Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
The faith we have in Jesus is a transforming faith. Paul in this passage uses two terms, which have far reaching implications as they relate to our salvation and our new life in Christ. These terms are “being in Christ” and “becoming a new creation.” The phrase “in Christ” speaks of several gifts which have been given to us as a result of our salvation and faith in Jesus. First, we have security in Jesus because He bore upon Himself the penalty for our sin. Next, is our acceptance through Him. When we accept Jesus by faith, we are accepted by God. Because of our faith in Christ, we can now come before the presence of God as His dear children. Moreover, if we are “in Christ” then we have assurance of our future. Through Jesus’ resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have assurance that we will spend eternity with Him. In addition, because of our salvation, we gain participation in the family of God, which is the church. With our salvation, we received adoption into the family of God as children of God and joint-heirs with Christ in the kingdom of God. And as part of the family of God, Jesus can now use us for His service to reach others who are lost in this dark and dying world.
Paul also tells us we are a “new creation.” And what Paul is speaking about is the transformation which takes place in the lives of all people who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And it’s the Holy Spirit who begins to change us from the inside out. This process of change is called sanctification and it is the work of spiritual growth carried out by the Holy Spirit within us. It’s the work of God carried out in our hearts and minds, which is constantly transforming us into the image of Jesus. This work continues from the day of our salvation till we go home to be with the Lord. It’s an ongoing process by which we are transformed into a “new creation” because of our faith in Christ. This in turn causes changes to our perspective on life and the world around us. We are no longer guided by a dark world under the influence of the one the Apostle Paul calls the “prince of the power of the air” who is Satan. Instead, we are guided by the Holy Spirit as He carries out God’s work of spiritual growth in our day to day lives. This in turn produces character changes in us as a result. And it’s these changes which demonstrate our love for Christ to the world around us.