New Life in Jesus

April 5
2 Corinthians 5:17–21

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. . . . For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Illustration by Gustave Doré

The implications of knowing Christ are extremely significant! The Apostle Paul writes this letter to the Church of Corinth, reminding them of who they are in Christ Jesus and what that means for them in their present circumstances and situations. Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This is a phrase that we hear quite often in the church today, but do we really live like this? Second Corinthians is a book of reminders. The Church of Corinth was in a place where they desperately needed to be reminded of the truths of God, in order to resist temptation and stand against the enemy. Paul also reminds the Corinthians that because Christ has reconciled us to himself, we can also demonstrate reconciliation to others. This is an act that we are simply unable to do apart from Christ Jesus.

Because of the reconciliation that we have experienced in Christ, we are made NEW! In John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” We obviously cannot be born again physically, but we can be born again spiritually. This being born into God’s kingdom is an act of God but also requires action on our end. The sacrifices are great, but the prize and reward is beyond worth it. As we look to the cross during this lent season, let us never forget that we have been made new through the reconciliation of Christ. This gives us hope not only in the risen Savior but also in our life today and forevermore. We are identified as a new creation, alive in Christ!

Reflection

  1. How does understanding that you are reconciled to God through Christ change the way you view your relationship with God?
  2. What in your life do you need to identify as a hinderance to your identity as a new creation in Christ?
  3. Ask the Lord to help you remove this hinderance and to excite you in being identified as a new creation in him.