“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
The word of God recognizes only two groups of people, the lost and the saved. So to be honest with ourselves we must realize that we are in one of those two groups.
Many will say “I’m working on it” or “I’m almost there.” But we don’t use this terminology in other situations. If you were drowning in a raging sea, would you like someone to almost rescue you? If you were in a burning building, would you sit there and say you were working on getting to safety?
No. We want an absolute knowledge of deliverance from danger and death in these situations. Likewise, there are no gray areas in God. He deals only in absolutes. There is indeed a blessed assurance for those in Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ … ” We are either in Christ, or not in Christ. Any man can come to Jesus and any man can have this assurance of salvation.
This verse is not exclusive, but inclusive! The gospel of Jesus Christ does not leave anyone out, but invites any man, all men to come. This is the will of the Father in the life of every man, to place him ‘in Christ’ and bring about this newness.
How many times have you thought “if I could do it all again … ”? God, in this scripture, is giving us the opportunity to do just that. What a glorious thought and opportunity, not just to do things differently, but to actually become a new creation from the inside out.
Only when the old things pass away, or die, are the new things born. There is not room for two creatures to dwell in the same body, one must go. In Christ there is both death and life; an end, and a beginning.
Never does God leave us without hope, but always He offers to do a complete work in us. We look at our own ability to change, do right, make the adjustment; but it’s deeper. Paul said “in me there dwelleth no good thing.” However, when I am in Christ and the old things die, God plants a new creature in me, created to love and do righteousness.
Now my nature is no longer contrary to God, but is in complete accord with His likes and dislikes. No longer do I gravitate toward the ungodly and sinful activities that were destroying my life, but rather I delight to do the will of God. My fellowship is with the Father and the Son.
Am I in Christ? I don’t have to wonder or doubt. Have the old things passed away, or do they still reign in me? The door is open. All can come in and find all things made new.
Bradeen is pastor of House of Prayer Christian Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.