The New Creation

2 Corinthians

The New Creation

April 29th, 1956 @ 7:30 PM

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.
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THE NEW CREATION

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Corinthians 5:17

4-29-56     7:30 p.m.

 

Now let us turn to the fifth chapter of the second Corinthian letter, and we will start reading at the twelfth verse and read to the end of the chapter.  Second Corinthians, the fifth chapter, starting at the twelfth verse and reading to the end; 2 Corinthians 5, beginning at the twelfth verse.  All right, are we ready?  Together:

For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead:

And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him that died for them, and rose again.

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.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God.

For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

[2 Corinthians 5:12-21]

Dewey Hunt came unto me as I came over to the building tonight, and he said, “Pastor, you know, of course, that you are preaching upon the passage in the Bible that is the basis and the text and the watchword of our Royal Ambassadors?”  And I said, “Yes, I know that,” though in the message tonight we do not take in that twentieth verse.

How many of you tonight, you boys, are in the Royal Ambassadors?  Would you stand up?  Would you stand up?  All of you boys that are Royal Ambassadors, would you stand up?  There is a whole group of them, a bunch of them, still getting up.  Still up, thank you, there is a large group of you here.  If we were close enough, we would repeat that twentieth verse together.  “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” [2 Corinthians 5:20].  And then you also have the fourteenth verse: “For the love of Christ constraineth us” [2 Corinthians 5:14]; which was the text this morning.  Now the title of the message tonight is The New Creation.  And the text is the seventeenth verse: “Therefore if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].

When the Lord God finished His work at the end of the sixth day [Genesis 1:1-31], there has never been any other new creation from the hands of God.  Everything has been made and has stayed made just like God made it—all of the world, all of the animals, all of the seas, all of the grasses, all of the herbs.  Everything is just as God made it in the beginning, except for the Fall that ruined and defaced it [Genesis 3:16].  But since the sixth day, God has made no new creation.  On the sixth day, the man the Lord God made walked into the garden of Eden with all of his faculties, just like you have today [Genesis 2:8].

There has been nothing added, there has been nothing taken away.  We have everything in the beginning of the creation that we have now.  Now the one exception to that is this new creation that God brings to pass in the heart and in the soul of a man.  “Therefore if any one be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  So the Lord God says that when a man becomes a Christian, when a man is saved, there is always a change in him, always!

Here is Saul of Tarsus, breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the Lord and the people of the Lord.  And he is changed.  He is saved.  He is converted.  He is a new man.  He is another man.  He is a different man.  He is changed man.  This new man is Paul [Acts 13:9], the preacher of the gospel of the Son of God [Acts 9:1-22].

Here is an old, worthless drunkard, and his name is Mel [Trotter], and he is down there in the gutter.  And now look at him, he has been saved, he is a new creation.  There is a change in him.  He is an evangelist and a minister of the gospel of the Son of God!

Here is a man that has been depending upon his good works.  He belongs to the civic organizations.  And he belongs to the fraternal organizations.  And he pays his debt, and he lives an exemplary life in the community.  And he says he is going to be saved by his good works.  And then, the man is really saved.  He is born again.  He is changed, and he no longer looks on his good works, other than like God sees them—just filthy righteousnesses, just filthy rags [Isaiah 64:6].  All of his works now are nothing [Ephesians 2:8-9].  He is depending upon the Lord Jesus Christ; he is a changed man, he is a different man!

Here is a child, and the child is like Samuel.  The Bible says, “And little Samuel did not know the Lord” [1 Samuel 3:7].  And little Samuel did not know the word of the Lord [1 Samuel 3:7].  And in the nighttime there came to him, “Samuel, Samuel,” and he woke up.  And hearing his name called, he thought old Eli called him.  So he went to old Eli, and he said, “Here am I, for thou didst call me.” And old Eli said, “I did not call you.  I did not call you.  Go back.”  And then the third time the Bible says, “Eli perceived it was the Lord that called the child” [1 Samuel 3:4-8].  There was a change in the child.

That little old boy of yours, that little girl of yours—go along and go along and go along, and upon a day, that child will tug at your sleeve, and say, “Daddy or Mother, I want to give my heart to Jesus, I want to join the church.  I want to be baptized.”  There is a change in the child, there is always a change, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away… all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  Now that change is wrought by God, and that change is always evident, and that change is always present, always.  There is nobody who is ever saved that is not changed.  And if he is not changed, he is not saved; that is what it is to be saved, it is to be changed.  He is a new creation!

To begin with, the Bible uses that word “repentance” a great deal; metanoia, “repentance, to repent.”  And the Greek word translated “repentance” means “a change in attitude, a change in mind, a change in spirit.”  A fellow is changed, he is turned around.  This could be a typical illustration of it.  Here is a fellow, and he has been a “wet” all of his life, he has been in favor of selling liquor on every corner and in every grocery store.  Then something happens, and he changes his mind, and he says, “I am not any longer in favor of selling liquor.  I am against that illicit, illegal, terrible scoundrel of a traffic.  I am against it.”  He has changed his mind, metanoia.  Here is a fellow, and he has been a communist, and he has been against the free world, but after a stint over there in Russia and Red China, why, the boy turns around.  He gets converted.  He changes his mind, and he says, “I am not a communist, I am for the free world.”  Here is a fellow who is a gambler, and I recall the story of a fellow now.  He saw a little ragged and hungry boy on his way to school.  And looking at that little, emaciated, unfed fellow, that little boy; he had played cards with that little boy’s father the night before and had won all of the earnings of the little boy’s father.  And when he looked at that little, ragged, hungry boy going to school, and knowing that he had had won everything that his father had had the night before, he changed his mind.  He said, “I am not a gambler, and I am not gambling anymore.”  That is what a metanoia is: it’s a change in attitude.  It’s a change in mind.  Same way about a little child; a little child will be indifferent and go along and go along; and then upon a day, the little child is greatly interested.  Whenever there is a conversion, there is a change!  And when there is no change, there is not any conversion!

Now the Bible says that there are only two classes of people in this world, just two, and it never deviates from that, just two; they are either saved or lost, and that’s all [John 3:36; 1 John 5:12].  We are either saved or we are lost.  And there is no gray, there is no in-between.  There is just two.  We are either saved or we are lost.

One of these Indians up there in Oklahoma was translating for a missionary.  And the missionary did not know it until later, but when he preached to the people and said, “There are just two classes of people, the saved and the lost,” why, that interpreter said, “Now, the missionary says there is just two classes of people, the saved and the lost, the good and the bad.”  But said the interpreter, “I don’t agree with that, I think there are three classes of people.  I think there are good people, and I think there are bad people, and then I think there are just in-between people that are like I am, both good and both bad.”  Well, that may be a human perception and interpretation of life, but God does not look upon life as a man looks upon it.  In God’s sight, there are two classes of people, and in the Bible there is never any deviation from that.

When you read in the Gospels, there are always just two.   There are wheat and tares [Matthew 13:30].  There are sheep and goats [Matthew 25:31-34, 41].  There are those accepting the invitation of the host and there are those that are refusing the invitation of the host.  There are those who are banqueting at the table of the Lord, and there are those who are out there doing their own causes and following their own choices [Matthew 22:2-14].  There are the wise virgins and the foolish virgins [Matthew 25:1-13].  There is a good fish and a bad fish caught in the net [Matthew 13:47-50].  There are those who believe, and there are those who do not believe.  There is not any example in the Gospels of an exception to that whatsoever.  In the gospel there is always just two: the saved and the lost.

Now when you turn to the epistles, it is the same thing.  They will say some of us are quickened, and then some of us are dead in trespasses and in sin [Ephesians 2:1].  Some of us are the children of light, and some of us are the children of the night, of the dark [1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, Ephesians 5:8].  Some of us, the Bible will say, are aliens and strangers to the commonwealth of Israel and to the kingdom of God, and some of us are brethren and fellow citizens.  Some of us are far away, and some of us have been made nigh by the blood of Christ [Ephesians 2:12-13].  Always in the Bible, there are just two classes.

Now when a man is saved, he steps over the line.  He comes out of one group into the other group, and every time a man is saved, he steps over that line!  And if he does not step over that line, then he is not saved.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].

Now there are three ways in the Bible that the Bible describes that change that comes in a man’s life.  One: it is described as a birth.  In John 1:12, He says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become the children of God, even to them that trust in His name: who were born—who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God” [John 1:12-13].  When a man is saved, when he crosses over that line, he is born again the Bible says.  Now in the third chapter of the Gospel of John is the same thing:  “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” [John 3:3].  First Peter 1:23 says we are “born again by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”  And James 1:18 says, “Of His own will begat He us by the word of God.” So the Book says that when a man is saved, he is born again.

Now another word in the Bible that is used to describe this change is the word “quickening”: in the second chapter of the Book of Ephesians, it says, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead is trespasses and in sins” [Ephesians 2:1].  And in the fifth verse: “Even when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us together with Christ” [Ephesians 2:5]. What do you mean by “quickening?”  Well, the word “quickening” is a word that is used to refer to life, the life itself.  An old time word for dead was—the old-time word for life was “to be quick.”  It will refer in the Bible to the “quick and the dead” [2 Timothy 4:1]; that is, the living and the dead.  And when the Bible uses the word “quick,” it means “alive, sensitive.”  And God says that by the Spirit of the Lord we are “quickened; we who were dead in trespasses and in sins” [Ephesians 2:1].  God touches the heart, God touches the life.

I went to see a young woman who belongs to this church.  She belongs to this church.  She doesn’t belong to God.  She doesn’t belong to Christ.  She belongs to this church.  I baptized her, she wasn’t baptized by the Holy Spirit, nor was she baptized into the kingdom of heaven.  I baptized her by water, and she is a member of this church, and I went to see her this week, and I talked to her.  Her heart is in the world, her life is in the world, there is no quickening in her soul, none at all.  When I talk to her about the church, I might as well talk to her about Mars.  When I talk to her about the kingdom of heaven, I might as well talk to her about some alien and strange commonwealth in another world or in a past era.  There is no quickening in her heart, there is no sensitivity in her soul, there is no response in her.  She is dead!

Now I talked to a man this week who doesn’t belong to this church.  I talked to a man this week who has never made a confession of faith.  I talked to a man this week who has never been baptized.  His wife is a humble and devout Christian, and they have a precious little family.  And she praying, asked me to speak to her husband.  And I talked to him.  And the Spirit of God has quickened his heart.  As I talked to him about the Lord, he was deeply moved, and when we prayed, tears fell off of his face.  That is the work of the Holy Spirit of God!  That is the change that comes into a man’s soul and into a man’s heart.  And if he isn’t quickened, he isn’t saved.  And if he is never quickened, he will never be saved.  “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  And one of the words the Bible uses for that is the word “quicken” [Ephesians 2:1].

Now the third one is the one that I have been using in my text.  In the fifteenth verse of the last chapter of Galatians, it says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” [Galatians 6:15].  And that is my texting, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  God makes him over again.  God changes him.  God puts another spirit in his body, and another heart in him, and another soul in him.  If a man is a Christian, he is a different man and a changed man!  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.”

Now, that creation is always instantaneous.  If a fellow is ever saved, he is always saved suddenly.  “Now, preacher, now wait a minute!”  And here we are with a great deal of experience and testimony.  I have listened to many people who were devout and humble and sincere Christians, and they say to me, they say, “Preacher, I know I have been saved.  I know I have been born again.  I am a Christian.  I feel it in my soul and I feel it in my heart.  But pastor, for the life of me I cannot put my finger on the exact day and the exact hour and the exact place where I became a Christian, where I was born again.  I know I have been saved.  I am a Christian, but I cannot tell you that exact place and that exact hour.  Therefore, they say, “I don’t believe—I don’t believe that conversion is necessarily instantaneous, that it happened suddenly, just all at once; but I believe it can be gradual.”  Well, that part is true, that a man can be a Christian, I have seen them, I have listened to their testimonies, it is true that one can be a Christian and never be able to place his finger on the exact time and day and hour, “Right there I was saved, “Right there I became a Christian.”  Most of us can—almost all of us can—we can say, “Right there I became a Christian?  There I was saved, there God, for Christ’s sake, forgave me my sin” [Ephesians 4:32].  But some of us cannot.  Therefore, they say conversion is gradual.

Well, a conversion is a beginning, and a beginning is never gradual.  I either begin or I don’t begin.  I have begun or I haven’t begun.  There is no such thing as a beginning being gradual.  It may be a little, tiny, teensy-weensy, bitsy-bitty, beginning!  I have stood on the Monarch Pass in [Colorado], and I have caught the Colorado  River in the cup of my hand.  I mean the Arkansas River; I have caught the Arkansas River in the cup of my hand.  When I was there, there was a big snowbank there, and this is about the middle of July.  There was a big snowbank right there on the one side of that pass, and the water dripping down from that snowbank—that side of it, the water that went on that side went to the Colorado River and into the Pacific Ocean.  But the water on this side— that dripped on this side went to make the Arkansas River, to the Mississippi, and down to the Gulf and in the Atlantic Ocean.  And I stood there and held that Arkansas River in my hand.  Now that was an itsy-bitsy beginning, a tiny-weensy start; but that is a start!  And it’s there or it’s not there.  It starts or it doesn’t start.  It begins or it doesn’t begin.  It can’t be and not be at the same time.  Isn’t that logical, doesn’t that make sense?  The Mississippi River—and by the way, I’m going up there, and if I get a chance I’m going to look at that thing.  The Mississippi River somewhere is so small and so narrow that they tell me you can walk across it.  You just step across the Mississippi River up there where it starts, right in one of those little lakes there in Minnesota or some such place.  Now, all of God’s works are like that, all of them, every one of them, and there is no exception to it; a man is dead or he is alive.

“Well,” the doctor says, “Preacher, how can you tell when a man is dead and when he is alive?”  Well, it’s hard to tell.  “Well,” you say, “it’s easy to tell when a man is dead or is alive.”  No, it’s hard to tell.  It’s hard to tell.  Sometimes you think he’s dead, and he’s alive.  Sometimes you think he’s alive, and he’s dead.

“No, no, no,” they used to tell me over there in Arkansas—they used to tell me that when you see a fellow leaning against a post over there in Arkansas and you don’t know which is the post and which is the fellow leaning against it, they say you just look at it and wait and watch until one of them moves, and when one of them moves, that’s the post.  That’s what they tell me.  It’s hard to tell, they say, when a fellow is dead.  But I don’t care how, there is a moment, there is a time when we are dead or alive.  There’s a time in there; known I guess to God, when the spirit of life leaves the body, and the body is dead.  We may look as though we died gradually, but there is a time when we are dead, when the life absolutely leaves the body.

Now all of God’s creative works are that way.  When God does anything, He does it by fiat.  That is, He says, “Let it be.”  And there it is.  And He doesn’t do it any other way.  When God does something, He does it instantaneously.  And God said, “Let there be light: and there is light” [Genesis 1:3], like punching the button and the whole thing comes on.  That’s God’s work.  And God said, “Let the grass grow” [Genesis 1:11].  And there it grew.  And God said, “Let the animals be,” and there they are [Genesis 1:24-25].  God does these things instantaneously.  And He made a man, and He breathed into that man the breath of life, and He did it just like that, instantaneously, suddenly [Genesis 2:7].  And God did all of His creative works; He just spoke it, and there it is [Genesis 1:1-31].  Now the same thing has happened in the New Testament.

Whenever Jesus did anything, just like that, and it came to pass.  “Here is the water,” and just like that there it is wine.  It goes from one to the other immediately [John 2:6-10].  Here is a blind man, and He opens his eyes immediately [Luke 18:35-43].  Even that story about the pool of Siloam, when they said, “How did you get your eyes opened?”  He said, “I went to the pool of Siloam, and I washed, and I did see, just like that” [John 9:1-11].  And when the Lord unstopped deaf ears, He just did it immediately [Mark 7:32-35].  When He raised the dead, Talitha cumi, “arise,” and the little girl arose [Mark 5:41-42].  And when He stopped the bier coming out from Nain, He said, “Young man, arise,” and he arose [Luke 7:11-15].  And when He spoke to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!” and there Lazarus comes forth [John 11:43-44].  When He spoke to the winds and waves, there they ceased [Matthew 8:24-26].  When He cursed the fig tree, there it withered [Matthew 21:18-19].  When He multiplied the loaves and the fishes, He just did it [John 6:8-13].  That’s the way that God does all of His works.  And that is the way the Lord God does in our souls.  When we are saved, we are saved immediately.  And the act of salvation is an instantaneous act.

Now, there may be many things leading up to it.  There may be many things that condition it.  There may be many prayers, and many searchings, and many longings, and many conferences, and many, many, many, many things that guide in the conversion of a man’s soul.  But when a man is ever saved, there is a place in his life when he definitely gives his heart in trust to Christ, and he becomes a Christian.

Now when you take that through the Bible, that is just all the way through.  And the Lord talks to the Samaritan woman, and she believes, and she is saved [John 4:5-29].  And the Lord calls Zaccheus to come out of a tree, and he is saved [Luke 19:2-10].  And at Pentecost, Peter preaches, and three thousand of them are saved [Acts 2:14-41].  And Paul and Silas talk to the Philippian jailer, and he is saved [Acts 16:30-34]].  And when a man makes up his heart and his mind, or a child or anyone of us, to accept the Lord as his Savior, that instant he becomes a Christian.  There is a change in him.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; and all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].

Now may I say a final word about that change?  I say, it is very easily distinguishable.  You can tell it.  You can easily see it.  According to the Word of the Lord here—listen, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; and all things become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  And here is how you can tell.  In the ninth verse: “Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” [2 Corinthians 5:9].  That is one of the strangest words there: “Wherefore we labor.”  There is a Greek word for “labor.”  There are a half-a- dozen Greek words for “labor”; but there is a Greek word used here that is the strangest word you ever saw.  The Greek word for “love, friendship” is philos, P H-I-L-O-S, philos, “love, friendship, philanthropy, philology,” all of those words beginning with “philo” are built on that Greek word for love, philos.  There is a Greek word for “honor”; timē, timē and the Greek word here translated labor is philotimoumetha, which is, “we,” a plural of it, philotimia, “love of honor.”  Isn’t that a strange thing there?  “Therefore we love of honor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” [2 Corinthians 5:9].

Well, here is what that Greek word philotimoumetha means.  It means this; philotimoumetha is “a striving, an ambition for honor” from the hands of somebody that you are wonderfully and desperately trying to please.  Oh, there is an endless illustration, example, of that in our lives.  Take a thing like this, for example.  Here is a young violinist, and he is the best violinist in this world.  He is a prodigy, he is an unusual genius. He is a marvelous violinist; and he is up there in Carnegie Hall.  He is out there at the Fair Park Auditorium; he is at the Philharmonic Auditorium.  He is some place, and he is playing before a great and an appreciative audience.  But he doesn’t care a snap-of-his-finger about the five thousand or the ten thousand people there that are listening to him play.  And the reason for it is this, his teacher; his old master is seated up there in one corner of the balcony.  And as the young genius, virtuoso plays; as he plays, he looks for the commending smile and the eye of pleasure from his old master, seated up there in the corner of the balcony.  That’s what that word means.  He is ambitious!  He is ambitious to receive honor, accommodation from somebody whom he greatly desires to please!  That’s what that Greek word means.

Lot of us that way, we are all that way to some extent.  There are people that you know and who are in your life, that if ten thousand others didn’t like what you was doing but if that one somebody were to commend you and be appreciative of what you are doing, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.  That’s the way we are made.  We’re like that.  Now, that’s the way you can tell when a man is changed and when he becomes a Christian, for he says, “We philotimoumetha, that we might be accepted of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might please Him” [2 Corinthians 5:9].

That’s the desire in our hearts.  That’s what we want to do.  When a man is saved, when he’s changed, when he’s a new creation that’s the way you can tell it.  He wants to please the Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants to receive from His hands the, “Well done, good and faithful servant” [Matthew 25:21, 23].  Well, what are these things that please the Lord?  One of the first things is, the Lord wants us to confess His name, publicly, openly, come down that aisle and stand by the side of the preacher and say, “I give my heart and my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.”  That pleases Him.   He wants us to confess His name openly, publicly, unashamedly [Matthew 10:32-33].  This pleases the Lord; He wants us to be baptized.  And He commanded them saying, “Preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them” [Matthew 28:19].  And if I am not willing even to do that for Him, I haven’t been changed in my heart.  I haven’t accepted Jesus as my Savior.  There’s not much you can do for God.  But what we can do, and we can do that, we ought to do!  The Lord is pleased when I publicly give my life to Him and when I am baptized; that pleases Him.  It pleases the Lord when we call on His name, talk to the Lord; pray, you call it praying, pray to the Lord [1 Thessalonians 5:17].  Call on His name; tell Him this and this and this.  Lay your soul bare before Him, and tell Him how you are and tell Him what you want, and tell Him all the desires of your soul.  And make a confidant of the Lord and a friend, that pleases Him!  Talk to Him, read His Word every day.  Every one of God’s children ought to have a little devotional, ought to read in God’s Book, just you.   You can have a family devotional, that’s fine, and we can come to church and read, and that’s fine, but each one of us ought to listen to the voice of God for himself.  Open the Bible and read, and let God talk to you.  And these things please Christ when we have our assembly [Hebrews 10:25], when we have our open door, when the church is convening, here we are, that pleases the Lord.  Here we are, glad to be here.  “Where two or three are gathered together . . . there am I in the midst of them” [Matthew 18:20].  If there are not but two or three as on Mt. Hermon [Matthew 17:1-7], or if there is a great assembly as here tonight, we are happy to be there if the Lord is there, if  His presence is there.

And so we live in the love and the nurture and the admonition of the Lord [Ephesians 6:4].  And when a fellow isn’t interested in that, then he’s not saved.  “Preacher, I’m not coming down that aisle, I’m not going to be baptized, I’m not going to be in that church.”  Then you’re not saved, for when a man is saved he’s a changed man.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away” [2 Corinthians 5:17].

“I’m not going to be out there at the ballpark when we are having church down here.  My heart doesn’t let me.  I’d be miserable out there.  While God’s people were gathered here, I’m out there in a ballpark; couldn’t do it, just couldn’t make it.  My heart won’t let me.”  So with all of the measures and all of the vicissitudes and all of the turns and fortunes in life.  If man is in Christ, he is a new creation.  There is something changed on the inside of him.  He’s not going that way any longer.  He’s going this way.  He’s walking with us, he’s singing with us, he’s testifying with us, he’s working with us, he’s worshipping with us, he is a Christian!  There he is, look at him.  You can have them stand up here, there, there, and all over this house, monuments to grace; miracles of the goodness and the mercy of God.  “If a man is in Christ, he is a new creation:  old things are gone away; all things are become new” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  It’s the glory life, on the glory road, on the way to the glory that is yet to come.

That’s why we sing this song and make this appeal.  It’s for you, it’s for you, this night, this holy hour, this Sunday evening, right now.  If you have never confessed your faith in the Lord Jesus as your Savior, would you do it now, would you make it now? [Romans 10:9-10].  If you have never been baptized, in obedience to His command [Matthew 28:19-20], as well pleasing in His sight, would you come and would you say, “Pastor, I want to be baptized just like it says here in the Book. I want to be baptized.”

Do you live in the city of Dallas?  And would you love to make this church your home?  Would you come down and stand by the pastor?  “Pastor, tonight we want to place our lives in the circle and the circumference and the fellowship of this wonderful church.”  Would you come by letter or statement?  However God shall say the word and make the appeal, anywhere, somebody you, a family you, “Pastor, tonight, this night, here I come, giving my heart to God, or placing my life in fellowship of the church.”  While we sing, you come, while we stand and while we sing.

THE NEW CREATION

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Corinthians 5:17

4-29-56

I.          Introduction

A.  When God finished His work at the end of the sixth day, there has never been any other new creation (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:8; 3)

B.  The one exception is this new creation God brings to pass in the heart and soul of a man(2 Corinthians 5:17)

II.         In salvation there is always a change

A.  A religious persecutor like Saul – the new Paul(Acts 9:1-22)

B.  An old, worthless drunkard – now evangelist Mel Trotter

C.  A good man looking to himself – no longer trusting in his works(Isaiah 64:6)

D.  A child unknowing, like Samuel – quickened and changed (1 Samuel 3:1-8)

III.        In salvation there has to be change

A.  Metanoia, “repentance” – “a change in attitude, mind, spirit”

B. Everywhere in Scripture men are divided into two classes:  saved or lost

1. In the Gospels(Matthew 13:30, 47-50, 22:2-14, 25:1-13, 31-34, 41)

2.  In the Epistles (Ephesians 2:1, 12-13, 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8)

C. In salvation there is a crossing the line, transfer from one to the other

IV.       This inward change in Scripture is described as…

A.  A new birth (John 1:12-13, 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23, James 1:18)

B.  A quickening (Ephesians 2:1, 5, 2 Timothy 4:1)

C.  A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15)

V.        The change is always there

A. Some have difficultly describing exact day, hour, moment; therefore say conversion is gradual

B.  Conversion is a beginning, and a beginning is never gradual

1. All of God’s creative works are that way – when He does something, He does it instantaneously(Genesis 1:3, 11, 24-25, 2:7)

2. The miraculous work of Christ (John 2:6-11, 6:8-12, 9:10-11, 11:43-44, Mark 5:41-42, 7:32-35, Luke 7:14-15, Matthew 8:26, 21:18)

3.  So the actual work of God in the soul (John 4:5-29, Luke 19:2-10, Acts 2:14-41, 16:30-34)

VI.       The change is easily seen and known

A.  Philotimoumetha, translated “labor” – “a striving, an ambition for honor”(2 Corinthians 5:9)

B.  He wants to do what pleases the Lord(Matthew 25:23)

1.  To confess His name publicly, and be baptized(Matthew 28:19)

2. Assembling with God’s people (Hebrews 10:25, Matthew 18:20)

3. Dependence upon God