2 Corinthians 5:17
New American Standard Bible
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
New Living Translation
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
I was going through old belongings from my childhood today and I came across my keychain I changed to when I accepted the horrific things which happened in my life and in turn went from Bad to best turning from my bad to good and accepting Christ letting go of the old self and having something to begin a new creation and have a reminder of what I have that’s best in my life now 2 Corinthians 5:17 expresses that best when it says
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
For God gave everyone a gift of life by sending his son to the cross to overcome death and give all salvation however it is a free gift given but it is our acceptance of Jesus free gift that allows us to have this gift of honor for it is our free gift but we must accept and acknowledge it to claim this gift for ourselves once we have accepted Christ and his knowledge and guidance we have accepted him as our savior thus accepting his free gift of taking away our sins and letting them die and wither away to come face with God’s NEW creation as we learn to follow in him and his guidance thus presenting us with new life as our old life dies off and goes away not to be held against us again You are so worthy of love thst Jesus died to save you now that’s what true love is
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
The meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come”
Today’s post is adapted from Scott J. Hafemann’s video lectures on 2 Corinthians, now streaming on MasterLectures.
2 Corinthians 5:17 is one of the most well-known passages in Paul’s letters to Corinth, and perhaps in the entire Bible: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
In the paragraph of which this verse is a part, Paul does three things:
1. First, he draws out the consequences of the gospel that he has just outlined in the previous verses: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
2. Second, he elucidates its content.
3. Third, he describes how it is to be conveyed.
Let’s take a closer look at 2 Corinthians 5:17 and its surrounding context.
Consequences of the Gospel
The first consequence of the gospel is that Paul no longer regards anyone according to the flesh.
Paul’s concept of the flesh here is notoriously difficult to render into English, given its various meanings in different contexts. The NIV, in fact, uses 48 different English words or phrases to translate this one Greek word in the New Testament. In our passage, the NIV correctly translates according to the flesh to mean from a worldly point of view: “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” That is, in accordance with the standards and values that derive from living as if physical life in this world is all that exists.
But what does this mean? To know someone according to the flesh is the opposite of knowing him or her according to the Spirit. And of course, to know somebody according to the Spirit is the mark of the age of the new covenant, characterized by the pouring out of the Spirit.
Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 3:3, for example: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Conversion thus entails a converted criteria for evaluating what is valuable and what is true. In Christ, Paul no longer evaluates others according to the world’s standards or expectations, just as he no longer evaluates Christ in this way. Apart from the resurrection, of course, Jesus’ death on the cross could only mean that he had been cursed by God for his own sin as a messianic pretender.
Look at the way in which Paul picks up Deuteronomy 21:23 in Galatians 3:13 to make precisely this point.
The Deuteronomy passage says:
You must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
Then, in Galatians, Paul says:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.
So before Paul’s conversion, in which the glory of the resurrected Christ made it clear to Paul that Jesus had in fact died not for his own sins but for the sins of his people, Paul disdained the cross as a radical contradiction to Jesus’s messianic claims, and as a rejection of Israel’s nationalistic hopes.
But after Paul’s conversion, he preached that Jesus’ suffering as the Messiah now changed his people’s lives. A different translation of 2 Corinthians 17a puts it this way: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” For Paul, this change does not lead to a super spirituality in terms of spiritual experiences, but instead to the consequences that he summarizes now in verse 17b.
The consequences of the new creation
Rather than still belonging to this world and its ways, all those in Christ are “a new creation,” which means that they have already participated in the passing away of the old age and the arrival of the new—literally what Paul calls the new things.
But these new things are not a list of private spiritual experiences. Rather, they have happened in Christ. As the context makes clear, they are the new way of life that derives from the radical reorientation described already in 2 Corinthians 5:15: “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
The new creation does not refer to becoming a new kind of super spiritual human being. Rather, it refers to becoming like Christ.
The contours of the new creation are moral. Against the backdrop of this passage, the new creation spoken of here refers to a people who now live for Christ by living for others. This is the beginning of the restoration of God’s people under the new covenant.
This means, then, that reconciliation with God through Christ, verses 18 to 21, is the beginning of the eschatological redemption of the world, the inbreaking into this evil age of the new creation to come.
Paul gets at this a few verses later, in 2 Corinthians 5:18–21:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Themes from Isaiah
In Isaiah 43 and Isaiah 65, Israel’s restoration from exile is described with new creation language as part of the theme of Israel’s second exodus that is developed throughout Isaiah 40 to 66.
Greg Beale has therefore argued persuasively that it is plausible to suggest that reconciliation in Christ is Paul’s way of explaining that Isaiah’s promise of restoration from the alienation of exile have begun to be fulfilled by the atonement and forgiveness of sins in Christ.
And that this point is made abundantly clear by Paul’s allusion in verse 17b to Isaiah 43 verses 18 and 19, where we read, “Do not remember the former things and do not discuss the old things. Behold, I make new things.”
This language, then, is an exhortation for Israel to forget her past sin and judgment, and to look forward to God’s work of restoration and new creation to come. The key Old Testament texts concerning the eschatological new creation are, of course, Isaiah 43:16-21, Isaiah 65:16-23, and Isaiah 66:22-23.
As Paul’s passage therefore also makes clear against this backdrop, Paul assumes that with the dawning of the new creation, the revelation of God’s glory among a restored people results in a life of growing obedience by the power of the Spirit, in contrast to Israel’s continuing hardheartedness and the wickedness of the nations that led Israel into exile and brought those nations under God’s wrath.
Transformation is brought about by the Spirit
It is therefore not overstating the case to argue that the personal transformation brought about by the Spirit, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, is the evidence that one is part of the new creation now being spoken about in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Hence, whatever the new things are in 2 Corinthians 5:17, they must certainly include a new life of growing obedience to God brought about by the Spirit.
Thus, the new creation is cosmological in nature, but not cosmic in scope. The restoration of the rest of creation, like the final removal of human suffering and strife, is yet to come at the Parousia.
Hubbard has pointed out that Paul’s understanding of the current eschatological situation thus can be stated in this way: “The Christian groans because of the ‘already,’ while the creation groans because of the ‘not yet.’”
For during the current overlapping of the ages, eschatological restoration is experienced only by believers—and only within the ongoing epoch of the age in which the god of this world still blinds unbelievers to what Paul and all believers now know is true.
Though Paul affirms that the transformation of God’s people is already a defeat of the god of this world, equal to creation in its cosmic significance, he also emphasizes that the resurrection power of the new creation is presently seen not in cosmic renewal but in the ability of the faithful to endure in the midst of the continuing adversity of the old age.
The magnitude of what Paul has just said thus leads him to declare that the origin of all this can be none other than God himself. Only God’s creative power can explain the re-creation of people who once lived according to the flesh into people who now live for Christ.
Learn more in Scott J. Hafemann’s video lectures on 2 Corinthians, now streaming on MasterLectures.
What does it mean that a Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” —2 Corinthians 5:14-17
The key to understanding what it means to be a new creation is this phrase: “if anyone is in Christ.” That is, we are not “new” all on our own; we need Jesus Christ to be new (John 12:46). Our newness is nothing we have earned or that covers up who we are; we are a totally new thing that God created (John 1:13). Our newness is reflected in our opened eyes that now have a godly perspective—one that loves people instead of hating them, despises sin instead of indulging in it, walks in the holiness life instead of being dead and stuck in sin (Romans 6:4-7).
Does being a new creation mean I won’t sin again?
We are not expected to be 100% perfect. In fact, even though we are new creations in Christ, we’re STILL sinful creatures by nature. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but it goes on to explain how we “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (v. 24). Sinful impulses and temptations are an unfortunate part of life. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sinful temptations:
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do and if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” — Romans 7:14-25
Does that sound familiar? And hey, if Paul struggled with sin and he still turned out OK, so can you! ☺
Though we can rest assured that our “old self” and old ways will never ever be counted against us again (Romans 8:1), all Christians will still struggle to control their sinful impulses. Anyone who says they never struggle with sin is lying (1 John 1:8). We WANT to do the right thing, but the lure of sin can be so strong we think we can’t resist it (James 1:14). But that’s where we’re wrong; we CAN fight it because we’re new creations in Christ (James 4:7).
Being a new creation means having better choices.
Galatians 2:20 explains this concept of being a new lifeform in a little more detail: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This means that if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you no longer HAVE to sin. You are no longer condemned to always give in. You have a choice!
With Christ, we get a choice: run to sin or turn away from it. Without Christ, we are slaves to sin and have no reason to stop our own self-righteousness, self-promotion, self-justification—our own self-destruction (Romans 2:6-8). With Christ, we are considered perfect (like Him) so that we may enter Heaven (John 10:9; John 14:6). Without Christ, we are dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). With Christ, we are alive as new creations.
However, with such a gift comes a responsibility to make efforts toward perfecting our faith in this life (Ephesians 2:8-10). This is a process called sanctification.
New creations are in the process of sanctification.
Sanctification is allowing old, sinful ways to die rather than letting them hang around (Colossians 3:9-10). Being a new creation means desiring a relationship with God rather than gratifying selfish desires (Ephesians 4:22-24). Sanctified new creations fight against sin rather than giving in to it (1 John 3:3-4).
Yes, you will still sin, but the goal is to resist willful sin (Romans 6:1-7, 11-12). Yes, temptations will come, but God promises to provide an escape route (Matthew 26:41; 1 Corinthians 10:13); your job is to look for that escape and RUN FOR IT. And you can always ask for God’s help when you feel like you just don’t have the will to run away (1 John 5:14).
To be sanctified means that you will hate your sin more and more and, as you mature in your faith, resisting sin WILL get easier (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 1:6). Another part of you being a new creation is realizing that you have a new identity in Christ. You have power in Christ and can overcome anything—as long as you CHOOSE to fight it (Philippians 4:13).
As a new creation in Christ, you are empowered by and for righteousness. You are a wonderful, beautiful child of God, whom He has created with great care, love, and thoughtfulness for Him and for His glory.
“…to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:12-13
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Once you have accepted the gift of salvation, you are a new creation in Christ (1 Corinthians 5:17). This means that because of Jesus Christ, God created a “new you” who is holy and in the process of being sanctified on earth (John 1:13; Romans 6:4-7). As a new creation, you get a choice: run to sin or turn away from it. As a new creation, you have a responsibility to make efforts toward perfecting your faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). You’re empowered by and for righteousness as a wonderful, beautiful child of God, whom He has created with great care, love, and thoughtfulness for Him and for His glory (John 1:12-13).
By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, four socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.
What Does 2 Corinthians 5:17 Mean? ►
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(NASB)
Having outlined the frailty of man’s flesh and the mysterious glory of Christ’s cross, Paul reaches his climactic conclusion, that anyone, who is in union with Christ, by believing His finished work on Calvary paid the price for their sins, has been made a new creation. Trusting that Christ’s death burial, and resurrection is the core of the glorious gospel… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old things passed away; behold, things have become new.”
No matter what race or age, gender or heritage, nationality or language, education or intelligence, colour or ethnicity… the gospel of Christ is for ANYONE and everyone. ALL who believe are positioned ‘IN CHRIST’, by faith. Everyone is given an opportunity to become a completely new person, with a new nature and a new life. By faith, we become part of God’s NEW CREATION, and the opportunity to be born of the Spirit of God, washed in Christ’s blood, and become a member of His Body, is available to ALL.
All who believe are born anew and covered in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Old things are passed and gone, and by the power of the Spirit, we are made a new creature that has been born into the family of God. Old things have passed away. The old life is replaced by the new – and by faith, we have become new creatures with a heavenly destiny and a glorious inheritance. We are positioned in Him, seated with Him in heavenly places, and have been made joint-heirs with HIM.
When the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, He entered His new life – His heavenly ministry. And by we are in union with that life. We are identified with Him and have become one with Him. We are united together with Him – and have received the indwelling Holy Spirit, to lead us, and to guide us into all truth. Paul himself was a prime example of a life that was radically changed, by grace through faith in Christ. From being the greatest persecutor of Christ and His Church, be became one of His most ardent admirers – dedicating his life for the One he loved so dearly.
As the greatest oppressor of the early Christian Church, the apostle Paul was supernaturally changed on that road to Damascus, when Jesus made Himself known to him, and Paul repented of his past life and turned to the Lord for His great salvation. And Paul became a new creation in Christ – old things were passed away in his life, and behold, all things became new, as he boldly began proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
This new life is an abundant life, with a totally new nature and an eternal destiny. This new life in Christ is given to each believer as a free and eternal gift of God’s grace. This new nature is not a patching-up of the old sin nature, nor a re-training of the old sinful self. God does not patch up the old but makes us something that is entirely new, something different, something wonderful.
Throughout His earthly life, Christ was ‘in God’. He was filled with the Spirit and walking with God. He remained in sweet communion with His Father and delighted to do His bidding. His food was to do the will of His heavenly Father and to finish the work He had sent Him to do. The Lord only did those things that He heard from the Father – for God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ. In the same way, the new life of a believer, which is in union with Christ, is to live out this earthly life in Christ and for Christ – only saying and doing those things that we hear from HIM – daily delighting to do HIS will.
We are to live in sweet communion with the lovely Lord Jesus and only do those things that we hear from Him. Let us always remember that in Christ we are not the old model, repaired or mended. It is not the old life that God reconditions or restores. We are not simply set-right, but made an entirely new person; we are born into a new creation; we are identified with Christ.
Let us accept this truth in righteousness and true holiness by faith, and in everything we do, let us do ALL, to His praise and glory, from
What does it mean that a Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
The new creation is described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “therefore” refers us back to verses 14-16 where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual. Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ. It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). That new person that was raised up is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the “new creation.”
To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature or decide to re-create ourselves anew. Neither did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat.
Second, “old things have passed away.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.
Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind. The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
What about the Christian who continues to sin?
There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.
The new creation is a wondrous thing, formed in the mind of God and created by His power and for His glory.
What does it mean that a Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ
There’s a secret being in Christ from everlasting; so all that are loved by him, espoused unto him, chosen and preserved in him, to whom he was a covenant head, surety, and representative, are in him, united to him, and one with him; not in such sense as the Father is in him, and the human nature is in him, but as husband and wife, and head and members are one: and there is an open being in Christ at conversion, when a man believes in Christ, and gives up himself to him; faith does not put a man into Christ, but makes him appear to be in him: and such an one “is a new creature”; or, as some read it, “let him be a new creature”: who understand being in Christ to be by profession, and the sense this, whoever is in the kingdom or church of Christ, who professes himself to be a Christian, ought to be a new creature: the Arabic version reads it, “he that is in the faith of Christ is a new creature”. All such who are secretly in Christ from everlasting, though as yet some of them may not be new creatures, yet they shall be sooner or later; and those who are openly in him, or are converted persons, are actually so; they are a new “creation”, as the words may be rendered: (hvdx hyyrb) , “a new creation”, is a phrase often used by the Jewish F8 doctors, and is applied by the apostle to converted persons; and designs not an outward reformation of life and manners, but an inward principle of grace, which is a creature, a creation work, and so not man’s, but God’s; and in which man is purely passive, as he was in his first creation; and this is a new creature, or a new man, in opposition to, and distinction from the old man, the corruption of nature; and because it is something anew implanted in the soul, which never was there before; it is not a working upon, and an improvement of the old principles of nature, but an implantation of new principles of grace and holiness; here is a new heart, and a new spirit, and in them new light and life, new affections and desires, new delights and joys; here are new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, new feet to walk, and new hands to work and act with:
old things are passed away:
the old course of living, the old way of serving God, whether among Jews or Gentiles; the old legal righteousness, old companions and acquaintance are dropped; and all external things, as riches, honours, learning, knowledge, former sentiments of religion, are relinquished:
behold, all things are become new;
there is a new course of life, both of faith and holiness; a new way of serving God through Christ by the Spirit, and from principles of grace; a new, another, and better righteousness is received and embraced; new companions are sought after, and delighted in; new riches, honours, glory, a new Jerusalem, yea, new heavens, and a new earth, are expected by new creatures: or the sense of the whole may be this, if any man is entered into the kingdom of God, into the Gospel dispensation, into a Gospel church state, which seems to be the sense of the phrase “in Christ”, in ( Galatians 3:28 ) ( 5:6 ) ( 6:15 ) he is become a new creature, or is got into a new creation, as it were into a new world, whether he be a Jew or a Gentile; for with respect to the former state of either, “old things are passed away”; if a Jew, the whole Mosaic economy is abolished; the former covenant is waxen old, and vanished away; the old ordinances of circumcision and the passover are no more; the daily sacrifice is ceased, and all the other sacrifices are at an end, Christ, the great sacrifice, being offered up; the priesthood of Aaron is antiquated, there is a change of it, and of the whole law; the observance of holy, days, new moons and sabbaths, is over; the whole ceremonial law is at end; all the shadows of it are fled and gone, the things they were shadows of being come by Christ, the sum and substance of them; and there is no more a serving God in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit: and if a Gentile, all the former idols he worshipped he turns from, and his language is, “what have I to do any more with idols? or what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” all former sacrifices, superstitious rites and ceremonies, with which he worshipped them, are relinquished by him; with all other Heathenish customs, rules, and methods of conduct he had been used to: “behold, all things are become new”; to the one, and to the other; the Gospel dispensation is a new state of things; a new form of church state is erected, not national, as among the Jews, but congregational, consisting of persons gathered out of the world, and anew embodied together; new ordinances are appointed, which were never in use before, as baptism and the Lord’s supper; a new and living way is opened by the blood of Christ into the holiest of all, not by the means of slain beasts, as among the Jews, nor by petty deities as with the Gentiles; a new commandment of love is enjoined all the followers of the Lamb; and another name is given them, a new name, which the mouth of the Lord their God has named, not of Jews nor Gentiles, but of Christians; and new songs are put into their mouths, even praise to God: in short, the Gospel church state seems to be, as it were, a new creation, and perhaps is meant by the new heavens and new earth, ( Isaiah 65:15 Isaiah 65:17 ) as well as those who are the proper members of it, are new creatures in the sense before given.
F8 T. Hieros. Roshhashana, fol. 59. 3. Vajikra Rabba, fol. 170. 4. Bemidbar Rabba, fol, 202. 3. Cosri, fol. 62. 2. & R. Levi ben Gersom in Exod, fol. 108. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 121. 2.
What does 2 Corinthians 5:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]
Paul has written that Christ’s death for sin has changed the way he regards people. Instead of looking at each person as a mere human being, he must view those who are in Christ as something entirely different. Those who are “in Christ” are those who have faith in Him, credited with Christ’s righteous life, and their sin forgiven by Christ’s death in their place. Such people are new creatures. Those “in Christ” have become something they were not before. Their identity has changed from being the fallen version of themselves, to being associated with the righteousness of Christ. That’s who they are now.
In fact, the old version of a Christian, who they were before they were “in Christ,” is not recoverable. The old is gone, Paul writes. The new has come. All the old dreams and ideas and agendas and purposes have ceased to exist and have been replaced by Christ’s ideas and agendas and purposes in an entirely new creature called “Christian.”
Paul’s words are true in another way. The old way of humanity is also gone. The old way of the law is also gone. Christ is the long-promised new Covenant that makes it possible for men and women to be made new once and for all, and for eternity, with no possibility of returning to the old.
Second Corinthians 5:11–21 describes an appeal to those in Corinth who know Paul. It’s important they understand he is not crazy for continuing to preach the gospel, even though it leads to so much suffering for him. Christ’s love compels Paul to continue to tell all people that they be reconciled to God through faith in Christ, just as he was. In Christ, God is not counting people’s sins against them, but instead giving them credit for Christ’s righteous life. As Christ’s ambassador, Paul begged all people to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ.
Why does Paul endure so much suffering for preaching about Christ? He continues here his discussion of eternity, comparing our earthly bodies to living in a tent. Paul would rather live in the eternal body God has prepared for those who trust in Christ, free from the groaning and burden that afflicts everyone here. With that to look forward to, he preaches with courage that all in Christ are new creations. In Christ, God is reconciling people to Himself, not counting their sin against them. Paul implores everyone to be reconciled to God in this way through faith in Christ