Let’s begin by exploring the meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one IN CHRIST JESUS.” Writing to all the believers in Galatia, Paul pronounces that they were all IN CHRIST JESUS, no matter if they were slaves or freemen, men or women; being IN CHRIST JESUS they were all one. We read in Ephesians 2:13, “But now IN CHRIST JESUS ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” To be “IN CHRIST” is to know Him as your savior. While we were all far from God at one point, now through faith in Christ Jesus we are drawn very near to God. “IN CHRIST JESUS” shows that we are ONE with Christ for we are told that Christ is in us! Colossians 1:27 says, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.”

“If any man be in Christ,” is speaking of his salvation. All those, and only those, who have Christ as their savior, are IN CHRIST. Once we come humbly to the Lord and accept His free gift of eternal life through faith, we are IN CHRIST, our OLD STANDING before the Lord is gone and we are made brand new! Let’s consider the words of John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The one who does not have faith in the Son of God is already under the wrath of God. Without Christ, he is a sinner who deserves death and God’s wrath is constantly upon him or her. However, when we become IN CHRIST, the wrath of God is removed from us and we receive everlasting life. That happens the very moment we take Christ as our savior. IN CHRIST, we have everlasting life right now!

IN CHRIST, we become new creatures! We have new life! 1 Peter 1:23 says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” We are born by the incorruptible Word of God, we become the sons and daughters of God Himself. As we read in John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” We are brand new children of God through faith in Christ. This is our eternal standing before God. This will never change.

This does not mean that all our old habits and desires are instantly gone. Most of us can attest to that. However, WHO WE ARE is now different. As true born again believers in Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us to direct us, teach us, and strengthen us to resist and overcome those old habits and desires. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Being IN CHRIST, we are not sinful people made better. NO, we are made brand new…new creatures IN CHRIST JESUS. The old curses of sin, the law, and the wrath of God are gone when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. Now we have the privilege and responsibility to live lives that reflect the love of God and honor Him. Romans 6:4 tells us that “we also should walk in newness of life.” We have new life, let’s live like it! May this new life in Christ be manifested in us as we seek to live for the Lord Jesus and serve Him with our lives. (242.4)