A New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

When someone accepts Christ into their heart as Lord and Savior, Paul reminds us that this person is now a new creature – born of the Spirit of God, something John also clarified when he distinguished a fleshly birth to a spiritual birth (John 3:6). Only through the gift of grace can the Holy Spirit generate in you a new creation as a spiritual man.

This is God’s salvation plan—to give man a new nature, an nature born of spirit that desires to live in a way that honors Him (2 Peter 1:4). Without this inner transformation of the heart, there is no hope of obedience. Consider someone who has the desire to be a thief. The desire exists in spite of a law that clearly opposes such action. If that same individual repents from his ways and truly desires to follow Christ, it is not the law that prevents him from stealing any more than it did before; but rather the love of Christ and a life transformed that prevents the behavior from taking action. This is the most important takeaway from what it means to be a new creation in Christ: the old desires have passed away and new one have taken their place.

Most certainly, a child of God will sin: we are still imperfect flesh, after all. But for the truly transformed the desire to sin has been abated. One of the more challenging verses in Scripture is 1 John 3:9 (emphasis added mine). The ESV version states this verse as: “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” However the KJV reads, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

This is quite a difference. In reading different Greek scholars, there is an understanding the Greek word used here, poieĊ, does indicate a habitual or continuation, which would seem more correct. Although others can interpret this to be it is the spiritual man that does not sin, but only the natural man. This is likely what Paul was alluding to in 1 Corinthians 3:3.

When we become new creations, we are but babes in Christ. The spiritual life has been born, but it has not matured (1 Corinthians 3:1). We still are under control of our carnal minds. Unfortunately, for some Christians, they stay stuck in this position and do not place a need for spiritual growth and discipleship as a high priority (Hebrews 5:12; 1 Corinthians 3:2).

And this is exactly what God does not desire of us. God wants us to know Him better through diligent study of His revelation to us through His Word. Only through a faith that grows, can we be developed by Him (Philippians 1:6).

Only when our spiritual life develops, will we see the old ways of sin fade into the background. If they are still pulling you as strong as ever, it is an indication that your spiritual maturity is stagnant and you are but a babe in Christ. The new life in Christ will put the old sin away—not because it must, but because it wants to.

Remember, this new life is ours by faith. We grow by faith. We live by faith. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). You are a new creation if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Now it’s time to grow!