by Rob Globke
2 Cor. 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This series is about finding out who we are “in Christ”. Thus far, we have looked at being chosen and being forgiven if we are in Christ. Today, we tackle one of my favorite verses which points us to another aspect of who we are “in Christ”.
We are new creations. This verse, as well as a few at the bottom of this post, remind us that if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we become new people. Of course I am not talking about an outward change, I’m talking about a radical change which takes place from the inside out. In the words of an old testament prophet, we are given a new heart and spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26)
I like this verse a great deal because it is an excellent reminder that we can change. It’s also a reminder that this change can only be accomplished through the power of God.
One of the great parts of life, and especially this job, is that I get to see this amazing reality of change on a regular basis. Throughout the course of a season, I inevitably run into someone who I have known in previous years. Whether it be a fellow teammate, a hockey ministries connection, a former chapel attender, or anything in between, I seem to always bump into someone from the past. I guess the hockey world is a small world...or, am I thinking of a Disney song of some sort? Probably both!
I will not say it happens all the time, but some of the times I run into these old acquaintances, I get a picture of what 2 Cor. 5:17 talks about. It’s like I’m talking to a different person. I’m talking to a new creation. At some point along the line, these people have been changed by God, and it shows.
Let’s take a look at a few pictures below.
Do you notice the changes? I’m guessing we all would say...YES! And for me, these physical changes are a lot like the inner changes I see in many guys. Players who have been transformed into new people by the grace of Christ. I get the same reaction as I do when I see pictures like this. “Wow! Is this really the same person?” I ask myself. My brain is often tempted to say, YES, but then I remember. No, they are not the same. They are new creations. Oh the beauty of the love of God.
A few closing points:
We don’t create new things
It’s impossible. Only God can create new things. We can’t make ourselves a new creation anymore than we can think something into existence. It just doesn’t work. The process of becoming a new creation was started by God before the foundation of the world. It continued when Christ went to the cross and rose again. And it is finished when the Holy Spirit enters our life through faith in Christ. Our newness is a work of God. We can try to change our lives, and it might work for a little, but it will eventually fail. God is the only one who can bring a lasting newness. There is no sense in trying to do it ourselves.
It is possible to change
Many people might think that they are so bad, so far gone, so washed up that they would never be able to become new. This is not the case. There is enough grace in Christ to make billions upon billions of the worst sinners new creations. Don’t wallow in doubt that God can make you new. Let him have His way with you. Then, if I bump into you many years down the road, I can think to myself….
Is this really the same person?
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
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.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.