It seems that the title of Christian is applied to anyone who is not a heathen. But, is that what the book that defines what a Christian really is says. One of the most striking definitions is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. This is what it says. “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.” Of course I quoted the King James Version of the scripture, but the application is for all. “If any ‘person’ be in Christ Jesus”, would be a more contemporary translation.
Stop for just a minute and consider what that verse says. When a person enters into Christ Jesus the result is a whole new creation that has never been before. It carries the meaning of a unique being that there are no others just like. With it comes an ever renewing process that continually makes that person “new”, day by day. For the “New Creation” his or her life is never the “same old, same old day in and day out” routine. It is as in Lamentations 3:23 as the writer speaks of the mercies of God, “They are new every morning”. So it is with the “New Creation”. He or she is “New every morning.”
Consider also, it says, “in Christ”. This is the same picture that baptism is supposedly a picture of. You may wonder why some people who say they are Christians continue to act as if they are not. It could be that they are not truly a Christian.
That picture of baptism which I mentioned above is not exactly how the scripture defines the true baptism. The terminology of the scriptures paints a picture in which the person is lowered into the water and is never seen again. The statement “Buried with Christ in baptism” is usually spoken as the person is lowered into the water. This portrays 2 Corinthians 5:17,”If any man be IN Christ…” You are baptized into Christ and you do not come out. It is no longer you, but Christ Who is in you.(Galatians 2:20) Biblically speaking, a true Christian is a dead man. He no longer runs the life that inhabits the body he or she is in. The nature of the flesh is dead. He is a new creation, a baby in Christ Jesus. It will take time to learn to crawl and then to walk, but he is now a member of the family of the Creator. He is no longer a “sinner”. He is now in “right standing” with his Heavenly Father. And that will never change because it is by grace through faith and that is not of anything that he has done or brought about. It is all of God.
Who accomplished it
If it is all of God, and He declares him righteous, is there any way that he can become unrighteous? No! Since it was nothing he did to become righteous, therefore there is nothing he can do to become unrighteous. You might think, “Well he can live like the devil and still be alright.” You do not know the Word of God then. It is clear in 1 John 3 that he cannot sin, it is totally against his nature. If he could sin, then he is not a child of God. Philippians 2:13 says it this way; “It is He who is in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Therefore, since he is a child of God he can not sin. If you are a child of God, do not let anybody call you a sinner. The only spirit that does that is the one that is the accuser of the brethren. If they call you a sinner they are contradicting the word of God Almighty Who has called you “righteous”(having right standing in a covenant relationship).
1 Corinthians 2:14 says this:” For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” The “New creation in Christ Jesus” has the mind of Christ directing his life and making decisions for him. He is not his own. He has been bought with a price. Philippians 2:13 clearly states it, “For it is He(God) Who is in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” That takes all the weight off of you.
Aren’t we all still sinners?
I read an article in which the writer placed every child of God as a terrible sinner even when we are saved. He pointed out several characters in the Bible which were men of God but they did terrible things. What he failed to note was that all but one of these men he cited were under the old covenant.
Do you know that the Holy Spirit can not indwell an unregenerate person? People under the Old Covenant were unregenerated. When they died they went to Paradise, but not to Heaven itself. Their sins were not permanently covered, or paid in full. That did not happen until Jesus paid the price of all sins when He died on the cross. Then, and only then, could regenerated(new creations in Christ) come into the presence of the Creator of the universe. So, people under the Old Covenant could not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. After Jesus ascended to the Holy of Hollies in Heaven and presented His blood as payment for all of man’s sins, then those who would come claiming that blood could come into the glorious presence of God, Himself. That is why Jesus descended into Sheol and preached the Good News to those who had by faith received the promises of the Old Covenant. God could then, through The Holy Spirit, legally “tabernacle” in human beings who were born again by the blood of the lamb. So the men that the writer had cited were not truly regenerated, but were saved by their faith in the coming Lamb of God. The one New Testament man he cited was Paul. He used the statement that Paul made out of context. Paul, in the passage cited, was referring to his preconversion man.
Many religious people have abused the understanding of man’s position under the Old Covenant and tried to translate the same standing to the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant God was external, a cloud, a pillar of fire or a burning bush. In the New Testament He is an indwelling Holy Spirit, Who lives in those who receive Him. Do you believe that the Infinitely holy and glorious Creator would reside in a corrupt and sinful vessel? Think again. God’s glory would consume that vessel. In Acts 10 The Holy Spirit admonished Peter when he refused to eat of the unclean animals presented to him in a vision, by saying, “What I have cleansed, do not call common(or unclean)”. God was signifying that those in whom He dwells are no longer sinners but are accounted as righteous, having right standing in covenant relationship with Him.
The New Covenant
The New Covenant Christian is no longer considered a “sinner”. He is not even “a sinner saved by grace”. What he or she is, is “a new creation in Christ Jesus who has been saved by grace”. If you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus, the next time someone tries the false humility slogan on you that “we are all sinners”, in loving confidence just speak the Word of God to them and let them know that you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus and because Jesus became sin for you, that you are now righteous before God in Christ Jesus. I encourage you to read Romans chapter 8. You will find a good beginning description of just what a born again new creation in Christ Jesus looks like. It is just a beginning, not a complete. If you want to know the complete description of a child of God, read His whole Word and then look at the Word Made Flesh, Jesus.
If someone calls you a sinner, they have to call Jesus a sinner. Shame on them. You are the Righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus.