Does Jesus Make Us New Creatures?

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Suppose you were to be introduced to a good Christian man. A person you could really look up to. Perhaps you might ask to hear his testimony. Surely he was raised by good parents and committed to the faith at an early age. But what if you were wrong? If his story is more complex, you might quote 2 Corinthians 5:17. But does Jesus really make us new creatures? Let’s consider this thought.

Does Jesus make us new Creatures?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.

Let’s assume our good Christian is a reformed bank robber. He was caught and sent to prison. There, through a local church ministry, he found Jesus. After a genuine conversion, he turned his life around. Moreover, he began to study the Bible and pursue an education. 10 years later he is released. 20 years after that, he continues to be a good Christian and a productive member of society. Surely he is a new creation in Christ, correct? Not so fast.

I could argue that instead, it was our criminal justice system that turned him around. It was they that forced him into a situation where he had nothing better to do than attend Bible study. Furthermore, they offered the classes that gave him his education. Therefore, Jesus had nothing to do with his turnaround.

However, I must contend with our new Christian’s personal testimony. He gives all of the credit to Jesus. Is it fair to deny his compelling testimony? Perhaps it is not. So, let’s credit this man’s story to Jesus.

Does Jesus make us new creatures?

If anyone is in Christ…

This leads me to a famous Christian apologist who died last year. Now, we are learning about the sexual indiscretions of Ravi Zacharias, a man who devoted his life to Jesus. Without addressing the details, suffice it to say his story falls short of the “new creation” standard. Hence, some Christians will say he couldn’t have been a true believer. However, this is begging the question.

If we presume that the statement is true, we will then use it as a litmus test. If a man is a new creation, he is in Christ. However, if he is not a new creation, he is not. Instead, let’s allow the statement to be proven or disproven by the facts.

Does Jesus make us new creatures, or simply help us become new?

There are plenty of examples of Christianity helping people to turn their lives around. However, there are also many examples of Christians who have fallen short. Hence, perhaps the problem lies in viewing this verse as an all or nothing proposition.

The Apostle Paul created this “live by the sword” approach to faith vs works. Hence, Christianity tends to die by the sword of public opinion when things don’t work out. Deuteronomy 30 tells us that the law isn’t so far removed from our mindset that someone has to ascend to heaven to bring it down to us. However, Paul contorted the context of this quote in Romans 10.

First, he replaces the law with Jesus. Then, he leaves off the most important part of the quote. You can do it, as in you can keep the law. Here’s what Paul says.

6But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:6-9

Faith is great, but so is accountability.

Christianity has helped many people live better, more fulfilling and meaningful lives. However, it has never beaten the sin out of anyone. If you’re looking to be made into a new creature, there’s no easy fix. However, if you’re looking to be a better person it can help. Just remember that if you want to succeed, it’s going to take some work. Moreover if you put it all on Jesus, when you fail Jesus will get the blame in the eyes of those around you.

Be fair to yourself, your faith, and those around you. Thank Jesus for the help, but take credit for your successes so he doesn’t get stuck holding your failures.

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I was raised a Christian, turned atheist as a teenager, and became a Noahide in my 40's. Here I will share what I have learned, and look forward to what you can teach me. Thank you for stopping by Biblical Anarchy. Feel free to leave a comment.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Awesome read Steve, I always love reading your writing because you have a way of looking at things from all angles(the same way you write about politics and dont just favor the left or right bit hold them all accountable and call them out when needed)…I will add my two sense into this written discussion topic…I do agree very much with your final analogy that dont forget to give yourself credit because you did much of the work…spirituality can guide us but we are the ones who have to get up and take action and walk forward or stay stagnant so much of it is on our own shoulders(it really bothers me when I hear a minister like Joel Olsteen preach the prosperity gospel and lead so many people the wrong way, giving them the horrible misconception that if you are good that God will just give you everything(God tests his most loved ones, look at Job and he was the most holy man in all the land). Where I would like to offer a little different view point pertains to your question “are we really a new creation in Christ?” Well I have had many spiritual awakenings and it would be negligent if I didnt call alot of them miracles as well…I was a oxycontin user(like 2 or 3 80mg pills a day which is alot) and did that for 15 years, in the end shot up K4 diladid for the last year of torment…well then I made the decision to volunteer for rehab and it was the worst 3 days of my life(I compare it to riding a bicycle in bed) but that last night I went into the dark yard and prayed on my chest and face, i will never forget or be able to deny when i woke the next day i was a new creature…not just because the withdrawals went away and i slept for the first time in 3 days, but I could tell something had happened to me that had changed my whole disposition on life and everybody and thing in it. Well guess what after 2 years of being drug free the year after I married my wife I relapsed and went on a 3 year relapse dragging her through that hell with me(without going into much detail I’ll just say it was bad, some nights our only communication was yelling) plus I got darker and darker and darker(I was experimenting with the plant food stuff they sold in gas stations, or some people call it bath salts)…I did like 4 or 5 of those pills everyday for the last year of my relapse, when I had finished I literally had a brown stain in our mattress where I would lay in bed all day sweating and getting high) but I wasnt quit done yet I still fooled around for another couple months until finally I violated the probation I was on and had to serve 11-29 in jail(or I could choose to go to teen challenge, domt get me wrong it’s great but it wasnt for me I knew my wife didnt deserve to have to recover on her own for a whole year while i was on vacation; plus I knew I would get out of jail after 4 or 5 months and get back to her so we could heal together) the number 1 reason though, I chose not to go because something was telling me I needed alot of time to read the bible, I had heard preachers whole life tell me what it meant(and many are false preachers, the bible says there were thousands in Jesus’ time so how many more 2 thousand years later?) I needed to read the book by myself and let God teach me himself…so that’s exactly what happened, about 8 years ago I checked myself into Putnam County Max jail(had never served time) and I locked myself in my cell 24 7 except to shower and eat, the rest of the time i stayed in my cell reading the bible(not much in this world like reading Gods beautiful word in the midst of all that evil and cursing all while I was reading, pretty crazy) well what happened next you might could guess, God made me a new creature but not only that, I knew and could tell that all of those drugs had messed up my mind, I literally couldnt remember basic principles and ideals that we all learn as a child, I had lost my mind and completely forgotten how to live.(I was a professional drug addict and thata all I did for 17 or 18 years prior) well that plant food stuff really did a number on my mind as well…I could literally feel God healing and teaching me like a child while I read more and more of the bible, old testament was hard but when I got to the phrophetical books i would compare it to listening to music because there was no tv or music in jail, but it effected me so much I would be singing in my head I was so joyful. Well I finished the entire bible in 4 months and then spent the last 3 weeks I was incarcerated re-reading my favorite versus over and over and memorizing as much as was possible for me! Well go figure but pretty much when I finished my bible journey was when I got out of jail…I was a completely different person, or “new creature” or whatever metaphor you wanna use…God had completely healed my mind and body and I felt it while it was happening over months…I have never been the same since I got out of that jail, but jail had nothing to do with it…lol…everybody else played games and stuff and waited most of their time but i used my time wisely and jail did nothing to change me but that bible did everything, plus It all depended on it I had enough faith to beleive, the bible says very clearly that God doesnt just make people a new creature(that’s why it’s so important to read the whole book because it all pieces together like a puzzle and in the correct context) God cant do a whole lot if the individual doesnt have faith, it’s literally our faith that heals us and our faith that makes us a new creature…look at the people around Jesus who didnt beleive, they couldnt even see or hear him, they were witnessing God and while many were healed and miracles they didnt gain anything and couldnt even beleive in God while he was standing right in front of them…lol…I ask you how much harder is it for us to have faith today? I totally agree when you say that God doesnt get all the credit or all the blame because it depends on our faith in the end even faith without works is dead…so we have to have faith and do much work and only then do I beleive God will change someone…it can happen overnight but the times I havent put in the work I always fell back into the old lifestyle and mental sickness…I was more than ready when I changed though…it was my last chance I could feel myself slipping away…but my main point is God can absolutely make us a new creature but who among us can not sin and lead a perfect life? Where i think people misunderstand that verse is when it finally happens and my eyes were opened i realized i have to become a new creation every single day, for me it’s not a one time fix all, ots a daily reprieve because I beg God to make me new and whole again and take my hand and lead me in the right path and not let me make the same mistakes as yesterday…honestly man alot of days it’s an all day thing for me, I have to focus and remain ” God Conscious” all day…but its possible… for me that how my miracle happened and i have kept being incredibly blessed ever since. “God uses broken things to work miracles”and I beleive his purpose is so all of the witnesses can see the miraculous effect and how someone completely broken has become this new person. Also “I am healed by the blood of the cross and the words of my testimony” only through giving away the loving kindness and goodness and compassion and the other fruits of the spirit can I receive my blessings…i guess i will end it with this…now 8 years after this change, 1 year after I opened my own business with my parents(its hard to work with parents) and when people said it took 100K to open a vape shop we did it with our last 25K to our name, well the Doc withdraweled his life insurance because we had no other choice and he lost a 2 million dollar account being forced to draw out 3 payments that totaled around 80 grand(talk about a rigged system) but he couldnt get them but once every new year and had to wait 3 years total to get all 3 payments…every time we got a payment we were barely making it, I could tell you so many stories of how we needed 2 thousand dollars to pay rent and the day before it would hit our account…things like that happened all the time…but I’m proof of Gods love, I went from a drug addict who couldnt even work and lost his mind to owning my own business, our business growing and finally breaking even after 5 years…but now our business is one of the nicest vape shops in Tennessee(I think you know I’m not bragging but speaking truth) we have 5 employees bot including my mom or me, and while this whole pandemic most vape shops have turned into head shops because they felt forced to because of such low sales…we have had the best 6 months weve ever had and in our 6th year of business we just increased our sales by 20% from previous year…all the while this pandemic and all, and I feel horrible for people who have lost someone or lost their job because that doesnt mean God isnt blessing them too…but my whole point for the summary of this all is that my whole life has changed and has continued to change 8 years later…one day at a time asking God to make me that new creature again everyday and that’s how it works for me! Hope maybe some of that was worth reading and I apologize if I rambled I havent slept in a couple days so…but i enjoy reading your articlea and i will try my best to contribute by offering whatever small amount of knowledge i do have…lololol…nice to speak with you Steve you should come by shop so we can hang for a little bit and catch up on world news…lol thanks for the interesting read and I hope you have a Happy New Year 2021!!! I’m going to try to stay focused on positive things in the new year…regardless if the world I pray I continue to have a positive outlook and help people by being a positive light in there life! Later
    P.S. my favorite verse in bible in Micah 7:8 ‘ do not rejoice over me my enemies for when I fall I will arise and when I sit in darkness the Lord shall be my light” and that verse has always held true to me, everyone in life will let you down and leave you in darkness except for God he will never and even when you think your in darkness thata when he is about to light the candle as long as I have the faith! Love you brother Steve and thanks for thos intreugeing hour!

    • I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story here. I appreciate what God has done in your life, and also the work that you put into it. I didn’t know you before the change, but I can atest to the person you’ve become after. I agree that you couldn’t have done it alone, yet it couldn’t entirely be done without your effort.

  2. I’m glad I read your article to the very end. Sometimes, I will shudder and withdraw from something I feel is not exactly in accordance with Jesus. You were fair and I saw from a different view point. I love the one and only true God. I really enjoyed Ryan’s post as well. Thank you for sharing.

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