“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Each new year brings with it the idea of a new start.
It’s why we make resolutions, look forward to the new year, and celebrate its arrival.
The new year brings hope.
Renewal of dreams.
The promise that things can be different. Better.
It doesn’t matter what happened the year before, the mistakes we made, the relationships we gave up on, the sins we committed.
The new year is a clean slate.
The same is true when we come to Christ.
In his letter to the Corinthian believers, Paul makes a startling observation:
Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.
Up until this point in the story of man, there was no newness.
No new creation.
When the Israelites sinned, when they messed up, their only hope was to sacrifice an animal to push off the consequences of their sin for one more year.
They were still who they always were.
Still messed up, depraved, disobedient children who could not get “it” right.
But when Christ came, all that changed.
Rather than the consequences of our sin being pushed off for another year, our sin was paid for. In full.
So when we come to Christ, when we give our lives to Him, we aren’t just the same people we used to be with new religious obligations added to our lives.
We are new creations.
Who we used to be is dead.
The labels we used to wear, removed.
We are no longer liars, cheats, adulterers, lusters, envious, jealous, greedy, insecure.
We may feel that way. We may still have the same thoughts, deal with the same sin, struggle with the same insecurities, but they are no longer our identity.
We are children of God.
Righteous in His sight.
And every other identity we used to hold onto is now dead.
When we fully embrace our newness in Christ, when we grab ahold of the truth that we are new creations, it changes the way we see ourselves. And our sin.
We are new.
We don’t have to claim those old feelings, mindsets, and struggles as part of our identity anymore.
So, my brothers and sisters, as we journey into this new year, may you be reminded that you are a new creation. May you embrace the truth that your old self, with its faults, failures, and sins is gone. Dead. And may you, as you disassociate with your old self and embrace your stance as a new creation, find the sins that used to hold you back are no longer part of your identity.
How has God shown you that you are indeed a new creation?