“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold all things are become new” (I Cor. 5:17 KJV).  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (NKJV).

When an individual becomes a Christian, he is a new person; he has been “born again” (John 3:3;  I Pet. 1:23). One is “in Christ” as a result of having been baptized “into” Him (Gal. 3:26-27;  Rom. 6:3). Our text plainly states that this one is now a “new creature” or indeed a “new creation.”  He is no longer to be “conformed to this world,” but he is to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:1-2). Paul described himself following his conversion in these words, “I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). The “new creature” is to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).  He is to “walk as He walked” (I John 2:6). He is to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (I John 1:7). His everyday aim is to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18).

Paul described this “new creation” as “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24). This “new man” is “put on” after we have “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). He even goes on to demonstrate how this works as he gives several examples. For instance he says, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25). Lying may have been a habit of the “old man,” but the “new creature” which has been “born of the water and Spirit” (John 3:5), speaks only truth. See Ephesians 4:26-32 for other examples.

This “new creature” who has been stripped clean must prepare himself by putting “on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).  This will keep him from being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14).  He will be “sober and vigilant,” knowing that his “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,  “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).  And, he will “be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). He will “let his light so shine before men, that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

There are volumes more that can be said of this “new creation” who has been “made free from sin” by “obeying from the heart that form of doctrine delivered you” (Rom. 6:17-18). But here is the challenge: do these words from the Scriptures describe your life?  Are you different from the world, or just trying to “fit in?” Have you been “transformed,” or are you still trying to “be conformed?” Christians have the responsibility of talking differently, dressing differently, acting differently, living differently, etc., than the world does. Let the world see the difference in your life!

– Paul M. Wilmoth January 18, 1944  –  April 5, 2021