2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
If anyone… I love it when the Lord uses that type of phrase because it means that it is even meant for me! It is meant for you, and it is meant for anyone who has come to Christ! I think sometimes we can get too caught up in who we used to be. So much so that we are not able to focus on the new creation we are becoming. It is quite amazing to see when a new believer is transformed almost instantly. While others may take a little longer to experience the new creation, we are still promised that we will, in due time, be made new in Christ! What a powerful thought. I am so thankful that the Lord is continually making me new, washing away the old man with each passing day.
What Does It Look Like To Be New?
If we are new in Christ there are certain characteristics that should be present and very noticeable. Here is a small sample of the characteristics that should encompass our new life.
Love: 1 Corinthians 16:14 reminds us that everything we do should be in love. Before Christ, we certainly understand what love is, but it is often a very selfish type of love, a love that is very self-centered. As we become a new creation it should be transforming to a selfless love. We should love all of God’s creation, friend or foe, it should not matter, the love the Lord bestows upon us should be poured right back into the world that so desperately needs it.
Obedience: James 1:22 (NKJV) (22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. As we grow in Christ and become that new creation, we should be coming to a place of complete submission to the Lord’s will for our lives. As we continue to study God’s word we should come to a better understanding of what the Lord desires from us. That obedience should be very apparent to the outside world.
Long Suffering: I will admit I fall very short when it comes to patience, the Lord is working on this with me, but I do struggle. When I do anything, whether it be work related, witnessing or anything in between, I want to succeed and I want to succeed now. But in 2 Peter 3:9 the Lord gives a friendly reminder that He was not slack in His promise but is longsuffering that nobody should perish. Is that how we view witnessing opportunities of our own? Is that how we approach our friendships? Next time we become impatient with someone, we must remember how patient the Lord is with us and reflect that.
Service: Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV) (10) For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Why should we be in constant service to others? because as we serve others, we are actually serving God. Think about how a parent feels when someone does something good for their child, it is very much the same with our heavenly Father. The old man was about self, the new creation should be about service.
Prayer: 1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV) (11) Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore! The old man would turn to himself for direction and wisdom, the new creation seeks the Lord for His strength, courage, and wisdom. The Alpha and Omega knows the beginning from the end. As a new creation, we should be turning our focus to the One that knows all. We now have a personal relationship with the Creator, we should be continually seeking His will.
As we become a new creation it should be very apparent to the outside world. We should, in fact, be a very different person after accepting God’s love and grace. The old man looked like the world around him, the new creation should be a reflection of our awesome God!
To truly become a new creation in Jesus, we must allow the old man to pass away. Take steps today to forget about the life you once knew and go forth in a brand new day, experiencing everything God has in store for you in His new creation.
Romans 6:6 (NKJV)
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.