Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Paul here is helping us understand that when we become Christians, where we truly have given our lives to Him and it is not just words, then we are not the same person we were before. If we are truly in Christ, if we have died with Him and was risen with Him in newness of life, we are no longer the same person. Here is what Paul wrote to the church in Rome. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:3-7 We who are saved have been baptized into His death, we died to sin and have been raised with Him as well. We are truly not who we were.
So, we are a new creation in Christ. And this means that we are not to look at ourselves as we were, but as we are. We need to put that old life behind us. Our sins having been forgiven; we have the Holy Spirit in us. We are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. Here is what Paul said. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Romans 8:9 True believers have the Spirit of Christ; therefore, our old life is gone. I am sure we want people to see us this way.
Therefore, we must see others in the same manner. We all know people who have been wild and done things that were not good. We also know people who have treated us wrong in our past. They may have mocked our belief in Christ as the son of God. However, it is important that we look at them as they are now and not how they were. Remember the golden rule. “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Matthew 7:12. One of the ways we can exhibit this is found in the two verses just after the focus verse. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. This is a work of God. When we commit our lives to Christ and have become a new creation, He declares us righteous. Our dealings with Christians should be as dealing with a righteous person. There is training that needs to take place, however, all our dealing should be as what they are now, new creations.
All the things we know about someone’s past regarding sin must not be counted against them. We can admonish them, in love, to help them to become more like Christ. If they struggle with a sin, stand beside them and help them overcome. “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Galatians 6:1.
What a beautiful show of love when we follow this as intended.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.