Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
New and Improved
Sometimes you see that little stamp on a product via a new marketing campaign to try to sell the product.
Some years back Coca-Cola came out with a “new and improved” version of Coke. It went over about as well as a led zeppelin (and not the band!) Coke soon went back to it’s “original version” of this beverage and the new and improved version was shelved-literally!
When it comes to people there is a refreshing and vital change that comes to each of us as Christians through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. That is what the great Apostle Paul is referring to in the passage above. Paul would know.
Paul himself would need to take advantage of God’s gracious “sinner protection program” in which he would pick up a new identity (and a new name!) through faith in Jesus. Saul (his former name) who caused many Christians to go into hiding, because of his relentless persecution of the Christian Church would himself be found by Jesus and granted a “brand new start” by grace.
This is good news for us who have committed the same old, same old sins (cf. Galatians 5:19ff) and thus deserved the same old, same old punishment: Eternal condemnation in hell!!! Now, because we have “passed away with Christ” (cf. Romans 6:8) we will pass over to a new existence-to live with Jesus forever in glory. What a glorious and welcome change!
Because we are “new” through the renewing and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the healthy changes that are needed in our lives are limitless. In fact, we have access to a “host” of spiritual gifts that the Spirit of God works in us: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22ff)
New and improved (made perfect even!)-through faith in Christ. Now that is a refreshing change!
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all that you have done for me-so that, through faith in you, I could have a fresh start. Help me daily to live for you by dying to sin until that day that I pass away/pass over-to live with you forever in glory. In your name I humbly and thankfully pray. Amen.