This is an excerpt from Dan Stone’s life-changing book, The Rest of the Gospel, When The Partial Gospel Has Worn You Out. This is a companion post to August 11, 2000 I just published on this site.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature [or creation]; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all things are from God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a)
Are you in Christ? If so, you are a new creation. At your new birth, God birthed in you a new spirit, created in His likeness, in holiness and righteousness (John 3:6-8; Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 4:24). I like what author David Needham says in Birthright: at that moment a new person came into being who had never existed before. You are not a repaint job, but a brand new creature. The old you was crucified on the cross with Christ. The new you was born of the Holy Spirit and has been raised with Christ and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). You were dead spiritually; now you are alive spiritually. For the first time you are alive the way God meant you to be alive. In your spirit you are a completely new creation.
Do you look like a new creation? No. You look like the same old Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Jane, or Elizabeth. Externally, you still are. But you have been renewed from within. Life is within. What you’ve been trying to bring into being below the line, Paul says you already are. You already are a new creature. You don’t have to try to become a new creature. But you’re going to try to become a new creature until you know you’re a new creature.
Of course, we can give mental assent: “Yes, I’m a new creature, but…” Where you are really living comes after the but. “I’m a new creature, but…” But what? “But I sure do fail a lot. ” Then that’s the way you see yourself. You don’t see yourself as a new creature. You see yourself as failing a lot. Instead, you could say, “I sure do fail a lot, but I’m a new creature.” Then that’s where you’re living. You’re always living after the but.
You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old is gone. To whom? To God. It may not disappear as quickly to you, in the seen and temporal realm, as you’d like. But it’s gone to God. He sees the unseen and eternal. He sees the first from the last. And He knows that the old is gone. The question is who’s keeping score? You or God? The old you is gone to the One who is in charge of the universe. To Him, you are not the same person you were before you entered into Christ. You are a brand new creation in Christ.
To read the companion piece, August 11, 2000, follow this link.
From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pg. 102.