The Old is Gone
Daily Reading: (2 Corinthians 5:16-19):
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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.”
This verse tells us the old us is gone. The you before Christ – the one who was captive to sin- the one who struggled with whatever it is that plagued your life (fill in the blank) anger, fear, anxiety, self-doubt, guilt whatever it was that you is gone. The past you died, it was crucified with Christ the moment you first believed and Paul says, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. Which makes you a new you, a new creation, a beautiful beloved child of God, who is holy, blameless and pure.
And if you haven’t yet believed- today is the day as Paul says to become a new creation in God. This doesn’t mean fear won’t ever come or some of those things I listed- but if it does, you have the perfect love of God to cast it out. If you start to get impatient – the new you in Christ is patient, loving, and kind- remind yourself who you are. For any of those things that you might not like about your former self, that person is gone. And we have a new victorious reality we live in.
Self-indulgence (living in sin) or self-denial (trying self- effort to live free of sin), either way was a lose-lose proposition.
Thankfully, God had a better plan: For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because now “anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6–7).
So, 2 Corinthians 5:17 is powerful because it tells you in Christ you are the new you but there is also something before and something after this verse that is important to know now that you are a new creation. To start with- let’s start with what comes before it. From the time that we gained this view of Christ‘s death for us, the worldly standards and distinctions of race, class, don’t matter to Paul (Galatians 3:28) as he looks at all men from the standpoint of the cross of Christ. Because we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) we have a new mission (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) and the way we view Jesus and other people has changed too (2 Corinthians 5:16).
What is the ministry of reconciliation?
Reconciliation (katallagē): of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ. Wherever God has placed you, whatever gifting He has given to you, it shall be used to tell others the good news of the Gospel of Jesus that in Christ there is favor with God forever.
Paul reinforces the supremacy of the ministry of reconciliation and the only thing he changes is he calls it a word or message of reconciliation instead of a ministry. He uses the Greek word ‘Logos’. In chapter 1 of John, John identifies Christ as the Logos. What this means in this subtle shift is that the way we proclaim the favor of God (the ministry of reconciliation) is by proclaiming Christ as the reconciler and the only way to bring restoration in relationship with God our Father (2 Corinthians 5:19).