Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As I am ministering to people during this pandemic, it is not uncommon to hear them say, “This is getting old!” They are not speaking in the sense of chronological age or the freshness of fruit; they mean that this pandemic is “getting old” because the last three months have gone from being unexpected, to boring, to mundane, to tiring, to frustrating, to far worse for some. From continued social distancing and extended shutdowns, to wearing masks everywhere we go, we are all getting sick of this virus in one way or another. It is “getting old,” and we long for change—for something new and better. In today’s passage, we have a cure for the discouragement this virus has created—discouragement which keeps us from being all God is calling us to be.
In Christ, we are new creations. One of the most important things this means is that as we live for Christ, we live for others. We live according to the royal law of love (James 2:8) that refuses to be self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13). As new creations in Christ, we are other-oriented; we love our neighbor as we love ourselves and put the interests of others before the self. In Christ we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to shift our focus away from ourselves and keep it on Jesus vertically and others horizontally.
This is what Paul was reminding us of by starting today’s verse with the word “Therefore.” You’ve probably heard it said that whenever you see the word “Therefore” in Scripture, you should stop to see what it’s there for. In this case, Paul’s “therefore” is there to refer us back to what he had just stated in 2 Corinthians 5:14-16, where we are told that we have died with Christ and are no longer living for ourselves. This is the cure for keeping this pandemic from “getting old,” no matter how long it lasts and how old it gets.
Reminding yourself each day that you are a new creation in Christ will renew your mind, recalibrate your heart, and realign your will. It will help you shift your focus away from your circumstances and reset it to where it should be: on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Focusing on the One who lived and died and rose again for you makes everything in life new . . . even the stuff that is getting old, like this pandemic.
Regardless of the road ahead, with its unforeseen twists and turns and obstacles, we can choose to walk in the newness of life God has given us in Christ. When we do, the new creation in us will overcome the effects of this pandemic, and we will show the love and peace of Christ to a lost, broken, and hurting world that desperately needs to know Him.
Christian, He has promised you –
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,