Pastor Chris Delmadge
Old and New
March 17, 2021
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Have you ever been concerned about your past? Perhaps you are on the verge of starting something fresh or new, and thoughts about who you used to be begin to flood your mind. It’s commonplace for individuals who embark on a prolonged fast, and a focused time of prayer to experience new things in God. However, experiencing new things can at times remind you of the old things. This can result in doubt and fear taking root in your spirit. You end up losing confidence in Christ because you are afraid of “messing up”, or you become paralyzed in fear because the “newness” of your life is unfamiliar. This can be exhausting.
Yesterday, I received a call from a young brother who was struggling with this very experience. He gave his heart to the Lord when he was a pre-teen, but as he got older, he decided to live a life that was out of alignment with God’s will and Word. For approximately 10 years or so, Jesus Christ was not the center of his life, but recently, he rededicated his life to the Lord. This is such wonderful news, except for the fact that he is constantly concerned about falling back into what he used to do. In fact, this mindset can become so exhausting, at times, he wonders if it is even worth trying to live for Jesus, since he’s convinced that it will be just a matter of time before he fails. His fear of who he “used” to be is impacting his joy of who he “is”.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” If you have the faith to be “in” Christ Jesus, then you are a “new creature”, or to be more specific, a new “creation”. In Christ, we are a new creation. We are a new breed. We are a new specimen. This is the key. Who we used to be was motivated by “self”. Who we are now, is motivated by our love for Jesus.
The Scripture qualifies this statement by mentioning two things: “...old things are passed away (1), behold new things have come (2).” That verb “passed away” is a parsing that simply means that “the action has taken place and is completed”. Because of that, “...old things are passed away...” can be read like this: The old things that you used to do, because you were not living a life of love in Christ...those things are dead and gone. They died with Christ on the cross. They are covered in the blood. Every action, every deed, every thought, every transgression, every sin...they are old and gone. They are passed away. They are buried. We had a funeral and a repast. Its dead. The nights at the club...dead. Lustful relationships...dead. Lying and cheating...dead. Gambling and fighting...dead. Scamming and plotting...dead. Bitterness...dead. Unforgiveness...dead. Old things have passed away. We have the death certificate and it is signed by the spiritual medical examiner. The signature is authentic, and the stamp is in the blood of Jesus.
The story, however, does not stop there. The statement, “new things have come” has a parsing that means the action is linear and active. It is constantly being performed in the present. Because of that, “...new things have come...” can be read like this: Because of your faith and love for Jesus Christ, new things are being constantly added to your life. Your faith is producing new blessings and new promises. Satan is trying to stop the new things from occurring in your life, but he is no match for the blood of Jesus Christ. There are new heights that are being explored. There are new relationships that are being formed. There are new thoughts that are being revealed. There are new ministries that are being birthed. Your life is creating a constant “new car” smell. Your faith has the freshness of new fruit. Your relationships will not get stale because your faith and obedience in Christ is constantly creating freshness. You are a “new” creature every day. You may have been saved for 30 years, and yet, you are still a “new” creature. So... embrace your newness in Christ today. Do not allow your fear of “yesterday” to impact your joy of “today”.
Do not allow your fear of “yesterday” to impact your joy of “today”.
Now that’s Good Word!