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.”
This may seem a strange verse of scripture to begin a new year on but it is exactly what we need. In looking at it in it’s context let us read verses 14-17.
“ For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
We see some things here that we all need to be reminded of once in a while. We see the need for a change in man. In verse 14 we see that all are dead in trespasses and sin until they are “in Christ”.
Somehow we have lost sight of the truth that “God commandeth all men everywhere to repent”. We have been comforted and rocked to sleep by a world that teaches only the love of God and the Grace of God, while avoiding the subjects of God’s anger and wrath. We all have loved ones who are not saved and we sometimes like to listen to the lies of the world that are manufactured by Satan and his angels to comfort us into living and letting live.
We hear many say, “Well, God is a merciful and forgiving God and my loved one is a good person. God won’t send them to hell.”
Deep inside we sometimes actually convince ourselves that there is a chance when in reality we must know that there is none. Instead of being heartbroken over lost loved ones we find ourselves embracing a false hope concerning their eternal souls and we leave our own ministry of personally evangelizing our friends and family undone, in hope that God will save them anyway.
Some will say, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
Some, “I have enough problems of my own, I don’t have any right to judge.” (And most people don’t realize that even when you say something good about a person, that is making a judgment)
Some will say, “I won’t be the first to cast a stone.” And that is not what we are trying to do when we point out sin. We are not trying to condemn but we are throwing out the life line in hopes of seeing a glorious rescue. God has already judged.
We also see in these verses that there will be evidence of the change that takes place in a person when they get saved. Notice the wording of our text verse…
“if” — shows us that there is a question to be answered, that being the question of whether someone is truly saved.
It is not wrong to examine a person before placing trust in them or in their profession. Don’t put too much faith in words alone, but watch a person, listen to a person. There are signs to look for which evidence the new birth. There are birthmarks of Christianity. We must learn to be honest with ourselves concerning our loved ones, watch them honestly and move accordingly. Terrible thought to see them die, having never spoken to them of God and eternity. I will never forget the song, “You Never Mentioned Him To Me.”
“is” — if a person gets saved it does not say that they will become a new creature, but that the person “is” a new creature. There will be growing and maturing to do but it will be because they are newborn babes in Christ, and as such they shall be hungry, growing, and learning. “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word”. There will be a desire for the word of God. Babies desire and seek nourishment. Children are full of questions and have a desire to learn, to be taught. Children begin learning to think for themselves as they grow and consume what they need to grow on. And they put to use that which they have learned. This process is in the spiritual life just the same as it is in the physical life.
“old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.”
A new car does not come with an old engine in it. We should understand the concept of all things being new. We may not be able to see God, but we can certainly see His handiwork. And we can see where God has been.
In the next few days there are going to be millions of New Year’s resolutions made simply to be broken. A good one for us is to get back to reaching out to the lost. Both in the world around us and in our families. Resolve to get back in the fight and let’s go around one more year for the Glory of God. Witness to someone, reach out to a loved one. This could be a great year.