“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
So often we pronounce something as “new”, yet it really isn’t. A new year is just another year with one digit difference. In fact, a new year makes us that much older. A new car depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Many proclaim they are a “new” man or woman because of some experience that has come and gone. Many utter they feel like a “new” person because of some burden that has been lifted, when the burden changed not the person. Many others foolishly say they are a “new” person after some plastic surgery. Does plastic have the components to make new? These and a host of other reasons are given as substitutes for “newness” but fail in every aspect of what would constitute someone or something as “new”.
The abundance of laughable examples of our deceitfulness ought to be worrisome. If we let it, it may cause us to think for a moment. A brief moment may allow us to wonder why? Why is nothing new or made new? Or, what makes it that nothing is “new”?
DEATH, SIN, & THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION
Sin and death are a deadly combination. Their effects eat, rot, and corrupt all things. They even effect time. We measure everything by time, but why? Because of death. We are up against the clock and a clock that is not in our control. We are lent His breathe, yet we presume old age upon it. The world is blinded to think there isn’t anything after we die so, “live your life to the fullest!” Whatever does that mean? Usually, this means a life laden with satisfying one’s own pleasures at every turn, every day, and every year. Boy, you think that would get old. Even Midas found that turning everything into gold got old. The bondage of corruption signifies the grip that sin and death have upon us, others, and the world in which we live. Everything is “old” instead of “new”. Everything is regressive not progressive. We are not free, we are in bondage to corruption. Everything is marked and found wanting because of the bondage of corruption, that is, our bodies, time, possessions, and relationships. If we are honest and awake from the bed the world sleeps in we would come to agree with “the Preacher”, “vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2).
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
With a brief meditation of these things we ought to be struck with the statement, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” For any man to utter such words is a boaster of the highest order or knows something we do not. Yet, these words, we find in that old book, the Bible. The basis of such words are the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not solely some intriguing man, but as He declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, ye shall he live:” (Jn. 11:25) Undoubtedly, this statement is one of Jesus’ most prolific. As one learns about Jesus you find yourself on the tip of a wedge. You are left with only two choicea, 1) Jesus is an arrogant nut, or 2) He is God. You choose, but your choice will not effect Him, but you. Do not believe in Christ and you will stay old and die, or believe and be made new, “though he were dead, yet shall he live”. Moreover, Christ not only declares He has the power to resurrect one from the dead, which He does to Lazarus in John 11 and He will do so “at the last day” (Jn. 11:24), but that He is “the resurrection, and the life”.
NOW KNOW WE HIM NO MORE
“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.” (Matt. 28:6) When the Word was made flesh and dwelt among men it was astonishing enough. God in the flesh, thus made Himself of no reputation when the fulness of the time had come. Jesus Christ, born of a woman fashioned Himself as a man. The Lord of glory took part of flesh and blood. Wherefore, His obedience lead to death, even the death of the Cross procured Christ’s resurrection from the dead more astonishing. He became old to make new. Therefore, “though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16) Due to His resurrection “know we no man after the flesh”. The resurrection from dead made a new standard to judge by. “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.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15) The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ has made a new standard to judge others by. Will you die or live after death? Are you dead while you live, or alive while you live? Moreover, for those “in Christ, he is a new creature”. “All things are become new.” For all things are to be viewed no longer by sin, death, and the bondage of corruption, but by righteousness, life, and freedom of everlasting life.
ALL THINGS NEW
As our bodies, time, possessions, and relationships were constrained by sin, death, and the bondage of corruption so now in Christ our bodies, time, possessions, and relationship are constrained by the love of Christ and the liberty wherewith He has set us free. These bodies are not our last to adorn and surgically repair until our dying breathe, but are the temple of the Spirit to glorify God in. This time is not all we have left, yet we are not to waste it, but now can redeem it. Our possessions will rust and rot to be enjoyed by others when we die, but now are tools by which we can use to love others, as well as, serve us to wean us off earthly, temporal comforts and pleasures unto heavenly, eternal comforts and joys. Our relationships will not be sought to make us happy, but opportunity to love others and seek their joy and happiness by our loving sacrifice for them. Without resurrection old things are old and a vanity of vanities; yet, with resurrection all things are made new to work together for good. Such work lays hold on eternal life and will translate from this life to the next, thus isn’t vain in the Lord, for its end is endless. Maranatha!
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher