The Old Has Gone- 2 Corinthians 5:17

As we continue in our study of this passage in 2 Corinthians, we now encounter the second part of Paul’s assertion of the fact of the believer being a new creation in Christ. What we find here is that the “old has gone, the new has come”. The Greek word old here is archaios, from which is derived the English word archaic, and the Greek word has a meaning very similar to the English one. That which is archaic is that which is from a prior time, from a bygone era, something which belongs to a time which has long passed. It refers here to the believer as the “old creation”, to the believer before he or she (still only two genders in the Bible) came to faith in Christ, to the fact that the believer has literally become a brand new person, freed from his or her past, no longer headed for hell, but now destined for heaven. This is reinforced through Paul’s reference to the old man as having “passed away”, which is the aorist active indicative of parerchomai. The aorist indicative is the simple past tense in Greek, so this passing away is a past act, it has happened in the past and remains there. Parerchomai refers to the act of something perishing, to something which comes to an end, and its reference to a person here refers to the fact that the old man literally no longer exists. The word new here again is kainos, new in kind. This refers not to a remodeling of the old man, but of his destruction and recreation as a new kind of human being, a human being as God intends, one in whom the Spirit dwells and can now be the image and likeness of God which he or she is intended to be. Paul then concludes with the perfect active indicative of ginomai, to “become”. This word refers to something which becomes brand new, becomes what it is not. It is used here in the perfect tense to indicate the once for all nature of this event, that the believer’s new creation is done once and once only, and is an eternal act, done by God to those who place their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. All of this comprises Paul’s description of the believer’s new identity in Christ, of the fact that “the old has gone and the new has come”. Paul himself had experienced this in his own life, which is signified in the fact of the name change which symbolizes the fact that Saul of Tarsus has now become “archaic”, now belongs to a time which had passed, and become, once and for all, Paul the apostle. This change of identity is essential in the believer’s salvation, for we find in the New Testament that there are only two kinds of people in God’s eyes, those in Adam and those in Christ (see Romans 5). All who are in Adam are separated from God, due to their nature as sinners. All who are in Christ are united to God, due to their new nature as saints. Man’s basic problem lies not in his behavior, but in His identity, and if we are to be united to God, our old identity must be done away with and we must be given a new identity, and it is this new identity which God gives those who are in Christ to which Paul refers here. The believer literally becomes a new creation in Christ at salvation, and, as Paul tells us elsewhere in his writings, it is as we understand and live out our new identity and understand that the person we were in Adam is gone, that we will grow in the process of sanctification, that we more and more ” might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21), become what God created us in Christ to be.

No Comments Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  Transformation

Leave a Reply

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.