Summary: In this one verse is a great deal of theology. It is concise and precise. There’s no multiplicity of words. God writes as if it were in shorthand.
A NEW CREATURE
INTRODUCTION: This idea was gleaned from a C.H. Spurgeon sermon.
In this one verse is a great deal of theology. It is concise and precise. There’s no multiplicity of words. God writes as if it were in shorthand. Take note of two things.
I. The Position of the Believer
“In Christ”. There are three possible positions for a human soul.
A. Without Christ: Lost. Natural. Not born again. It’s sad and horrible to be without such things as money, health, friends, etc… But to be without Christ is worst.
B. With Christ: Many have gone home to be with Him. They are in perfect peace and at eternal rest. They are with Him in glory.
C. In Christ: What does Paul mean here? Look at four scriptural symbols.
1. Adam: We were all in the first Adam. When he fell, all of us fell with him. In the same sense all believers are in the second Adam (Christ). Through Christ we are perfectly restored. In Him we lived, died and rose.
2. Noah’s Ark: This was a type of Christ. Everyone on board was preserved. The Lord shut them in.
3. Cities of Refuge: Certain cities were provided to protect people who had accidentally killed someone. Christ is our city of refuge.
4. Branch in the Vine: The branch gets all its nourishment, vitality, power and life from the vine. It must be in it. They have to be united. It’s not to be explained but enjoyed. It is His very life flowing through us.
These are some weightly and deep meaning words. How does one come to be in Christ? By faith. Lean wholly and solely on Him. Cling to the cross.
II. The Personality of the Believer
“A new creature”.
A. Difference: There is a constant, continual change. You can’t create yourself anew. Only God can do that. It is an inward work. We go from darkness to light, from evil to holiness.
B. Divine: It is a divine work. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” If you helped Him in His first creation then you could help Him in your recreation or the conversion of others. But since you were “dead” in your own sins I don’t think so. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
It was more difficult to create a Christian than to create this world. Before creation there was nothing. But there was much in our hearts to oppose Him. In the first creation He created light then life. In the new creature He gives light and when we look at the light we receive life. The new creation is not yet complete but it will be one day. We shall be just like Him.
C. Distinct: A Christian is a new creation that comes from the hand of God.
CONCLUSION: Examine yourself. “He which hath begun a good work in you will continue it until the day of Jesus Christ.”