2 Corinthians 5:15 – And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2 Corinthians 5:16 – Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Hello readers, new blog today. And a simple thought from 2 Corinthians 5:16 … a verse that hasn’t made sense to me but sort of does now! The whole world has heard the gospel. The Bible makes that clear. Since Jesus ascended that has been the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit through the lives of faithful believers, spreading the good news of who Christ is and what Christ has done for us. In Colossians we read that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven. In John we read that Jesus has lighted every man that has come into the world. In Colossians again we read that Jesus Christ is the firstborn of every creature… which means that he is the Creator, everyone and everything comes from him. Before we were, Jesus Christ was. We are all without excuse, the Bible makes it clear that every mouth is stopped before Jesus Christ. Yet just because people hear the gospel doesn’t mean it ever changes them, in fact most don’t. Cain talked to God, Balaam did, but their experience with God was so different from someone like Abraham. Pilate’s experience with Jesus was different from someone like blind Bartimaeus.
The gospel to a saved person is different to an unsaved person. If you are a saved person, the Jesus you knew is different to the Jesus you know now. PLEASE NOTE, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. In him is no variance. So Jesus doesn’t change, but we do… and how we change in response to the gospel completely changes our understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ. So in that sense, the Jesus we knew as an unsaved person in our flesh, is completely different from the Jesus we know now through the Spirit of God. And this is what this passage is referring to. When we weren’t saved, Jesus was something and someone totally alien to us. In our unsaved, unborn again, fleshly state Jesus was one thing to us. But when we got saved, it was a whole new ball game. When the Holy Spirit moves on a repentant heart, it brings a complete change. After all salvation is a new creation. Just like Genesis 1, there is a new creation inside us, born of God. It’s a change so fundamental, it’s a kingdom change, it’s a nature change, it’s a heart change, it’s us going from one thing to another. The Jesus we knew before, well we don’t know him like that anymore. It’s a whole new ball game when you get saved. God’s word goes from death to you, and offensive to you, and bland and boring and pointless, to your spiritual food which satisfies you like nothing else can. The gospel goes from who cares! to the very pillar upon which your life is built upon. The way you think, feel, hope is all different, because suddenly with Jesus Christ dwelling in your heart, you are changed, made alive in him.
It’s a new life.
And hence the following verse 2 Corinthians 5:17. Things are completely new after we are saved. People spend a lifetime knowing of Jesus, they may even intellectually assent to his existence, but nothing compares to when it becomes your own personal reality, your story. Experiencing forgiveness and mercy and grace and love for yourself, owning it. And that takes the grace and power of God. People don’t even understand the grace of God. The grace of God is not permissiveness to sin, it’s not a blank cheque, it’s not God being sovereign so we can lead a consequence free life in the lusts and pride of our flesh. God’s grace is power of heaven enabling us to call upon him, it’s his power being present to save us, giving us the strength to get saved. Because it’s God’s grace, it’s God doing it, it’s heavenly mercy, heavenly power, heavenly compassion, heavenly enabling. We can’t earn it, we can’t merit it, we can’t make it up. By grace we are saved, it takes God’s grace to be saved. It takes God’s grace to live the Christian life. It takes God’s grace to do right, to obey God, to keep us through the storms and raging waves of this life. God’s grace while we didn’t know anything, while we didn’t know what we were doing. The Christian life is nothing without the grace of God.
You can spend a lifetime knowing of Jesus, but never actually knowing him. You can hear the truth, but never experience true repentance and salvation. You’ll never experience these verses. It takes being in Christ for it to happen, because you are only a new creature in Christ. In 1 John, the Bible says he that hath the Son hath life. It’s a possessive word, because it’s not just knowing about him, it’s not just knowing a set of facts, it’s knowing the person, the reality of Jesus Christ. Because he really is the Creator, he really is God, he really did come to earth and died for our sins, he really rose from the dead, and he really is in heaven now living for us and in us. God’s word before you are saved, to after you are saved is the same, yet totally different. Jesus Christ is the same before you are saved, he is also the same after… but yet after you are saved, he’s totally different.