New Creation in Christ
Jesus said that to become a Christian we must be “born again”.
John 3:3 (NLT) Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”. That phrase implies that we cannot simply remodel our current lives; we must start over. 2 Corinthians 5:15 &17(NLT) explain what happens when we put our trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord: 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.. . . .
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Jesus used the illustration of birth because we understand that when a baby is born, a new creation is evident. Live birth is followed by a transformation over time from infancy to maturity. When we are born again in the spirit, we who were “dead in your many sins” (Ephesians 2:1-2(NLT)Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God..
The bible says we were “slaves” to sin Romans 6:16(NLT) Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
But then we were release from slavery to sin and now we are slaves to righteous living.
Romans 6:18 (NLT)18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
We are brought to life. We are “created anew in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:10(NLT)10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. God changes our desires, outlook, and focus as we turn from self-worship to God-worship.
Many people try to bypass this transfer of ownership and instead try to “clean up their act,” “turn over a new leaf,” or start going to church in an effort to feel like a Christian. However, willpower can only take us so far. I like to call that “Sin-Management” Jesus did not come to reform our sinful flesh; He came to kill it
Luke 9:23(NLT)23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
Romans 6:6–7 (NLT)6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin..
The old and new natures cannot work together, nor can they peacefully coexist
Romans 8:12–13(NLT)12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
The flesh must die before we can experience the new life Jesus offers us.
The new creation is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17(ESV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “therefore” refers us back to verses 14-15
2 Corinthians 5:14 (NLT) Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life”
Romans 6:4(ESV)4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
That new person that was raised up is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the “new creation.”
To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature, nor did we decide to re-create ourselves anew, nor did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and new. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a task.
Second, “old things have gone.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.
Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and hates,detest,loathes the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind.
The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to leave behind,never to go back to it. We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
What about the Christian who continues to sin? There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us. Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.
In Romans 1, Paul says that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power that saves us, the gospel being the good news that all who believe in Him will have eternal life. When we enter into the Christian life by faith in this good news, we see our faith grow as we come to know more and more about the God who saved us. The gospel of Christ actually reveals God to us as we live to grow closer to Him each day. Romans 1:17 (ESV) says, “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” So part of the Christian life is diligent reading and study of the Word, accompanied by prayer for understanding and wisdom and for a closer, more intimate relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
Every human being is composed of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NLT) 23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
Before we have a relationship with God through new birth, we live primarily controlled by our soul(mind, will and emotions) and body(flesh). The spirit lies dormant inside us, like a deflated balloon. When we transfer ownership of our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, He sends His Holy Spirit to regenerate our deflated spirits. The Holy Spirit is compared to a wind (John 3:8; Acts 2:2). At salvation, He pours into our hearts and inflates the spirit inside us so that we can now communicate with God. Whereas, a person was formerly directed by the sin nature, he or she can now be directed by the Holy Spirit who works to transform us into the image of Christ.
The Christian life is also supposed to be one of death to self in order to live a life by faith. Paul told the Galatians, Galatians 2:20 (ESV)“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
Being crucified with Christ means that our old nature has been nailed to the cross and has been replaced by a new nature which is Christ’s. It means sacrificing our own desires, ambitions, and glories and replacing them with those of Christ. We can only do this by His power through the faith that He gives us by His grace. Part of the Christian life is praying to that end.
The Christian life is also supposed to persevere to the end. Hebrews 10:38-39 And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
This scripture addresses this issue by quoting from the Old Testament prophet Habukkuk: “Now the justified in Christ shall live by faith; But I will take no pleasure in the one who turns away” God is not pleased with one who “turns back” from Him after making a commitment, but those who live by faith will never draw back, because they are kept by the Holy Spirit who assures us that we will continue with Christ until the end
Ephesians 1:13-14(NLT)3 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him..The true believer is one who believes to the end.
So the Christian life is one lived by faith in the God who saved us, empowers us, seals us for heaven, and by whose power we are kept forever. The day-to-day life of faith is one that grows and strengthens as we seek God in His Word and through prayer and as we unite with other Christians whose goal of Christlikeness is similar to our own.