Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. NASU
Pastors love to share this verse and I think it's because it seems to indicate that we can have a fresh start. That is appealing isn't it? Who doesn't like the idea of getting a new start on life? I would think that most, if not all of us, have some things we have done that we would like to forget about and then be able to start over with a clean slate.
But what exactly is this verse referring to? What are the "old things" that have passed away and what are the "new things" that have come? Have you ever really stopped and thought about what specific things Paul was talking about? I think it is worth a close examination, how about you?
First, we see that there is a condition to being this new creation. It is being "in Christ." So, what are the requirements to be "in Christ?" The phrase was used often by the apostle Paul to express a positional state. (Ro 8:1, 12:5, 16:7; 1Co 1:30, Gal 3:28 and many more.) This is the state of one who has made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ, trusting in Him for salvation (Ro 6:23), sanctification (making us more like Him, 1 Co 1:2) and is committed to allowing Christ to be the Lord of his/her life (2 Co 1:21). Jesus put it this way, "you must be born again," (Jn3:7) and after being born again, abiding (living) in Him (Jn 15:4-11)
If that describes you, then you can be guaranteed that old things have passed away and the new has come. So again, what are the "old things" and what are the "new things" that come with being in Christ?
Well, here is a list and I think you are going to like it!
Some Old Things
1. Condemnation (Ro 8:1, 6:9) That means the judgment of death. Before we were in Christ, we had a sentence of eternal death on us. We would spend eternity, without God, in the place the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev 20:15)
2. Bondage to sin (Ro 6: 6,11, 14) Though we still have a sin nature, we no longer have be a slave to that nature. Jesus said that those who commit sin are slaves to sin (Jn 8:34), but Ro 6:11 tells us that when we are in Christ, we consider ourselves dead to sin.
3. Bondage to works and legalism (Gal 5:6, Ro 11;6) We no longer try to earn our salvation, which was impossible anyway. Gal 2:16 tells us that we are justified (made righteous) by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.
4. The veil that covered our eyes to the truth of the gospel (2 Co 4:3-4)
5. Bondage to the mindset of the world (Eph 4:14-15,17-19)
6. Bondage to living only for self (2 Co 5:15, Gal 2:20)
Some New Things
1. Eternal life with God (Ro 6:11, 23b, Jn 3:16, 1 Co 15:22)
2. A personal relationship with Christ. Once we were considered strangers, aliens and slaves. Jesus now calls us friend, brother, fellow citizen and sons (Eph 2: 13,19, Jn 5:15, Gal 2:20, 4:7)
3. New Family (Ro 12:5; Gal 3:28, 6:10; Eph 3:6)
4. The Holy Spirit indwelling, teaching, comforting and empowering us to live a Godly life (Jn 14:16-18; Acts 1:8, 2:17-18, Ro 5:5, 7:6, 8:4-17, 26, 14:17; 1 Co 12:4-11, Gal 5:16-26)
5. The assurance of provision (Mt 6:31)
6. The assurance of never being abandoned (Mt 28:20; Heb 13:5)
7. Freedom from fear (Heb 13:6; Mt 10:26, 28; 1 Jn 4:18)
8. Knowledge that God is working out things for your good
9. A life that fulfills God's purpose (Ro 8:28, 2 Cor 5:5, Eph 1:11, 2nd Ti 1:9; 1 Pe2:21; Eph 2:10)
I'm sure we could add more to this list, but shouldn't this be enough to convince anyone that being a new creation in Christ is an awesome thing? I hope it encourages you that are already "in Christ." If you are not yet "in Christ," you can make that choice right now. On the right side of the blog is a statement on how to become a Christian. I pray that you will follow those instructions and from your heart, receive Christ as your Savior and become a new creation in Christ today.
God bless you,