New Or Old Creatures?

Old Or New Creature Cover

We all did silly things when we were young children. For instance, I know of a little boy who was very naughty. He climbed out of his crib. He wandered into the bathroom and found – ahem – something unflushed in the toilet. He carried that back to his room and proceeded to decorate the walls and his crib. When mother came in I don’t believe she was impressed with his fashion sense!

When I was around 7 years old my brother Mark and I wanted to play a joke on our Aunt Edna. She is such a sweet woman, and has such a gracious disposition. I and my brother found some worms and, smashing them, put them on Aunt Edna’s doorknob. We didn’t get a whipping (and Mamma believed in whippings) but we did have to clean that mess off!

As children we touched the hot stove and, feeling the burn, learned not to eagerly touch it again. That is what growth is all about. We grow. We learn. We change into something a little wiser and more careful.

As it is with the physical child, so it is with the spiritual child. Every Christian who is indeed a Christian must be born again from above. Jesus told us:

John 3:3 … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

A person who has not been spiritually reborn by looking on Jesus Christ in faith cannot see (εἴδω eídō, [pronounced i’-do] perceive with any of the senses, get a knowledge of, or understand) the Kingdom of God. A person who is born of the Spirit (John 3:5-6) by faith in Jesus Christ is a different person. We are, as Peter said:

1 Peter 1:23-25 … born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

We who are saved no longer play with corruptible things. We do not find sin to be a trifle. Though

the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19)

We honor Christ by forsaking sin. Jesus Christ was the …

satisfactory payment for our sins (1 John 2:2)

so we walk in the …

light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7)

knowing that …

Jesus is righteous, and everyone that does righteousness is born again (1 John 2:29). Whosoever is born of God does not lightly or habitually commit sin … we are born of God! (1 John 3:9).

It is simple to profess with your mouth that you are a Christian. The proof, however, is that you are not like you were. The Apostle put it this way:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Being “New” Is Not A Self Help Program

Christianity is not a twelve step program nor a self help program. Though I have great respect for Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs, these programs focus on the adherent making themselves better – along with others in the program – one step at a time. Many religions follow the same pattern. But not Christianity. Christianity starts out by describing everyone as “dead”.

Ephesians 2:1 … you were DEAD in trespasses and sins

Colossians 2:13-14 … And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The Bible says of the Christian that we are NOT bad people made good. No!
We are DEAD people made ALIVE.

This is the state of every unbeliever on the face of this world. People are born into this life physically alive but spiritually dead. Before Christ came into our lives we could not see or perceive the kingdom of God. Though we enjoyed the blessings of God:

Matthew 5:45 … {our Heavenly Father} makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust

Spiritually dead people do not think about God.

Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Add to this the truth that the devil and his agents actively hide the Gospel from the walking dead. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The devil hides the Gospel through false ministers
Who add to, or take away from the Gospel message.

Those separated from God by sin are dead to God’s Word. They are spiritually dead. God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). The Scripture declares:

Romans 8:5-9 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is {the enemy of} God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Salvation is like that which happened at Lazarus’ tomb. Our Lord Jesus stood outside of Lazarus’ tomb and cried,

Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43)

We do not commend Lazarus for jumping out of the tomb, bound head and foot in the mummy’s rags. Lazarus, though dead, heard Christ’s voice and moved toward Him Who is Life and Light. Even so, the spiritually dead hear the Voice of Christ. Without merit for themselves they come jumping out of the tomb of this sinful world. Jesus made you new.

Revelation 21:5 {Jesus Who} sat upon the Throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” …

Dead people need life. Jesus Christ gave us life. “In Jesus is life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). We are no longer dead creatures, dear Christian. We are now “made near to God by the Blood of Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

New Creations Are In A New Relationship To God

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Before I was saved by faith in Christ, I tried to do all things in my power to live my life. Life was all about me. I was the center of life’s stage, the star, the cast and crew, the everything. I lived for myself. I thought I was all right. But I wasn’t. I did not know God. I was my own god!

Those who do not know God through Christ are strangers to God. Imagine this. You wake up in the morning and, in addition to your family, you find someone you do not know in your home. What do you do? You call the police. Why? Because it is a violation of the Law for someone I do not know to be uninvited in my home.

And so it is with God.

In our world today as in the ancient world, people thought “well, I’m good enough, so I’m going to Heaven when I die”. They were wrong. If God does not know you – or if all you know “God” is, is as “God”, then you are a stranger to God. Strangers do not belong in God’s Home which is Heaven. Let me say that again:

Strangers do not belong in God’s Home,
Which is Heaven.

Jesus knows us because He raised us. The Lord Jesus warned:

Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me {on Judgment Day}, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Do you know Jesus? Did He make you new? If so, He knows you and you know Him –
blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Whoever believes on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are in a new relationship to God. Before Christ we were condemned as transgressors of God’s Law (1 John 3:4). Once we came to Christ, casting our lives on Him, He purged our sins by Himself:

Hebrews 1:3 … when {Jesus} had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 10:9-10 … Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Believing on Jesus Christ, God took us from a state of spiritual death and into the Family of God. We are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:15). The Apostle spoke in incredulous voice, saying:

1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

As new creations in Christ we are

fellow citizens with the Saints (Ephesians 2:19)
and of the household of God.

We are joint heirs with Christ,
and heirs of all that God owns (Romans 8:17).

New Creations Are In A New Relationship
Those Around Us

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We as children of God are called to follow the Royal Law of the family. Two commandments are always foremost in our hearts and minds. They are:

Mark 12:30-31 … And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Christ calls us to a radical love of all that we come in contact with. As Jesus loved the unlovable, so are we called to do the same thing. We do not love the sin of the world.

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Our want to’s change when Christ makes us alive. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are new”. We are new in our responsibilities. We look for opportunities to do good around us.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

You were saved by faith in Christ to live in God’s Kingdom, both NOW and into ETERNITY. Live as if you are His. Put away the old darkness that you used to live in, and live as light in the power of God.

Ephesians 4:1-3, 17-24 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. … 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Evangelist Paul Washer wrote in The Gospel’s Power & Message:

The proof or validation of genuine conversion is that the one who professes faith in Christ perseveres in that faith and grows in sanctification throughout the full course of his life. If a person professes faith in Christ and yet falls away or makes no progress in godliness, it does not mean that he has lost his salvation. It reveals that he was never truly converted.”

We are not saved by our works. But once saved. We. Work. We. Shine. We are different from the lost world. We are children of God, born of love, loving God and others, as long as we shall live.

As A New Creation, I Have A New Destiny

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I am disturbed by the number of Christians who are disturbed by physical suffering and death. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t like to suffer any more than you do. But we inhabit frail and fallen bodies. Bad stuff is going to come our way. Beloved, we are not in Heaven YET.

How did the Apostles deal with suffering and death? The Apostle Paul suffered terribly. He wrote:

2 Corinthians 11:24-29 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

How did the Apostle deal with all this suffering? He looked HEAVENWARD. He focused on all things through the lens of his destiny. He writes:2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. …

2 Corinthians Chapter 5:1-4 For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

The destiny of every believer in Christ is Heaven. I like how the Apostle describes our present bodies. Did you notice he called our bodies “our earthly house of this TABERNACLE”? Do you know what a Tabernacle is? It is a TENT. The body we have right now are TENTS. When Sherry and I were younger we used to go camping with our children. We put up tents. No matter how nice you make a tent it is just temporary.

I remember one time camping with my family in England’s Peak District, a beautiful mountainous range. It rained dogs, cats, and bullfrogs that night. We huddled inside our tent, wrapped up in sleeping bags, and stayed dry, though water flowed all around us. Oh, how I wished for home that night! A tent can be a place to stay, but it’s not home.

Beloved, the bodies you have are not your homes. They are tents. Some are more patched than others. Some have a few more wrinkles than others. Some are a little leaky. Some are pretty new. But every one of us are living in tents right now. It’s like that old song:

This world is not my home I’m just a passing through

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue

The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Oh lord you know I have no friend like you

If heaven’s not my home then lord what will I do

The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Dear Christian, we are heading home. We are Heaven bound. That is where our destiny lies. Not here, but there. Until the day that the Father calls us home we are to walk as lights and as the Children of God. We are to share Christ and be Christ to as many as we can. We are to live, joyfully live, for our Lord. But one day we must depart. We must. These bodies are but tents, tabernacles, temporary abodes until we receive the full promise of God. That day is coming if you know Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you do not, today is the day to call on Him and be saved!

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit! Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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