2 Corinthians 5:17 - Becoming Friends With God (Reconciliation).
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he
is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CWR) Anyone who is born again in Christ is
a new creation. Old values have passed away and new values have
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CWB) If anyone accepts Christ into his
life, he's remade from within. Old values pass away and new values
take over. He is a new and different person!
Textual evidence favors the omission of the words "all things,"
[SDA Bible Commentary]
This new nature is not the product of moral virtue presumed by
some to be inherent in man, and requiring only growth and expression.
There are thousands of so-called moral men who make no profession of
being Christians, and who are not "new" creatures. The new nature is
not merely the product of a desire, or even of a resolution, to do
right (Rom. 7:15-18), of mental assent to certain doctrines, of an
exchange of one set of opinions or feelings for another, or even of
sorrow from sin. It is the result of the presence of a supernatural
element introduced into a man, which results in his dying to sin and
being born again. [SDA Commentary]
Christians are brand-new people. The Holy Spirit gives them new
life, and they are not the same anymore. Christians are not reformed,
rehabilitated, or reeducated -- they are recreated (a new creation), living in
vital union with Christ (Col 2:6-7). At conversion, believers are not
merely turning over a new leaf; they are beginning a new life under a
new Master. (Life Application Commentary)
Only "in Christ" can a sinner find acceptance with God (Phil.
3:9) and sustenance for living the new life (John 15:4, 5; Gal 2:20).
The joys and sorrows, triumphs and sufferings, of life are all "in
Christ" (Rom. 14:17; Phil. 3:9, 10). Even death is robbed of its sting,
for those who "die in the Lord" are blessed (Rev. 14:13).
Christianity elevates every human experience and obligation into a new
relationship, designated by the term "in Christ." [SDA Commentary]
When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the converted
soul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes that in his
experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, AA476-7
Consider, says Jesus, how the lilies grow; how, springing from
the cold, dark earth, or from the mud of the river bed, the plants
unfold in loveliness and fragrance. Who would dream of the
possibilities of beauty in the rough brown bulb of the lily? But when the
life of God, hidden therein, unfolds at His call in the rain and the
sunshine, men marvel at the vision of grace and loveliness. Even so will
the life of God unfold in every human soul that will yield itself to
the ministry of His grace, which, free as the rain and the sunshine,
comes with its benediction to all. It is the word of God that creates
the flowers, and the same word will produce in you the graces of His
One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in
your life is genuine is - has God changed the things that really
matter to you? If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the
change very evident in your life and thought. It is this complete and
amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved. [In His
Time; My Utmost For His Highest]
If the heart has been renewed by the Spirit of God, the life
will bear witness to the fact.... A change will be seen in the
character, the habits, the pursuits. The contrast will be clear and decided
between what they have been and what they are. The character is
revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the
tendency of the habitual words and acts.
It is true that there may be an outward correctness of
deportment without the renewing power of Christ. The love of influence and
the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life.
Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may
perform generous actions. By what means, then, shall we determine whose
side we are on?
Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we
love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best
energies? If we are Christ's, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest
thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long
to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him
in all things.
Those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus will bring forth
the fruits of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Galatians 5:22, 23. They
will no longer fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but
by the faith of the Son of God they will follow in His steps,
reflect His character, and purify themselves even as He is pure. The
things they once hated they now love, and the things they once loved
they hate. SC57-9
Moses made a life-changing decision on that day he renounced his
old life and identified with God's family. His environment changed;
his circle of friends changed; his life-style changed; his
opportunities changed; and his future changed - forever. Not many of us
realized that, at the time of our conversion, all of these same things
changed for us, too. Or did they? What difference has accepting Christ
really made in your life? Can you list any sacrifices that resulted?
Have you suffered at all, in any area? Have relationships changed
since that time? If nothing has changed in your life, then it is
likely that what you experienced was not a conversion experience.
Think about it. [In His Time Walk With Wisdom re Heb.11:24,25]
The new believer is not born a full-grown, mature Christian; he
first has the spiritual inexperience and immaturity of infancy. But as
a son of God he does have the privilege and opportunity to grow up
into the full stature of Christ. [SDA Commentary]
When you put your trust in Christ to save you, he made you a new
creation. You look the same on the outside, but on the inside--in your
heart--you have been transformed. You may say, "I don't feel that much
different. In fact, I don't even act that much different." You may wonder
if maybe this new faith "didn't take" somehow, or if you missed out
You didn't miss anything. Just as a person grows
physically--growth that is imperceptible from day to day--so it
is with spiritual
growth. You are just now beginning the spiritual growth process. It's
going to take some time and you may not see big changes on a daily
basis. But over the course of time, you'll begin to see those
transformations in your life. Through Bible reading and prayer, you will
discover some changes God wants you to make or areas of service to which
he is calling you. As you respond to him, you will get to know him
better. And you will grow as a result. The desire to respond to God--to
sense his leading and obey him--is part of the fruit of salvation. [The
One Year Bible for New Believers re 2Co.5:17]
In Christ i.e. united with Christ through faith in him and
commitment to him. [NIV SB]
A believer's life should change, because he or she is being
transformed into the likeness of Christ (3:18). Instead of living for
oneself, a believer lives for Christ (v. 15). [Nelson SB]
The phrase to "be in Christ," evidently means to be united to
him as the branch is in the vine-- that is, so united to the vine,
or so in it, as to derive all its nourishment and support from it,
and to be sustained entirely by it. (Barnes' Notes)
After The Gypsy Moth Is Gone
In the northeastern United States there is a small insect called
the gypsy moth. Those of you who live where the gypsy moth dwells
don't need to be told about the problems that it causes.
In spring, when the gypsy moth eggs hatch, there may be billions
and billions of tiny caterpillars, all of which must eat in order to
grow up to be gypsy moths. So up the trees they go, and they
literally eat up the forest. Before long all the leaves of every tree have
been devoured by the insatiable appetites of the hordes of
caterpillars. I have seen entire mountains in New York and Massachusetts where
it looked like winter--even worse, because there weren't even any
evergreen trees with leaves.
Caterpillars that find enough leaves to eat so that they make it
through the caterpillar stage are the lucky ones. But for the rest, when
all the leaves are gone, there is no more food. They let themselves
down from the trees on a strand of silk, and when they reach the
ground they go off in search of a tree with leaves. The caterpillars
may become so thick on the ground that you can't walk without
stepping on them. One day in June, 1981, there were so many swarming over
the railroad tracks that the trains couldn't get up a hill in
Massachusetts. But when there aren't any more trees with leaves, all the
caterpillars die looking for food. What happens to the woods after the
caterpillars are all gone? The trees look dead.
Then a miracle happens on some trees. Tiny buds appear, and new
leaves come forth. It looks like spring again. Before long the trees
are covered again with living green leaves.
Sometimes we are tempted to feel that our lives have been so
messed up by things even little things--that the future looks bleak. But
the same Creator who brings life to the apparently hopeless woods
can come into our lives, and "Behold, all things are become new."
Isn't He wonderful! [Glimpses Of God's Love by J & P Tucker]
Christ gives man no encouragement to think that He will accept a
patchwork character, made up mostly of self, with a little of Christ. This
is the condition of the Laodicean church. At first there seems to
be some of self and some of Christ. But soon it is all of self and
none of Christ. The root of selfishness is revealed. It continues to
grow, striking its roots deeper and deeper, till its branches are
covered with objectionable fruit. Christ looks with pitying tenderness
on all who have combination characters. Those with such a character
have a connection with Christ so frail that it is utterly worthless
He who has determined to enter the spiritual kingdom will find
that all the powers and passions of unregenerate nature, backed by
the forces of the kingdom of darkness, are arrayed against him. Each
day he must renew his consecration, each day do battle with evil.
Old habits, hereditary tendencies to wrong, will strive for the
mastery, and against these he is to be ever on guard, striving in
Christ's strength for victory. AA476-7
Matthew 26:41 (NKJV) Watch and pray, lest you enter into
temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) Set your mind on things above, not on
things on the earth.