Summary: One of the greatest truths in the Bible is that people can experience a transformation. A person in Christ is given a new nature, a spiritual nature.
A Transformed Life
-A Fresh Start-
2 Corinthians 5:17 - “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (NLT)
One of the greatest truths in the Bible is that people can experience a transformation. In Christ we are given a new nature, a spiritual nature. When you invite Jesus into your heart and life a miracle of transformation takes place. The supernatural power of God begins a work in your life. Your life is not the same anymore, for your old life is gone. You start a new life in Christ.
The New Testament Christian was known as one that “heralded” the Gospel. To the word for “herald” in the original language is “evangel,” or “good news.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 begins with the transition word, “Therefore.” Because of what has happened we have this truth. Verses 14-16 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
Verse 17 is possible because of the resurrection. When you receive Christ your old nature dies and you take on the new nature given by Jesus. In Christ you have a fresh start. You have a new beginning.
Jesus put a greater emphasis on spiritual life than on miracles. In Luke 10 Jesus sent 72 disciples out in teams of 2 to every town and place Jesus was planning to go. They returned with excitement and good news, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Jesus replied, Luke 10:20, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
When the Lord forgives your sin and saves your soul it is a miracles of God’s grace. The song, “It Took a Miracle,” describes this truth:
My Father is omnipotent, And that you can’t deny; A God of might and miracles, ‘Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place, It took a
miracle to hang the world in space; But when He saved
my soul, Cleansed and made me whole, It took a miracle
of love and grace.
One way to look at 2 Corinthians 5:17 is to look at the person before Christ and the person after Christ.
I. The Person Before Christ
The Bible describes the person before Christ “is dead in trespasses and sin…strangers and foreigners to the household and family of God.” (Ephesians 2:1, 19) From Genesis to Revelation the Bible teaches that sin separates a person from God. Sin keeps us from knowing and experiencing God’s love. God loves everyone, but sin prevents us from automatically knowing and experiencing that love. God’s holiness and righteousness cannot tolerate sin. The just wages and reward of man is death, physical and spiritual death; the opposite of eternal life, an eternity separated from God.
The prophet Ezekiel described sinful humanity as “dry bones.”
Israel had rejected their true God and turned to pagan gods and idol worship. People today may not worship pagan gods and idols but idol worship is anything that a person gives allegiance to rather than God, creator of the universe or Jesus His Son.
Ezekiel declared that all who have forgotten God are like “dry bones.” Without a commitment to God people are like the created robots in the movie I-Robot. The evil robots were like machines under the control of their creator. Because of sin the human race separated from God and is under the control of Satan the god of this world.
Israel had rejected their true God and Ezekiel described them as a valley of walking skeletons. They had movement and action but no spiritual life. In the valley the prophet saw bones come together and flesh cover the bones, but there was not life in them.
The Bible declares that a person without Christ in his life is spiritually dead. The person may be strong physically and the picture of health on the outside but inside he is like a white washed tomb. Jesus called the Pharisees and Scribes white washed tombs. They knew the religious language. They kept their traditional laws. But their hearts were cold and hard.
Before Christ a person is void of spiritual life. I John 5:12 says, “He that has the Son has life, he that does not have the Son, does not have life.” Before Christ a person is like dry bones and needs to have the breath of God to take on spiritual life.
II. A Person in Christ
A person who surrenders his life to Jesus and invites Jesus to be Lord of his life becomes a brand new person. The old life and old nature pass away, and a new life in Christ begins.