What do others see in you? Let’s really think about this… I know what I hope they see, but one needs to honestly reflect on their actions, words, facial expressions, responses to others, and so forth to really get a better idea. As Christians, we know that we are new on the inside because the Spirit gives us new life, however, we are not the same anymore! Our looks, clothes, hair color, etc., may stay the same, but we are dead to our old lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
First let’s look at “new creature” (many translations use new creation). This means the old man is not just reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated — but re-created! We are beginning a new life under a new Master. If we are struggling with things from our past it is not because “our old self” won’t let us go, because we are a new creature, it is because we do not want to let go of things we formerly knew!
We need to change (re-create) our thoughts, actions, and maybe even the places we go, to make sure our lives line up with the Word of God. When we are a new creature in Christ we are no longer identified with Adam. We are now identified with Christ, and in a relationship with him. So the life we now live should reflect Christ in us, and not the former sinful man who was separated from God.
Notice what Paul says in the second part of this verse, “Old things are passed away.” Let me ask, what are the old things that have passed away? Has anything passed away? We need to take inventory from time to time and see if there are any “old things” still hanging around. Now, look at the last part, “Behold, all things are become new.” When the new comes, it removes the old nature of pride, former opinions, passions, lust, corrupt speech, etc., and we no longer love the things we used to, but now we delight in the things that glorify God.
Jesus did not take our place at Calvary so we could be exactly what we were before we believed on him. His death changes us! Take Paul for example, while he was not perfect, he was certainly a “different” man from who he was before he met Christ! We should all bear fruit that a re-creation has taken place! Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
I pray, “Lord, help me put off the old things in my life. Open my eyes to see what You want me to become, and let me glorify You with my daily living. Show me what I need to change, and help me recreate my thoughts and actions to be pleasing to You. I want to glorify You by showing others the work You have done in my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.