New Creature In Christ
Scripture Text 2 Cor. 5: 16-21
Text Verse 2 Cor 5:17
Subject: New Creature In Christ
Preached 3/25/01 at Taylor Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Vallejo Ca.
Rev. Lummie Hearn, Pastor
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! NIV
First, then, let us consider THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITION-he is said to be "in Christ."
There are three stages of the human soul in connection with Christ: the first is without Christ, this is the state of nature; the second one is in Christ, this is the state of grace; the third is with Christ, which is the state of glory.
Let us if you will look at these three stages;
The first state is to be without Christ. (We are all naturally born in this stage). If one has not been born again he or she is without Christ. It matters not how much of a moral life you may live you are still without Christ. Christ is not part of your life. You can be a law-abiding citizen in your city or state, yet without Christ in your life you are lost. If you do not accept Him in your life, then you have denied Him. You may have the bible in your home and wear robes and a cross upon your neck, go through all of the rituals of your Church or clan’s, but non acceptance of Him and your are without Him. One maybe a guest at the banquet table, but yet he or she can be without food. Until one reaches out their hand to receive what has been given unto them they are without. We can also set under the gospel being preached each and every Sunday or whatever time it maybe preached, but if we never reach out with a hand of faith to receive it we are with out Christ. One can go lacking of many things in this world, but to be lacking of Christ is a miserable state or condition to be in.
Let me warn those of us who deny the existence of Christ and the Holy Spirit and think that you can just deal with God.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me NIV
You must be born again if you want to be in Christ. Your job titles or positions in the Church make you not in Christ. Look at brother Nicodemus. He was one of the religious leaders who believed in Jesus. He was a member of the powerful Jewish Council. He was a Pharisee who was attracted by Jesus. He joined Joseph of Arimathea in burying Jesus. But when he went to Jesus
Jesus told Nicodemus. John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." NIV
No one can skip any one of these stages and go on to the next one.
The second stage is to be “in Christ” now to be in Christ one must been born again. And in order to get to the last stage, which is “Christ glory”,one must be in Christ.
To be in Christ we must be connected to the source where He is.
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. NIV
To be “in Christ” is to have or be in His rest. To be in Christ is to have His Grace. Jesus tells us in the gospel of St. Matt 11:28-30
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." NIV
Once we are in Christ we can enjoy His glory. The enjoying of His glory is to bear fruit.
John tells us in the 15th chapter of the gospel according to St. John
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
"By a very natural extension, the term glory is used for the property or possession itself, which tends to throw around its subject a halo of glory, or in some respect to crown it with honor; as when the glory of man is identified with his soul; the glory of Lebanon with its trees (Isa 60:13); the glory of herbs with the beauty of their flower (40:6); the glory of God with his infinite perfections, and especially with his pure and unchanging
2 Cor 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.
[If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature] It is vain for a man to profess affinity to Christ according to the flesh, while he is unchanged in his heart and life, and dead in trespasses and sins; for he that is in Christ, that is, a genuine Christian, having Christ dwelling in his or her heart by faith, is a new creature; his old state is changed: he was a child of Satan, he is now a child of God; he was a slave of sin, and his works were death; he is now made free from sin, and has his fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. He was before full of pride and wrath; he is now meek and humble. He formerly had his portion in this life, and lived for this world alone; he now has God for his portion, and he looks not at the things which are of this world, but at the things which are eternal. Therefore, old things are passed away.
[Behold, all things are become new.] The man is not only mended, but he is new made; he is a new creature, kainee (NT:2537), ktisis (NT:2937), a new creation, a little world in himself; formerly, all was in chaotic disorder; now, there is a new creation, which God himself owns as his workmanship, and which he can look on and pronounce very good. The conversion of a man from idolatry and wickedness was among the Jews denominated a new creation.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)
The Holy Spirit gives us the new life and we are not the same any more. We have not been reformed. We have not been rehabilitated. Nor have we been reeducated, but we have been re-created (we are new creatures or creations) living in union with Christ. When we are converted, we are not just turning over a new leaf, but we are starting a new life under a new Master.
Why are we not “reformed” Reformed means to take that which is the same and just make it in to another shape.
Why are we not “rehabilitated” Rehabilitation means to just makes some corrections and maybe mend some physical or mental things.
Why are we not “reeducated” Reeducation means adding to or taking away from that which one already has.