Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A New Creation

I'm going to continue in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 today.

"... we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so on longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  2 Corinthians 5:14-17

If you have been baptized you may remember this type of language.  In many churches when believers are baptized this is said: "Crucified with Christ (as the person is lowered), buried with Christ (as the person is immersed in the water) and raised to walk in new life (as the person is raised out of the water)."  I love this language as people are baptized because it helps demonstrate what happened when the Holy Spirit entered them at conversion.

We believe that Christ died for all for all of us, therefore we are all dead to our old selves.  We believe that Christ was raised from the dead as the first of many that are raised from the dead.  Jesus was raised from the grave and so we are now alive as our new selves at the point of salvation, whenever that is.

Because of that we need to look at ourselves and others as new creations.  We will not someday be new creations, we are new creations today.  So, we need to look at other believers in that light.  Rather than seeing all their faults, we must look at them from a heavenly point of view and find the evidences of God's new creation in them.  We must also do the same for ourselves.  I know too many Christians who beat themselves up and pick themselves apart.  Stop that!  You are a new creation.  To unfairly criticize God's new creation is not right; you have no right to criticize what God has made.  You have no right to bash God's new creation whether that creation is you or someone else; for that matter you also have no right to hate anything of the old order, but the new order is even more off limits.

"The old has gone, the new has come!"

The sentence above is not just talking about individual people.  That verse could read, "the old order has gone, the new order has come."  Paul was not just making a proclamation about believers having new life, he was proclaiming a new order of life on earth.  When Jesus said, "It is finished" on the cross, He was announcing that what was needed for the entire Gospel message to come true was finished and the entire Gospel message is that creation will be redeemed and made new.

The new has come means everything to believers.  We believe that Christ was the first of a new creation.  When Jesus burst out of the tomb the whole Kingdom of Heaven began to burst out with Him.  We are evidence that the Kingdom of Heaven is here.  Is it completely here now?  No, but it is here in part.  We are part of the new order bursting into earth.  We, the new creations, will do things that are like our homeland, we will act in accordance with the rest of God's new creation.

If Christ is in you you are a new creation.  Remember that and view yourself as a new creation.  Remember to view others as a new creation and treat them accordingly, recognize the potential that lies in them because of what they are.  Announce that the old has gone, the new has come!  As God's new creation we are charged with being a part of the new order coming to earth.  Will it come completely before Christ returns?  No, but we can be a part of its triumphal entry onto the earth that is groaning for it to come.

Live as the first fruits of the new creation today.

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