“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor 5:17
Mankind has a universal problem – we are all infected with the disease of sin. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul explains how the guilty sinner may be reconciled to God and the results of that reconciliation. Our stench of sin is so great that it cannot simply be masked over but we must be made completely new. I recently had mold in my house which forced us to live at my brother’s for a week. Many contractors wanted to simply mask the problem instead of killing it at the source. In order for the mold to be completely removed, all of the drywall, sheet rock and insulation had to be replaced – it had to be made new to be completely fixed.
The Universal Invitation of Christ
The Gospel’s call is not exclusive but inclusive by nature. Notice Paul’s words, “If anyone is in Christ…” meaning that the Gospel is for all man. This parallels with Matthew 11 when Jesus beckons the burdened, “come to me all who labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The Gospel’s invitation is not limited in it’s scope but invites all the hungry to come and eat from the feast of Christ’s sacrifice. Therefore, Paul pleads, “Do you want to be new? Come be found in Christ! Anyone who is burdened and heavy laden – be found in Christ!”
Unity in Christ Brings Newness of Life
“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” (Romans 6:4). As stated previously, the depth of our problem is so deep that we need an entire new nature. The root of sin drives deep into the soul which none can root out except the blood of Christ. Therefore, it is not sufficient enough for God to wipe our slate clean, we need a righteousness that is foreign to us.
When we are found in Christ, we are given everything that He has earned, namely, His righteousness. Therefore, we can boldly stand knowing that Christ is our righteousness and we have been made completely new. God has not sprayed perfume on the stinky trash of our sin but has completely removed it and replaced it with a treasure that never fades. Unity in Christ implies that at one point, we were not unified. At one time, I was hostile against Christ; I wanted nothing to do with Him. However, when God through Christ saved my soul, I found the sweetness of His grace and trusted in Him as my Savior. Therefore, He was not ashamed to call my brother and welcomed me gladly as the Father did the prodigal in Luke 15.
The Power of Sin is Dead
Believer – the old has passed away – we had a funeral for that old man that you were once were! The struggle of temptation and indwelling sin will still be an issue as long as we live on the earth, but the power of sin and death are dead. On the Cross, Christ killed sin and death – they were no match for His victorious sacrifice. Christ’s death is the death of death! Paul proclaims this with all joy in Romans 6, “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of death might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For the one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
Therefore, when sin rears it’s ugly head at you, you can confidently proclaim, “You may have bruised His heel, but He has crushed your head! You are no match for my Jesus!” Even when we fall prey to sin and return to the old way of life we can boldly approach the throne of grace and find Jesus’ wounds sufficient for us. We run to the Cross knowing the sin is already payed for, feeling the weight of God’s grace like an ocean roll over the tide of our soul. Therefore believer, walk in the newness of life that Christ has granted to you. The old man is dead, Christ is alive in you!
“Recollect that every man who is only born once will have to die twice; but the man who is born twice will only have to die once, and even that once dying will be no moribund experience, for it will only be the gate into eternal life” – Charles H. Spurgeon