The Old Creation & the New Creature

 a series printed here with permission, by Richard Jordan, President, Grace School of the Bible

Part 1 – In Christ

“Therefore if any man be IN CHRIST, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Understanding what it means to be a “new creature in Christ” is absolutely essential for enjoying the abundant life of freedom that Jesus Christ has provided for every believer.

We learn how to avoid the common traps of poor self-image and self-condemnation as we begin to view ourselves from God’s perspective rather than from man’s perspective. Assurance, confidence, and consistency will characterize our daily lives as we grow in an understanding of what God has provided for us in Christ.

We need to begin at the beginning: What does it mean to be a “new creature” and what impact does it have on our lives?

In Christ:

While dispensationally it is possible to be “in Christ” either according to the prophetic program (Gen 22:18, Isa 45:25) for Israel or the mystery program (Eph 2:13; 3:6) of the Gentiles, the term itself is actually a redemptive term, as 1Cor 15:22 demonstrates.

“For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

In the current “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2), when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit instantly baptizes is “into Christ” and thus into His “one body.” Being “in Christ” is often referred to as positional truth. The baptism of 1Cor 12:13 is thus rightly viewed as the mechanics of the positional truth of being placed “into Christ.”

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Much religious confusion surrounds the topic of baptism, but in Scripture the main issue behind baptism is “total Identification.” This is something that happens to every individual believer the moment we trust in Christ: We actually are totally identified with Christ in His life, death, and resurrection. This is so much so that Paul writes:

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)

It is “in Christ” that we are immediately “blessed with all spiritual blessings” (Eph 1:3). It is “in Christ” that we are made “complete” ( Col 2:10). It is “in Christ” that “in everything ye are enriched by Him” (1Cor 1:5). Thus it is “in Christ” that we are made “new creatures.”

Believers are no longer “in Adam.” Now we are “in Christ.” When we step out of Adam into Christ He steps into us and makes us into new creature-members of the “one new man,” the “body of Christ.”