Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Nobody has outdone Alexander MacLaren’s take on this verse:
“The state of union with Christ gives a new aim and centre for our lives. Then we live not unto ourselves; then everything is different and looks so, for the centre is shifted. That union introduces a constant reference to Him and contemplation of His death for us, it leads to self-abnegation.
It puts all life under the influence of a new love. ‘The love of Christ constraineth.’ As is a man’s love, so is his life. The mightiest devolution is to excite a new love, by which old loves and tastes are expelled. ‘A new affection’ has ‘expulsive power,’ as the new sap rising in the springtime pushes off the lingering withered leaves. So union with Him meets the difficulty arising from inclination still hankering after evil. It lifts life into a higher level where the noxious creatures that were proper to the swamps cannot live. The new love gives a new and mighty motive for obedience.
That union breaks the terrible chain that binds us to the past. ‘All died.’ The past is broken as much as if we were dead. It is broken by the great act of forgiveness. Sin holds men by making them feel as if what has been must be-an awful entail of evil. In Christ we die to former self.
That union brings a new divine power to work in us. ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’
It sets us in a new world which yet is the old. All things are changed if we are changed. They are the same old things, but seen in a new light, used for new purposes, disclosing new relations and powers. Earth becomes a school and discipline for heaven. The world is different to a blind man when cured, or to a deaf one,-there are new sights for the one, new sounds for the other.
All this is true in the measure in which we live in union with Christ.
So no man need despair, nor think, ‘I cannot mend now.’ You may have tried and been defeated a thousand times. But still victory is possible, not without effort and sore conflict, but still possible. There is hope for all, and hope for ME.”
~ Alexander MacLaren, Expositions Of Holy Scripture (1905)
Lord, let me always know and live in the victory you have promised to all believers. Amen.In Jesus,
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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.