God wants us as a church to live life in transformative newness.

If anyone owns the word "new," the church does. Those who have been transformed by the Gospel and have been given a new nature know the true meaning of the word. In a new year when much is uncertain, we know the Lord is still on the throne, and we are qualified and equipped for whatever may come our way.

We will examine just 3 things that believers are given when they are given a new nature at salvation.

New Insight into Life (2 Corinthians 5:17)

As "new creatures," our spiritual life is perpetually and eternally new, because the Giver is unaffected by the passage of time.

This verse's context is important to understand the full meaning Paul intends. This letter was written to defend Paul's apostolic authority. He describes Christians as "earthen vessels" which yet possess eternal life (2 Corinthians 4:7). The Holy Spirit's indwelling is a pledge, a real tangible asset that assures us that a promise will be fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5). We have been promised a new body that is fit for eternal life.

"Insight" is defined as the ability to gain an accurate view of a person or thing. Paul draws several conclusions from the reality of our new life. We can always be of good courage (2 Corinthians 5:6). We walk by faith, not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We have a healthy fear of God and seek to persuade people of God's love (2 Corinthians 5:11). Others' opinions of us simply don't matter (2 Corinthians 5:13-14). We view everyone as having the potential of transformative change (2 Corinthians 5:16). We are Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).

New Way (Hebrews 10:19-20)

These verses come in the middle of a discussion of the superior priestly ministry of Jesus compared to Aaron. The old way to deal with sin and guilt in a person's conscience and soul was sacrifice. Yet this only covered over sin and required the sinner to continually rehearse his guilt. Jesus offers a new way to deal with sin once and for all: He eliminated our debt before God! (See 1 John 3.)

Because of this, we can draw near to God with assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22). We can confess truth and hope (Hebrews 10:23) and cheer others on (Hebrews 10:24). When we no longer fear condemnation, we have freedom to confess our sin. It has already been taken care of!

New Walk (Romans 6:4)

This chapter is talking about the believer's spiritual union with Christ. We have been given the proper equipment and rationalizing apparatus to live holy lives. If you are tempted to think you "can't help" a particular sin habit, ask Jesus, the eternal God of all power. He can definitely help!

Application Points

  • Do you have a new insight into life, specifically how you view others, that matches the truth of 2 Corinthians 5?
  • Have you dealt with your sin with Jesus' "new way"? Are you free of condemnation and full of assurance?
  • Are you walking in a way that shows that you are "in Christ"? Are you availing yourself of Jesus' help with your sin habits?