“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad…and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:9-17 (underlining added)………….
If there is any verse I’ve heard quoted and preached countless times through the years, it’s this one. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” In other words, when we repent from a lifestyle of sin, place our faith in Christ as Lord who died for us and was raised from the dead, truly devoting our lives to God and His ways through Christ, we receive Christ as Lord and Savior, are forgiven by God, and enter into a forever relationship with God. Out slate of sin is wiped clean, we are given a fresh start, and we are made brand new spiritually in Christ. We then begin the lifelong, and forever, journey of learning how to live for Christ and to love and glorify God in Christ forever! How thrilling, how exciting, how amazing and awesome, how wonderful it is God gives us new life and makes us new creations! But if we as I did for years are hearing or reading this verse out of the context of the scriptures that go before and after it, we are missing something indescribably important! Something I am here to share with you now.
- If you read the verses above the one about being a new creation in Christ, the Lord through the apostle Paul shows us WE NEED TO LIVE OUR LIVES TO PLEASE THE LORD and that WE ALL WILL STAND BEFORE THE LORD ONE DAY AND HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR LIVES AND WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE DID!
- If you read the verses below the one about being a new creation in Christ, the Lord through Paul makes clear WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP LEAD OTHERS TO FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR THE PROMISE OF EVERLASTING LIFE!
A word of caution. I heard the new creation verse tossed around for so many years without being in the verses above and below that I missed the message about WHAT IT MEANS TO FOLLOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Once we are born again spiritually through repenting and receiving Christ as Lord, we have a two-fold responsibility: TO LIVE A LIFE PLEASING TO CHRIST and TO HELP OTHERS TO FIND AND FOLLOW HIM!
How marvelous, how beautiful, how humbling, how phenomenal, that God makes us a new creation when He saves us from our sins and His wrath through committing our lives to Christ! But let us not stop short of the purpose of it all – to LOVE and GLORIFY God forever and to help others to do the same!