“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Contrary to what many people say, there is no such thing as being “born a Christian” – it’s not the same as being born with brown eyes or being born double-jointed. You might have been born into a Christian family, but your decision to accept and follow Christ is solely between you and God.
Have you ever gotten into a brand new car and smelled that distinct “new car smell”? It’s one of my favorite smells – so fresh, so clean, so untainted… Or how about the smell of a newborn baby? The few wonderful times that I have held infants in my life, I’ve definitely been guilty of holding their teeny little heads up to my nose just to get a whiff of that pure, sweet baby smell.
But as cute as we know that babies are, we also know that as humans, we are all born with a sinful condition that we cannot avoid. It is simply in our DNA. And on our own, we do not have the strength or the ability to be fully good. But that is where God’s grace comes in – because he loves us so much, God sent his only son to pay the price that we owed to cleanse us from our dirtiness.
And do you know that, because you are a Christian, and because you have accepted the gift of salvation that Jesus gave you when he died on the cross, you are actually considered a “new creation” now?
I’ll be honest, I’ve been on this Earth for a good bit of time now, and most days I wouldn’t say that I feel like a shiny new car or a pure, innocent baby. A lot of the time I feel a little tired, overwhelmed, cluttered, hopeless or worn out. But the Bible tells us multiple times that our hearts actually transformed when we decided to lay our lives down and follow Jesus.
One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Ezekiel 36-37. The prophet Ezekiel is speaking directly to Israel, a nation whose people were experiencing a lot of that exhaustion and hopelessness that I talked about before, about the blessings that God has in store for their people.
Ezekiel tells the people that God will “remove their hearts of stone” and replace them with “hearts of flesh”. God literally tells these people that he will make them new creations because of his great love for them. What a gift!
And this wasn’t a one-time offer – Jesus told us through his teachings and his disciples that, to this very day, anyone who believes in Him will be renewed in spirit. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”