Over the last couple of days we have been looking at what it means to be born again, and today we reflect on the idea that when we are in Christ, we become new creations. No longer are we just flesh and bones in our time here on earth. We are spiritual beings…
For Christ’s love compels us, because 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 no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Paul speaks here of making a shift in our thinking regarding these spiritual ideas. He encourages us to stop thinking about these matters from a worldly point of view. In fact, he reveals that people in Jesus’ time regarded him from a worldly point of view before his death and resurrection. He was Joseph’s son the carpenter who might have been a prophet.
After his resurrection Paul says that Christ can no longer be viewed from a worldly perspective. The spiritual reality of his death and resurrection, in fact, transform the way we view everyone.
No longer are we just flesh and bones in our time here on earth. We are spiritual beings with the potential to be spiritually alive if we receive Jesus as the son of God and saviour of our lives. We can be born spiritually and live differently as a result.
When Paul says that the old has gone and the new has come, he is speaking of the newness of life we obtain when we become spiritually alive. I was discussing these ideas with a friend recently and we were led in our talk to the evidence of our spiritual birth.
The active role that the Holy Spirit takes in our lives to convict us, counsel us, and remind us of the words of Jesus is evidence of our rebirth. The wrestling between our redeemed souls and our unredeemed flesh described in Galatians 5:16-18 is perhaps one of the most tangible evidences of being born again.
Our spirits desire the things of God and so we pursue them with intent, yet our flesh desires the things of the flesh (temptation and sinful desire), which creates a battle within us that the Christian knows all-too-well. Although we don’t have to live for the flesh (the old is gone) quite often we ignore or suppress the new that has come. I can still remember the days when I did not have this internal battle.
Before Christ, I made the best decisions I could based on my upbringing and values and desires. I can assure you, many of my decisions were inconsistent with the new creation I now am. This isn’t critical of my parents or the values they instilled in me. This is, rather, a statement of how different and unworldly the influence of the Spirit is in the reborn person. This is the Spirit who enables us to love our enemies.
Paul encourages us in Ephesians 1:18-20 that the same power which raised Jesus from the dead is at work within us. That’s new creation talk…
What about you? Are you in Christ? Do you believe him and have you received him? If so, you are a new creation. If not, you can become one today by simply responding to God.