Paul | New Creations

Picture this: you’re standing on the beach waiting for the sun to rise. You’re wearing your shorts and hoodie, and you’re wrapped in a blanket because the breeze is blowing and the sky is beginning to change colors. You’re just looking out across the waves, waiting for the sun to show over the horizon. Wave after wave and breeze after breeze, you just wait with the most patience you’ve probably ever had in your life. Then finally, after what feels like an eternity at six o’clock in the morning, you see the sun.  The sky goes from pink to yellow and orange and the very thing you’ve been anticipating and waiting for has finally come and it’s everything you could’ve dreamed of.

Why do I paint this picture? I mean, what could possibly be so significant about a sunrise? Well, sunrises mark the start of a new day filled with new opportunities and new adventures. They’re the breath of fresh air that kickstarts our day and reminds us new things are coming. The idea that sunrises bring newness is super profound to me. Think about it, if we didn’t have sunrises it would be dark all the time. Every moment of every day would be surrounded by darkness if the sun didn’t rise like it’s supposed to.

So why do I point all of this out? Why do I mention the sunrise bringing a new start each day and overcoming the darkness of night? Why do I use this imagery to ground you to this idea that newness is important?

Well theoretically speaking, if we can trust in the newness the sunrise brings, we can trust God when He calls us an entirely new creation, right? And if we can trust that the sun rising literally cancels out the darkness from the night before, then we can trust that the new identities we have in Christ will also wipe away our darkness from the night before so to speak, right?

"Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new."2 Corinthians 5:17 TPT

See, most of us cringe at this promise because we struggle with a lie that tells us we have made too many mistakes or we are too broken for this to be even remotely true. So, we hear this promise that says “you’re an entirely new creation” and we automatically think “well this can’t be true because of…” and we just fill in the blank with anything but the truth. Many of us are so riddled with shame, condemnation, or even self-hatred we can’t even fathom the thought that this promise might be true. If you’re one of those people, I need you to know there is redemption for those lies.
 
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it would be really easy to focus on the promise of being an entirely new creation and totally ignore the fact that we have to be enfolded into Christ for this promise to become truth. So what does it mean to be enfolded into Christ? First and foremost, being enfolded into Christ means intimacy and relationship with Him is our reality. This isn’t just a one sided striving relationship we have with the Lord; part of being enfolded in something is to be surrounded by or covered by that very thing. Jesus isn’t in this relationship with us out of obligation or pity. Like, He actually wants us to know we are the Beloved of God just because we are covered by His blood. How crazy is that? So because we are enfolded into Christ, we actually get to have full access to the reality of what it means to be a New Creation.

In Exodus 34:6, God reveals His name and His character for the first time in scripture. He’s talking with Moses and says, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Isn’t it interesting how one of the first characteristics God reveals about Himself is His faithfulness. Along with things like merciful, gracious, and abounding in steadfast love, God wants us to know in the depths of who we are that He is faithful and when He says something He absolutely means it. God won’t say anything that could even possibly be untrue; it’s just not His nature or His character. He isn’t a God who deceives us or teases us with false promises because that doesn’t align with His faithfulness. So, when God makes the promise, “you are an entirely New Creation,” He absolutely means it.
 
He knows the depths of who you are, including all of your deep, dark, scary places, and He still promises you are a New Creation. How do I know this to be true? Because the very next phrase says, “All that is related to the old has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.” If the old has vanished that means it no longer exists, it can no longer be seen. Those old things no longer matter because everything is fresh and new when we are a New Creations in Jesus.

So, what does all of this mean? What do we get by being a New Creation in Christ?

When we step into that place of intimacy and being enfolded into Jesus freedom, redemption, and restoration are a part of this reality. Brokenness and captivity cannot exist when we become a New Creation because these things don’t exist in the presence of Jesus. The whole point of the gospel is Jesus dying to restore what was broken and broken things can’t fix broken things. Jesus was fully perfect in every way which means He was the only one that could overcome brokenness. The best part about this is we get to have that victory also just because we are enfolded into Christ. The whole idea of “out with the old, in with the new” actually applies here. Part of the promise is everything related to the old order being done away with—these things literally don’t exist anymore. All of our sin, all of our shame, all of our brokenness don’t exist because we are a New Creation. Yet, we still want to hold onto these powerless things that make us miserable and hold us in captivity for what? Because we think we aren’t good enough or we don’t deserve the title of being a New Creation? I would even go so far to say many of us believe we are unworthy of freedom.

“Let me be clear, the Anointed One [Jesus] has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” - Galatians 5:1 TPT

Freedom is our reality as a New Creation in Christ, nothing more and nothing less, and we get to spend our whole lives living from this truth.
 
Have you ever been in this season with God where everything is going abnormally great and then some old sin struggles or thought patterns creep back in? Did you know you actually have power and authority over these things that are trying to tear you away from God and what He has for you? Part of being a New Creation means your “newness” outweighs the old by immeasurable amounts. Why? Because the identities we have in God far outweigh the lies we have in the enemy and we get to choose who we partner with. We have power and authority flowing through our veins just because we are a New Creation in Christ. How wild is that? We literally get to speak things into existence that otherwise wouldn’t exist just because we are enfolded in Christ!

Amanda Cook has this song titled “Mercy” and the bridge of the song says,
 
“So I will awake
And spend my days
Loving the One who has raised me up
From death to life
From wrong to right
You’re making all things beautiful”

And I think these lyrics fully embody what it means to be a New Creation in Christ. We don’t have to have everything figured out and we don’t have to fully understand all that has been given to us. We do, however, get to spend our days loving the One who has raised us up and has brought us from death to life and from old to new.
 
So my challenge and prayer for us is that we would boldly live from this reality that has been freely promised and given to us by a good and faithful Father. I pray we would walk in more intimacy and freedom than we ever thought was possible just because we know what it means to be enfolded into Jesus. I pray we would willingly let go of the things holding us back from receiving this truth and we would cling tightly to all that God is giving us in return. And most of all, I pray we would let this truth sink deep into our gut and become the foundation for who we are as the Beloved of God because when He says something He absolutely means it.

Author | Elizabeth Sprinkle

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