“I am a new creation.” That’s the truth. You see how ridiculous it is to try and become something you already are, don’t you?

The Lie

Actually, it’s understandable.  We were born and raised in a world whose every system perpetuates The Lie Satan offered up to Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden.  With his words “Did God really say…?” Satan presented an alternative to God’s truth and reality. Of course, there is no such thing, but our forefathers were faced with a choice to trust and believe God or trust and believe the devil. Could they become like God? Was God holding out on them? What if…? We know they were deceived and chose to believe Satan, casting all humanity into a dark existence of deception, illusion, and insanity created by separation from God.

Mankind was created to share God’s life and receive his love in intimate relationship. They were His and He was theirs. This was their identity. Consequently, when Adam and Eve denied God, they denied their very nature and purpose and lost their identity.  Our whole world system is humanity’s self-powered effort, generation after generation, to “find itself” again. We want more than anything to return to the garden and regain our identity and destiny.  Most of all we crave the love of God we were created for and cannot live without.

With God we were loved fully and unconditionally simply because we existed. We were human beings. Divorced from God’s love we must now find love and acceptance in the smiles of our fellow man. Love is a reward for correct performance and we are now human doings or human havings.

The Law

We can not live without love and acceptance and must have it.  Consequently, we strive to look just so, speak a certain way, achieve this or that, have this or that job, or drive this or that car.  Our standards (which are really just laws) drive us to seek perfection by our power and effort, what the Bible calls flesh and sin. Not only that, we forbid and condemn any form of imperfection, weakness and vulnerability in ourselves and others because they lead to condemnation and rejection. Our greatest fears of being alone and unloved would come true.

The Bible calls this law living and we live, move and have our being in this performance-driven world from our first breath.  The world calls us to “do better” and “be more” at every turn and offers endless opportunities to do so, that our fellow humans, and we ourselves, will accept and love us.  We’ve known nothing else and believing there is another way of living seems almost crazy. It’s almost like believing a fairy tale is really real.

The Truth

This is precisely why the gospel of Jesus Christ is so wonderful and transforming to those who actually dare to believe and live it.  If you’re already made new and perfect then what do you need with this system?  If you live in the light and reality, then what do you have to do with the dark and illusion?  Not a thing.  You’re absolutely free. That’s the truth.

There is no more living under the law of man, no more performances needed.  You no long need to meet any expectations to be loved and accepted.  Judging is over. There are no judgements for you to make and none to be made against you.  There is nothing you need to figure out and understand and solve about yourself or others.  The chains of sin and condemnation are broken. You no longer need fear or worry that you are enough or that you are loved and wanted.

You can rest and abide in God’s unchanging, unconditional love for you and Christ’s perfect life in you.  The normal Christian life is one of rest, peace, freedom, abundance and health.  The only thing you must do is stay free. Refuse to conform to this world again, no matter how hard it tries to draw your heart and mind back (and it will).v

Renew Your Mind

“And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Do this by renewing your mind.  Replace all the lies the world system told you, and which you believed, with God’s truth, and stand fast in it.  Say it often: ” I am a new creation.” Meditate on God’s word, submit to the counsel and leading of the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with your like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ. In this way you will be encouraged and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what Adam and Eve did not do: choose to trust and believe God no matter what.

This is true transformation, or what we call sanctification.  Much as the butterfly, you don’t change yourself (you never could anyway), you are changed.  The Holy Spirit is working out into your life the perfect new creation God worked in your spirit when you trusted Christ.  Your job is to actively rest in and humbly receive from God His loving reconstructive surgery.

If you do what you will find is that you will begin to live more readily out of your new identity and see your whole life look more and more like Christ’s.  Your outside will reflect your inside as the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness – grow out of your life as naturally as an apple tree bears apples.  Because that’s what it is and what it does. (Galatians 5:22 NLT). It sounds easy. Yet it is the hardest thing you will ever enter into. Trial, hardship and brokenness are the mediators of your surgery because they are the best instruments for growing the humility God needs to finish His work in us.

Our Father loves us so much He will not accept anything less for us than the very life of Christ perfected in us.  He started by making us a new creation on the cross and He will complete it. He promised. Therefore, don’t be fooled by anyone or anything that promises to change you from the outside in.  It’s just more striving in the law to get the full love and acceptance you already have in Christ.

Instead, say it with me: “I am a new creation.”

SaveSave