Behold! A New Creature

Behold! A New Creature

Behold! A New Creature.

There are some individual words and short phrases in Scripture that need to be highlighted as they are read, words or phrases that are significant or point to something meaningful. Some phrases might be: Fear not. Here I am. Woe to you. One another.   And maybe some words are: AmenHallelujahBlessedAbba. Come.  The word Behold! is one of those significant words, an exclamation that is intended to get our attention. Listen, people, this is something you need to hear! Behold says to the audience, Look at this and take note! You would be wise to remember these words and think about them! Careful now, don’t be deaf to what I am about to say! Stop what you’re doing and listen up! As the Eastern Orthodox Christians say before they read the Gospel in the Liturgy… Attend! The following verse begins with Behold! So the words that follow must be important.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold! All things have become new. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ, who is enfolded into Christ, has become an entirely new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Believers are new creatures, new persons? And all things have become new? What does “all” include in this re-creation, this new person?

A New Spiritual DNA. Before Christ, we had the spiritual DNA of the old Adam. But with Christ, we have the spiritual DNA of the new Adam. We have been re-created, born all over again and given the chromosomal makeup that we have inherited from Jesus Christ. We have been birthed into God’s family. God has shared His nature with us. We have become children of the Lord, sons and daughters of the Almighty God. We now share family characteristics, and holiness has become a family tradition. The Father has imparted His spiritual genetic framework to us, placing us in His heavenly gene pool. We now partake in His divine nature by being born again through the Spirit in union with our brother Jesus. New spiritual genes, new spiritual DNA, new creature.

A New Spiritual Communion. “We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. For truly the fellowship, the shared companionship that we have is with the Father and the Son.”(1 John 1:3). The Trinity’s profound love for each other has resulted in their sharing that love, their including humanity in their interaction. We have been called to participate in their life-giving intimacy, in their divine fellowship. We have been offered, through Jesus, the amazing privilege of sharing in their relationship. In Christ, we can now open our eyes to see the truth of our life inside the Trinity. Christ has succeeded in uniting the holy Trinity with fallen humanity, and the result is mankind’s inclusion in the life of the triune God. Inside the circle, we can now experience the very same love that the Father shows the Son (John 17:26). We can now confirm that the Father will love us just as much as He loves the Son (John 17:23). As Baxter Kruger says, “We don’t make Jesus a part of our world. He has made us a part of His.” We now can know our true identity, living in the circle of the Trinity, our true selves hidden within the joy and love of their intimacy. James Houston once wrote that “God is infinitely relational and intimately personal.” The wonderful mystery is that it is God’s nature to be relational and personal with the human race. When we are baptized in the Name of the Trinity, we are restored into God’s own bosom, received into the triune life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Their relationship is now our relationship. Their reality is now our shared reality. We thus have a joyful place within their circle. When we are baptized in the Name of the Trinity, our eyes have been opened to our permanent destiny within their life. We thus celebrate our adoption into God’s trinitarian family.

A New Childhood. “People conceived into life by the Father don’t make a habitual practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. His principle of life is at work in them. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to deliberately and knowingly practice sin. After all, they are children of the Father! They have His nature permanently within them! Whoever has been born of God will refuse to keep sinning, because they have been fathered by God Himself, and contain His nature. Here is how God’s children can be clearly distinguished from the Devil’s children: Anyone who does not demonstrate righteousness does not belong to God, nor does the one who refuses to love fellow believers.” (1 John 3:9-10).  God’s seed (Greek, sperma) is introduced into a believer by the Father through the Holy Spirit. This involves a miraculous infusion of God’s nature. For a believer, there is received a new heredity as a child of God. Through His spiritual “sperm”, His seed, God “Father’s-forth a new child in Christ.

A New Heart. “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my teachings.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Our newness in Christ isn’t a matter of merely fixing up our old heart; it is a heart transplant, giving us a brand-new heart. We aren’t merely turning over a new leaf on the old tree; we are being grafted onto a whole new tree. We aren’t just having our old house restored; we are building a whole new house. We aren’t just getting a fresh new idea in our mind-set; we are receiving a whole new mind, the mind of Christ. We aren’t merely having a do-over of the old created self; we are discovering a re-creation of a new self. We aren’t merely polishing our old image; we are living into a whole new image, the image of Jesus.