ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW
By John C. Carpenter
The apostle Paul wrote the church in Corinth, 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 which 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 ye 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 Cor 5:14-21). What does the Lord mean when he
tells the Corinthian believers that all things are become new?
In verse 17 of our subject verses, the word creature is translated
from the Greek word ktisis, which means original formation or building. The words old things are translated from the Greek word archaios,
which means beginning, commencement, original or primeval. Also, in verse 17, the word new is translated from the Greek word kainos,
which means freshness, young, or regenerated. When Christ says that all things are become new, He means that the beginning or original
formation, building, or creation of those who come to God through faith in Christ have been changed, made fresh and young, or regenerated.
SHALL BE CHANGED
Within the scriptures, material [physical] and spiritual change is mentioned again and again. Change is a natural
part of God's working within us, and it is not something to be afraid of, neither should it be resisted. God expects our submission
to His regenerative process; and He rewards those who respond obediently and fully. One example of change mentioned within the scriptures
is the end time event referred to as the rapture. In referring to the mystery of the rapture involving the resurrection of the dead,
Paul explains to Corinthian believers, Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed [made different, to become another]. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass
the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Cor 15:51-54).
Referring to those who have experienced the the
glory of Moses and the law, that is, the Jew, as well as those who have experienced the glory of Christ and the Holy Spirit, that
is, the believer in Christ, Paul teaches that we all [both Jew and Gentile], with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the
Lord, are changed [transfigured, transformed] into the same image from glory [of the law] to glory [of the Holy Spirit], even as by
the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18). Writing the church in Philippi, the apostle Paul contrasts the enemies of the cross of Christ
with believers in Christ. Referring to change in the believer, Paul goes on to write, For our [the believer's] conversation [community,
citizenship] is in heaven [elevated sky, eternity, the abode of God]; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:Who shall change [transfigure, transfer, transform] our vile [depressed, low, humiliated] body, that it may be fashioned like unto
his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Php 3:20-21).
UNTIL THE HARVEST
Change involving growth, increase, and maturation is also mentioned within the scriptures. In the parable of
the wheat [the righteous] and the tares [all things that offend and do iniquity], Christ, Himself, instructs that both grow [increase,
enlarge, become mature] together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first
the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (Mat 13:30). Referring to the ministries given
by Christ, Paul explained that Christ gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;For the perfecting [to fit, to repair, a complete furnishing] of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying [building
up, edification] of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a
perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph 4:11-13). Paul, Silvanus, and Timotheus wrote the church
of the Thessalonians, We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly[increase above ordinary degree], and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth [increase unto abundance]; So
that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye
endure (2 Th 1:3-4). Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, instructed the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia,
Asia, and Bithynia, Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn
babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2), and so that they may also be built up [edified
more, emboldened] a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter
2:5). Peter elsewhere encouraged them who have obtained like precious faith, Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before,
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow [enlarge, mature, increase] in
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever (2 Peter 3:17-18). This is
great advice for all believers in Christ. The scriptures even teach that Christ, Himself, increased in wisdom and stature, and in
favour with God and man (Luke 2:52). The believer in Christ is to grow up [enlarge, increase] into him in all things, which is the
head, even Christ (Eph 4:15).
Holy Scriptures also refer to the changes God the Father makes in us, and in creation, as renewal.
Paul exhorted the church in Rome to be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [transfigured, modified, changed] by the
renewing [renovation] of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom 12:2), and
the Ephesian believers to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph 4:23). The psalmist David knew the value of change when he prayed,Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew [repair, rebuild] a right spirit within me (Psa 51:10). Regarding the heavens, the psalmist
says of God, they are created: and thou renewest [repair, rebuild] the face of the earth (Psa 104:30), while Isaiah teaches us thatthey that wait upon the LORD shall renew [change, alter] their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,
and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isa 40:31). Paul wrote Titus, his son after the faith, we ourselves also were
sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration [restoration, renovation, rebirth], and renewing [make new, renovate,
regenerate] of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:3-5).
Paul also instructed Colossian believers, put off all these; anger, wrath, malice,
blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new [fresh, youthful, regenerated] man, which is renewed [renovated, made fresh] in knowledge after the image
of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:
but Christ is all, and in all (Col 3:8-11). Finally, the author of the book of Hebrews even declares that believers in Christ should
have a boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new [recently slain, fresh, lately made] and living way, which
he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw
near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed [bathed,
made clean] with pure water (Heb 10:19-22).
EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN
Jesus addressed our need to be changed and transformed
when He told a Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born [procreated, generated, conceived] again [a
second time, in a different way], he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born of water [fleshly, physical birth] and of the [Holy] Spirit [a spiritual birth], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That
which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be
born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither
it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8). John supported these words and instructions of Christ when he declared
that the believer in Christ has been born [procreated, generated, conceived] again [from the first, from above, from the beginning,
made anew, a second time], not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the [gospel] word [Greek logos; i.e., Christ] of God,
which [who] liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:23). The apostle Paul knew that the life of the believer in Christ should reflect
change to a new life. Paul wrote Roman believers, ...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 [renewed, freshness] of life. For if we have been
planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection (Rom 6:4-5). Paul later added,For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of [the operation and
guidance of the Holy] spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter [of the law] (Rom 7:5-6). The apostle also mentioned the idea of
change to the believers in Corinth when he wrote, Purge out therefore the old leaven [malice. wickedness, rebellion], that ye may
be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with
old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:7-8).
The scriptures clearly teach that ...though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16). Paul wrote
the Galatian believers, God forbid that I [Paul] should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified
unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but [all become] a
new [fresh, youthful, regenerated] creature (Gal 6:14-15). We are instructed, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2).
WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP, BUT WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED
On a church nursery door was
placed a clever and most applicable sign. Quoting the apostle Paul, it read, Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed [made different, made into someone else], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed [from one state to another, made
different from the original] (1 Cor 15:51-52). The truth is that, if we are to come to faith in Christ and be therefore reconciled
to God the Father, we will be changed. The unclean are made clean, the arrogant are made humble, the sick are made well, the faithless
are given faith, the unbeliever becomes a believer, the weak are made strong, the blind begin to see, the dead are made alive, and
the old becomes new. We must ask, though, why, are all things new. Paul gave us the answer: all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17)because all things are of God, [and it is God] who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry
of reconciliation. The believer in Christ, who was previously the enemy of all unrighteousness who perverted the right ways of the
Lord (Acts 13:10) and the enemy of God (James 4:4), has been reconciled to God the Father by the reconciliation ministry of Jesus
Christ. As Paul further explained, God was in Christ, reconciling [changing mutually] the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses
unto them (2 Cor 5:19).
So, why did God the Father reconcile the believer in Christ unto Himself. Paul explains that [God the
Father] hath committed unto us the word [the gospel message] of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19). As a matter of exhortation to the Corinthian
church, Paul added, Now then we [all who believe in Christ and have been reconciled to God the Father] are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he [God the Father] hath made him [Christ,
the Son of God] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God [through our faith] in him [Christ] (2
Co 5:18-21). May we all be ambassadors for Christ. AMEN.