(2 Corinthians 5:17) is the most powerful and summarizing verse out of the Word of God that refers to the total transformation that must occur when someone is in Christ. This life-changing transformation is so critical due the fact that it’s exactly what will prove that a person is truly in Christ.
It’s also what will demonstrate plainly whether Christ’s death and resurrection have accomplished their intended purposes in that person’s life. Keep in mind, that transformation is an internal one rather than external, so it only reflects externally. Why? Our true identity is whom we are on the inside. Being in Christ is the sole thing that changes the whole person by targeting the sin problem bringing mankind to utter ruination at its very core.
That critical transformation leads us to seriously consider the main reason people should come to Christ and why He is an absolute necessity for everyone. Well, people should come to Christ on the basis of realizing that they are sinners in the sight of a holy and righteous God (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). In other words, they have rebelled against God of infinite goodness by transgressing against His laws.
They are separated from God as a direct consequence. They are also in a state characterized by spiritual death (Romans 6:23), which renders them to be in a detestable, useless, hostile, and unacceptable condition before God. Consequently, they are on their way to eternal hell.
The kind of life that comes out of that horrible state is one that’s based purely on selfishness, pride, arrogance, stubbornness, hostility, and enmity to God. That’s the reason why many would rather live their lives completely away from God because His Word is not in agreement with their sinful longings. They don’t want to submit their lives to God as well.
So people should come to Christ as a result of realizing that they cannot continue to pursue with this type of wretched life they’ve been living, which will ultimately lead to eternal damnation by accepting God’s gift of salvation. Let’s try to dig into the deep truth hidden within this powerful verse.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
First, the sinful, carnal, or natural man has to die in order for the spiritual man to live. Therefore the old life pertaining to the flesh that we used to live must cease. We’ve received a new nature through Christ, so a brand new life has to come out of us. The old life has to get out of the way, so that the new life can come forth. This life is a new form of life that’s infinitely above and better than the old one. That new nature is like a seed that has been planted into us by God; therefore, it has to grow and produce good fruits for His glory.
Our behaviors and lifestyles must be a direct reflection of that brand new nature. If we’re living according to our earthly nature, it means that we’re following the innermost sinful desires that are bursting forth out of that nature. Since we’re given a new nature through Christ in order to overcome the old one, so the desires that come out of us must be in compliance with that brand new nature.
It should become the foundation upon which our lives are built. The life we’re currently living as Christians must authenticate the main reason we came to Christ in the first place, which is to forsake the old life that leads to death in order to transition to the new one that leads to eternal life found only in Christ.
Because if we’re not living a new life, then there’s actually no reason for us to have come to Him. In this case, it would be better had we stayed in our old ways of life since we’re doing both Christ and ourselves a great disservice. If there’s no change at all after coming to Christ, it’s unmistakably clear that Christ wasn’t needed at all.
So God wants that new identity that we have to dominate our lives. Jesus has rolled back that sinful propensity we had by breaking the power of sin that used to govern our lives. Our whole self ruled by the flesh was put off by the circumcision we’ve received from Him (Colossians 2:11).
And we’re given the Holy Spirit in order to empower us to bring that sinful nature which is waging war against our soul under subjection. That sinful nature has to lose its initial control and influence on our lives. A totally new person with a brand new disposition and longings centered upon pleasing and glorifying God should come out of ourselves.
The only thing that can suffocate that new identity is sinful living which is nothing more than continuing to hold unto our old nature. We must undergo an identity change, which means to come out of our human ways or sinful ways to Christ’s ways.
Dear heavenly Father, we all know that we are in a very fierce battle with our fallen nature on an ongoing basis. We cannot live according to both nature simultaneously and live a life pleasing to you. The type of life we choose to live gets to decide which one of these two natures is actually running our lives. That old nature will never give up the fight as long we’re still living in this flesh. It will always try to do its very best to hijack that new identity in order to have its ways in us, but thanks be to You for sending us the Holy Spirit to indwell us in order to empower us to counteract its massive impulses.
We pray that You enable us to understand how important it is for us to hold unto the new life which we’ve received from You. It’s the very life that will show the world that we are of You and know You. So when they look at us, they should see that we are a new creation in Christ. In Christ’ name we pray. Amen.