2nd Cor. 5:
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 ¶ Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
These are powerful passages. All the more so when we realize they were not written to unbelievers, but believers. Verses 16-17 emphasize that we find our lives in Christ, the new creation. When verse 17 says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the words “he is” are in italics, indicating they are not part of the original Greek. A more accurate rendering is, “If anyone is in Christ, a new creation.” Christ is the new creation and we enter into Him. Old things pass away and new things come IN HIM; all things are not made new in separate entities apart from Him. This is very important. In spite of what Christ accomplished on the cross for us, the majority of Christianity still relates to God as separate from us. He is in heaven and we are on earth. There is a separation. As long as we relate to God as separate from us, we can never know the full extent of His provision for us. We are limited in what God wants to be in us and to us.
We have been reconciled to God through Christ. What does this really mean? Regardless of whether we believe Adam and Eve were literal people or an allegory depicting spiritual truths, one thing is certain. Separation from God occurred because of disobedience.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
From the time of disobedience until Christ died on the cross, man lived separate from God. Gen. 4 tells us that through the line of Seth men began to call on the name of the Lord. Thus began God’s process of reconciliation. All the of Mosaic law and the rituals of the priesthood were pointing towards Christ, the new creation. Verse 20 in our text from 2nd Corinthians is important. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” Paul is writing to Christians here. He says, “We implore you…” Even in that era the revelation of “Christ in you” was difficult to grasp. When we do not have a consciousness of Christ in us we miss God’s eternal purpose. If we receive Christ, then the life of God is birthed in us. God’s solution to sin and disobedience is birthing Himself into His people. God dwelling in us becomes the ultimate guarantee against the horrors of disobedience being repeated. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” We only become the righteousness of God as we become aware that His righteousness is already in us. As long as we serve a God apart from us, this reality is never realized. The Adamic, flesh nature will always be the Adamic, flesh nature. This does not change. It is the way of religion to attempt to change what we are in Adam. The key is entering into the NEW CREATION. The new creation is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
1st Pet. 1
22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
24 ¶ For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.
Peter tells us we have been born again of imperishable seed. The seed is the living word of God. The problem is that too often the living seed never grows. The eternal purpose of God is that the seed grow within us until it consumes everything not of Him. This embraces what we have called the work of the cross. It is serving a God apart from us that restrains His seed in us from growing. God is not interested in disciplining the old nature in us. Yet, it is amazing how many Christians struggle daily to feel accepted or loved by God. It is the innate condemnation of the old nature they feel. The old nature is condemned, cursed by God. Everyone seems to condemn religion, yet it subtly continues to dominate too many Christians’ lives. Struggling with the old nature is religion. Adam and Christ are forever separated. Trying to relate to God through Adam is a futile experience and dooms us to struggle. God told Adam that it would be by the sweat of his face that he would eat bread. And so it is until this day. Sweat is indicative of soulish, or human, energies. Sweat is produced through the labor of religion. As long as we serve a God apart from us, we continue under the curse God spoke in Genesis.
Everything we have ever heard of sonship is dependent upon the seed within us growing into maturity. This growth comes through a perpetual faith in the new creation. If we go by feelings and emotions, i.e., the soul life, we will constantly be on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. We are to embrace the holy seed within us. This is the true revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the revelation of Immanuel, God with us.