New Life or Old Life?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
Paul is writing here that when we accept Jesus Christ
as Lord of our lives, we become a new creature. Now do not misunderstand
what the word creature means here, it does mean some kind of animal.
Creature used here means person, so what Paul is meaning is that
when we accept Jesus, we become a new person. When we become a new
person, we need to put away (get rid of) all the old things in our
lives. Let me share an example with you. When you was a baby, you
wore baby clothes. Then when you grew and became a young child,
you had to get new clothes that you would be able to wear. Then
when you became an adult, once again you had to get new clothes.
That is the same thing we are talking about here, we are comparing
our old life (before we accepted Jesus), with our new life (after
we accepted Jesus).
To find what the old things that we need to get rid
of, and what we need to take the place as new things, we need to
go to another book that Paul wrote. That is Galatians 5:19-23. We
are going to break these verses into two separate parts. First part
is verses 19-21, and the second part will be verses 22-23.
We find in verses 19-21 that Paul is describing the
old things that we need to get rid of. Maybe as you are reading
this list you are saying, "Pastor, I never did any of those things."
You would be wrong if you are thinking that way, because every person
alive has done something that was not right in God's sight and that
is what this list is showing. Maybe you did not do everything on
this list, but that is not the point. The point is that all people
have sinned. (see Romans 3:23). This list is everything connected
with our old life, and what we need to get rid of once we accept
Jesus into our heart and life. Notice the last part of verse 21
where it talks about what will happen to the people that continue
in the old life. However, do not misunderstand and think that Paul
is saying that if we, as Christians, continue to live in our old
ways we will not go to heaven. That is not what Paul is meaning
here. Paul here is talking about the person that totally rejects
Jesus and does not accept Him as Lord and Saviour. Remember once
a person accepts Jesus into their heart is saved forever and going
to heaven. When we accept Jesus, we should want to change and replace
our old life with the new life that Jesus offers.
Now for the new life and what we are to replace the
old things with. Notice verses 22-23, they talk about the new things
that we need to make part of our lives now that we are saved by
the grace of God. Notice the very first one listed is love. The
word love has many different meanings and ways it can be used. How
it is being used here is the kind of love that we get from God,
it is a perfect love.
If you are still hanging onto some thing from your
old life, you need to ask God to help you get rid of the old things.
When you get rid of the old things, you need to replace with something
new from God, so that you will not be tempted to go back to your
old way of doing things. Maybe you are holding onto some anger in
your life and you know that God does not want you to have that in
your life. Give that anger to God, and ask Him to give you His love
as a replacement. Maybe you have an area in your life that you feel
weak, ask God and He will give you the strength you need. None of
us are perfect, but with God's help we can become what God wants
for us. God has a plan for each and every person here today, we
just need to ask Him what He wants us to do for Him. Then the next
thing is to do it!