2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
What is depicted here is the real prospect of a genuine Christian, i.e. any man who is in Christ. His relation to Christ is so entrenched that he is portrayed to “be in Christ”. He is united to Christ, just as the branch is to the vine. The Christian is one who abides in Christ. So Jesus said to His disciples, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).
Being in Christ or being so united to Christ, a Christian “is a new creature”. While the word “new” marks the beginning of something, the word “creature” carries the idea of a life created. In Galatians 6:15, Paul referred to the Christian as a “new creature”. The genuine Christian, who is in Christ, will certainly be a new man. In Ephesians 4:24, the apostle Paul described the Christian as “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Being in union with Christ, a Christian is given the life of Christ, which is a life of righteousness and holiness. Now being a new creature, the Christian is moved to live with holy aspirations, and is empowered to live a renewed life.
As Paul continued to depict the nature of a genuine Christian, he said, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The “old things” refer to the ungodly, sin-plagued life which a Christian led before he came to Christ. All kinds of Christ-less thinking, beliefs, speech, customs and conduct that once existed in his life are now passed away. There has been a decisive break with the old way of life since he came to Christ. The passing away of the old Christ-less way of life, and the arrival of the newness of life in Christ, even a sanctified life, are fundamental facets of being in Christ or being a genuine Christian.
Furthermore, it is said about a genuine Christian that “behold, all things are become new.” Being in Christ will bring about spiritual and moral renewal that will affect the entire life of the Christian. “All things” point to all aspects of the converted man’s life – the passions and feelings of his heart, the principles for his decisions and actions, the motivation and purpose in doing all things, etc. His friendships and pursuits in life would be realigned. His habits, interests, perspectives in life would also change for the glory of Jesus Christ. Everything in a Christian’s life changes when he abides in Christ. And as he lives for Christ, all of his life will be Christ’s.