NEW CREATION IN CHRIST

I) [2 Cor 5:17]:

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.'

A) BELIEVERS ARE A NEW KIND OF CREATURE IN CHRIST JESUS, NEITHER JEW NOR GENTILE

"new creature... the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." =

"new" = "kaine"

[Theological Dictionary of the NT, 1 Vol., Kittel & Friedrich, Eds, by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Eerdmans Publishing, 1985, p. 388]:

"As distinct from néos, 'new in time,' ['kaine', str 2537] means 'new in nature' (with an implication of 'better').", i.e., unique as opposed to renewed or improved over time.

1) [Compare Eph 2:10]:

"For we [believers, (vv. 8-9)] are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Note that believers have become God's workmanship in the sense that they are new creations, new creatures - in Christ Jesus, unique having been placed into the body of Christ, neither Jew nor Gentile, but a third kind of human being who is unique in the sense that he is a part of the body of Christ.

[Dr. John Danish, Pastor Berean Memorial Church, Irving, Tx states in an audio tape of sermon 2/25/96]:

"Therefore.... [refers back to the previous context, especially vv. 1 and 5]:

Verse 1 says that if the earthly tent, that is your human body, which is our house is torn down - that means you die - we have a building from God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. You have a heavenly body that you enter upon death. And you enter a marvelous place of blessing when that happens...

Then in verse 5, he says [that] the Holy Spirit indwells every believer as a token or down payment of God's promise to take us to heaven when we accept His salvation...

2)  [2 Cor 5:5]:

"Now He Who prepared us for this very purpose [of going into heaven in this super body, v. 1] is God, Who gave to us the Spirit as a down payment."

a) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."

The reason the Holy Spirit indwells every believer is because it is God's seal, His stamp.... You're not going anywhere except to heaven... God's grace will not be frustrated by anything that man does once you have committed yourself to what God has given you...

Then in verse 6 God Himself makes it certain that if we leave our bodies, we go to be with the Lord:

b) [2 Cor 5:6]:

"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord -"

So now we come to the greatest example and the demonstration of the grace of God in verse 17:

I cont.) [2 Cor 5:17 cont.]:

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.'

A cont.) BELIEVERS ARE A NEW KIND OF CREATURE IN CHRIST JESUS, NEITHER JEW NOR GENTILE, cont.

[Dr. Danish, cont.]:

'''Verse 17 reaches a conclusion based on verses 1 through 16. And so we begin with this word, 'Therefore'. It means, 'So that'. It indicates a conclusion about grace provisions... ['if' =] since...

['any man' =] any one, man or woman...

['in Christ' =

3) [Compare 1 Cor 12:13]:

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."]

We get into Christ at the point of our faith in Christ. That's when you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And that's what water baptism is a symbol and a sign of - that you have been placed into Jesus Christ and that's why you are eternally secure.

You can never be removed from Him. You cannot remove yourself, God cannot remove you, man cannot remove you - you are in Christ. It's an expression indicating that one is saved. It is an expression which is particularly used in the New Testament Age of the Church. They didn't talk like that in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it is a [phrase] which is commonly understood... [to mean] to be saved....

In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul says that he who.... is not indwelt by Christ is none of His - making it very clear that if Christ does not indwell you, [then] you don't belong to Him - meaning, 'You're not a Christian'. Nobody can be a Christian without first having been baptized into Him by the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. So 'In Christ' is referring to a believer...

4) [Compare Gal 3:27-28]:

(v. 27) "For all of you who were baptized into Christ [i.e., all of you who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit] have clothed yourselves with Christ.

(v. 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Once you are in Christ as a saved person, there is no racial, there is no national, there is no gender difference. Everybody is [one] in Christ... So God sees us as part of His Son...

This [being] placed in Christ is... our positional place. And that means [that] we have positional sanctification. Sanctification means [that] you are absolutely perfect in God's sight - as perfect as Jesus Christ... It is all based upon the Grace of God [not on anything one does]...'''

I cont.) [2 Cor 5:17]:

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.'

A cont.) BELIEVERS ARE A NEW KIND OF CREATURE IN CHRIST JESUS, NEITHER JEW NOR GENTILE, cont.

[Dr. Danish, cont.]:

'''Now this word 'creation' is stressed because it... has no verb [italics above indicate no verb is in the Greek text]... Being in Christ means to be born again making us a new creation. We are not new creatures because of something we do or don't do.... This verse has to do with what God in His grace has done for us, not what we do for Him or for ourselves...

["new = "kaino"]

means... a new kind, a new species. What this word is saying is that Christians in the Church Age, of the Age of Grace, are a new species of human beings in God's Creation.... [Compare Gal 3:27-28 above]

And this new species began on the Day of Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit when [God] joined all believers together into one body called the Church...

5) [Compare Eph 1:22]:

(v. 22) "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

(v. 23) which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all."

The Christian is a new creature, a new species. He becomes that automatically at the point of salvation when he is placed into Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And that's what this newness is all about. Not that he is going to behave himself. Not that he is going to stop sinning...

["creation" = "ktisis"]

This word means creation, a new kind in God's order of creation... God's unique new breed in God's creation...

["the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."]

These are not the ways and experiences of our unsaved days... but of our days in spiritual death under enslavement to the old sin nature...

["old" = "archaia"]

[The word "old" here] means that it existed from old times all the way from the beginning...

["passed away" = "parelthen"]

This word [which is translated as 'passed away' in the Greek Bible... is stated in a way that means [that] it came to an abrupt end. It didn't just gradually fade away... [So] it can't be your conduct which gradually might become better... 'Passed away' is an abrupt action...

["have become" = gegonen]

[This verb is in the] perfect tense... [which] means that at some point in the past something happens and the results of that continues forever and ever and never stops... You have become a new creation in Christ Jesus and because [of] this tense it tells us that it starts and can never stop. That's another evidence that you can never lose your salvation..."

B) ON THE OTHER HAND, BELIEVERS CONTINUE TO POSSESS A SIN NATURE = THE CAPACITY TO SIN

The phrases "new creation" [NIV] or "new creature" [KJV] and "the old things passed away" are widely misinterpreted as signifying that the believer no longer has a sin nature when other clear passages indicate otherwise, (Ro 6:all; 7:14-23; 1 Jn 1:8, 10; Eph 5:1-14; Gal 5:13-25). Furthermore, it is falsely maintained that the new nature has completely replaced the 'old man' sin nature in the born again believer. But the text in this particular passage is indeterminate on the matter. So conclusions from 2 Corinthians chapter 5 in any direction relative to this matter are not warranted. Other passages must be consulted to provide the answer as to what this passage does not state, (an extremely important rule in interpreting Scripture). All this passage in 2 Cor 5 is saying is that those who are in Christ, i.e., permanently indwelt with Christ are a new kind of human being.

1) [Compare Gal 3:27-28]:

(v. 27) "For all of you who were baptized into Christ [i.e., all of you who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit] have clothed yourselves with Christ.

[And the phrase "the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" is clarified by the next verse]:

(v. 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

To paraphrase:

'You who are believers in this age are all new creations as part of the body of Christ, neither Jew, nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female. Old things have passed away relative to your old position in Adam and now your new position in Christ and your brand new uniqueness to God as being part of the Body of Christ.'

On the other hand similarities amongst species of humans do remain, one of which can be observed in practice amongst all humans, believers and non- believers alike: the sin nature. Characteristics of the old kind may or may not be part of the new kind, the passage does not stipulate. Just as certain kinds of species have similar characteristics so it is with the Church Age believer as opposed to Jewish and Gentile unbelievers and believers. Sometimes one cannot tell who is who on the basis of outward behavior. The key difference is that Church Age believers are members of the body of Christ, permanently indwelt by His Presence. Other believers of other ages are not so indwelt nor part of the Body of Christ - an invisible characteristic of position established by the sovereignty of God with a primary view to a grand functioning in the millennium and eternity future. And unbelievers are not part of God's eternal order with Him at all.

Compare excerpts from the aforementioned passages which clearly indicate that believers have a propensity to and often do sin. This is brought about by the intrinsic sin nature in that believer which is still there and still has the potential to produce sin:

2) [Gal 5:13, 16-17, 24-26]:

(v. 13) "For you [believers] were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.... [another term for the sin nature, (ref. Eph 2:3; Ro 8:1-8)]

...but through love serve one another.

(v. 16) "But I say [to believers], walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

(v. 17) For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please."

[One might ask at this point if there is no intrinsic sin nature in the believer then what is it in him that has the potential to sin that this passage is pointing to? Certainly not some new nature! For this passage and many other passages in Scripture warn believers not to sin.

The truth is that, although God has broken the enslavement of the believer to the sin nature by crucifying it with Christ, (ref. Ro 6:1-5), the believer still has that sin nature as part of his intrinsic being and can succumb to its desires as Ro 6:12-13 testifies to and Gal 5:24-26 indicates here]:

(v. 24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

[i.e., have destroyed the flesh's total control over them. This could not be teaching that the sin nature itself has been totally eradicated because the very next verse urges believers to live by the Spirit and not the flesh]

(v. 25) If we live by the Spirit...

[i.e., since we have the indwelling Spirit in us]

...let us walk by the Spirit...

[i.e., then let us follow the leading of that Spirit - indicating that there is a choice to be made: the Spirit or the flesh which one can permit once more to take control.

And then Paul goes on to exhort fellow Galatian believers NOT to sin, mentioning certain specific sins as appropriate examples which the Galatians were, (and you and are I are), prone to commit - thus indicating that the sin nature is still part of the believer's being with potential to do evil at any time]:

(v. 26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."

3) [Cp. Ro 6:11-13]:

(v. 11) "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

(v. 12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you should obey its lusts,

[Notice that the believer has a choice]:

(v. 13) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."

Finally, we have the great fellowship chapter of 1 John which provides the remedy for believers when they do sin:

4) [1 Jn 1:8-9]:

(v. 8) "If we [believers, (v. 2:2)] say that we have no sin...

[sin, singular - sin nature]

... we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

[So believers do have a sin nature. And the way that believers are to remedy the sin nature problem relative to restoring fellowship with God when it produces acts of sin, (not eternal life which is secure, ref. Jn 10:28; Ro 8:1, 38-39; Eph 1:13-14, etc. etc.), is through moment to moment confession as it states in the next verse]:

(v. 9) If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

[Since verse 8 indicates that true believers cannot claim to be without sin at any time, then the confession stipulated in verse 9 must be continuous in order to continuously cover ones continuous shortcomings before God. This amounts to a continuous acknowledgment of ones imperfect life to God as we go through our daily lives.

The next verse puts a disclaimer on any believer who claims to be without sin for any period of time, thus indicating that the sin nature is indeed alive and active in every believer all the time, again requiring continuous confession]:

(v. 10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him [God] a liar, and His word is not in us."

[So believers cannot truthfully say that for any period of time they are not without sin nor the commission of acts of sin]

I cont.) [2 Cor 5:17 cont.]:

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

C) THE BELIEVER IS NO LONGER UNDER THE SLAVERY OF THE SIN NATURE BUT UNDER THE CONTROL OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

[Dr. John Danish, cont.]:

"These are not the ways and experiences of our unsaved days... but of our days in spiritual death under enslavement to the old sin nature...

["old" = "archaia"=]

[The word "old" here] means that it existed from old times all the way from the beginning...

["passed away"= "parelthen"=]

This word [which is translated as 'passed away' in the Greek Bible... is stated in a way that means [that] it came to an abrupt end. It didn't just gradually fade away... [So] it can't be your conduct which gradually might become better... 'Passed away' is an abrupt action... [indicating that something other than the sin nature has passed away. Otherwise, believers would always be absolutely sinless from the moment of their conversion]

["have become new"=]

[This verb is in the] perfect tense... [which] means that at some point in the past something happens and the results of that continues forever and ever and never stops... You have become a new creation in Christ Jesus and because [of] this tense it tells us that it starts and can never stop. That's another evidence that you can never lose your salvation..."