The newly confirmed U.S. secretary of state has vowed to support the LGBT agenda by flying pride flags at United States embassies and resurrecting the “special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.”
On the heels of Joe Biden signing a record-breaking number of executive orders, now comes a nice-sounding pledge of equality. But people who listened closely to that promise heard something more Orwellian than equal justice under the law.
UPDATED 3:30 PM PT – Wednesday, January 27, 2021
An expert mathematician said s the election results for Joe Biden at the precinct level are “impossible” and “cannot occur naturally.” One America’s Christina Bobb has more.
UPDATED 2:15 PM PT – Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Joe Biden’s presidential climate envoy told laid-off miners to go make solar panels. On Wednesday, John Kerry made those remarks during a White House press briefing after a reporter asked him what the administration’s plans are for laid-off workers in the oil and mining industries.
Kerry claimed seeking employment in the solar and wind industries would be the better option for workers currently employed in non-renewable energy jobs.
“So, what Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices,” Kerry stated. “That they have better alternatives, that they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels.”
However, in order for coal and oil workers to attain jobs in renewable energy, they must be re-trained and potentially go back to school for entirely new degrees.
The White House has yet to propose a transition plan for workers who are losing jobs due to Biden’s climate change-related executive orders.
The latest of Joe Biden’s THIRTY SEVEN executive orders signed in the first week of his presidency states that the term ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘China virus’ is now banned.
Yes, this is real.
The White House website confirms that Biden signed this EO.
The report notes that “The Biden executive order is also expected to direct federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to examine whether there are xenophobic references like “China virus” in any existing policies, directives or government websites published by the Trump administration.”
NBC News lists all the executive actions Biden has instigated thus far, with the last being the ban on the term ‘China Virus’. The report notes that “additionally, the order directed the attorney general to work to prevent discrimination and hate crimes.”
Given that literally anything is now being touted as a ‘hate crime’, that could mean banning or canceling absolutely everyone and everything.
As we noted earlier, Biden admitted back in October that anyone who legislates by executive order should be considered ‘a dictator’.
Biden appears not to know what he is actually signing, and can barely hold the pen:
After managing to stuff the pen in his pants, Biden then babbled on about the wearing of face masks, for which he has already issued multiple executive mandates.
Biden said that a Congressman told him to “kiss my ear, I’m not wearing a mask”.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 26, 2021
This video from the 15th October 2020 speaks for itself.
During a town hall broadcast by ABC News just over a fortnight before the election, Joe Biden was discussing his tax proposals when he declared that in order to see them implemented he would need votes and approval from Congress.
“I have this strange notion. We are a democracy,” Biden sardonically declared, pointing out that “Some of my Republican friends, and some of my Democratic friends occasionally say ‘well if you can’t get the votes, by executive order you’re going to do something’”.
“You can’t do it by executive order, unless you’re a dictator,” Biden declared, adding “We’re a democracy, we need consensus.”
Fast forward to the first day of Biden’s presidency.
The guy implemented NINETEEN executive actions.
Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed THIRTY-SEVEN executive actions.
Despite the apparent fact that Biden doesn’t even know what he’s signing, he has already put pen to paper on more than three times as many orders as the previous four Presidents COMBINED.
In their first weeks Trump signed four, Obama signed five, George W. Bush signed none, and Bill Clinton signed one.
Indeed, no other President has ever signed as many orders as Biden, according to The American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara.
So, Joe… In your own words, what does that make you?
Not a President.
— RΞ4L ✪ (@P8R1OT) January 26, 2021
Key Biden executive actions
A new buzzword on social media, cable news, and among leftist activists is “deprogramming.”
Along with terms like “reprogramming,” “de-Baathification,” and “deplatforming,” deprogramming refers to cleansing the incorrect mentalities of former Trump Administration officials—and even those who voted for Trump.
Note that deprogramming does not refer to elites who peddled the “Russian collusion” hoax for years, despite the abject absence of evidence.
Not long ago, two Washington Post columnists offered some solutions to the Trumpist threat. One, Max Boot, wished to ban Fox News and other conservative stations from cable subscriptions.
The other, Eugene Robinson, suggested that there was a need to focus on mostly “white” Republicans to “deprogram” their thoughts.
Pro forma “diversity training” has already been upgraded to include coming clean about “white supremacy” and “unearned privilege.”
Graduates are supposed to emerge washed of their sins of entitlement. Only when thus vaccinated, can they become fully certified that they no longer pose a threat to the Other.
Still, how might a proper stepped-up deprogramming system deal with any diehard Trump refuseniks? Why not borrow the current Chinese “social credit system”?
Non-participating dead-ender Trumpers might lose so many social awareness points that they would be disqualified from staying at their beloved Holiday Inns or banned from Olive Garden restaurants.
Milder rejectionists could wear red MAGA cone hats. During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, such dunce cones proved useful in identifying and shaming the right wrong people.
Television, social media, and Hollywood could do their part. Viewers might be first required to participate in two-minutes of hate shouting, aimed at enemies on the screen: Donald and Melania, or perhaps former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Social reward points would only be awarded when one’s screams met the required decibel levels on the appropriate app.
“Improving” the news could also be accelerated as part of the general deprogramming effort—a process that is already well underway.
Networks and platforms would have to use approved terminology. For example, the Biden vaccination will lead to the Biden economic recovery from the Trump quarantine and Trump recession, and finally end the Trump virus.
If between 2017 and 2020, a Russian Putin supporter was supposedly lurking under every American bed, today the enemy of the people has been properly redefined by the media as the omnipresent “white supremacist” bogeyman.
Biden’s new defense secretary, retired General Lloyd Austin, told the Senate that the Pentagon would “keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.”
Will Austin soon hold up as proof a McCarthyite list of “known” white supremacists supposedly lurking “within our own ranks”?
Such internal enemies apparently did not refer to radical Islamists, such as the Fort Hood mass-murdering Army Major Nidal Hassan, who killed 13 people, or the racist, black nationalist Micah Johnson, a U.S. Army reservist, who shot 12 Dallas police officers, killing five after a Black Lives Matter protest.
Retired General Stanley McChrystal warns that the Trump movement reminds him of the al-Qaeda terrorists who once flocked to a similar “powerful leader”—presumably Osama bin Laden.
Indeed, our retired military, once critical of the use of the military as domestic police, had no objection to deploying nearly 30,000 soldiers on Inauguration Day in the capital—all on the lookout for nests of Trump insurrectionists.
So Pentagon budgets perhaps should readapt to this reality. What good are missiles and jets when NRA members with MAGA hats roam freely in our midst?
To help McChrystal and Austin, we could enlist former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, and former DNI director James Clapper to form a Deprogramming Task Force to root out the “enemies within.”
Public spirited administration appointees—working closely with Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, and New York media elites—might issue lists of all social media users indulging in “hate speech” and “big lies.”
For any of the recalcitrants, who still visit the wrong sites or view incorrect videos, they could be “contact traced.” GPS chips could be inserted under their skins so that the public could be warned when infectious Trumpsters neared.
Progressive volunteers from the corporate communication worlds—Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and the CEOs of Comcast and WarnerMedia—could staff a Federal Corporate Content Communications Commission.
This new FCCCC could ensure that all corporations establish acceptable speech codes and offer proper percentages of progressive content. The commission could cite those who fail to broadcast critical race theory messaging and level fines that could be redistributed to Antifa, BLM, and other “idea” creators.
This needed deprogramming of the American mind would not take all that much more work or money.
In just the last few weeks, we have proven that we already are halfway there.
Facebook is set to make it harder for “political content” to permeate its news feed and make related groups less visible – all in the name of preventing heated discussions that sow division, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg took to his own platform on Wednesday with a vast 2,800-word post giving a “community update” on its quarterly results and outlining a number of future policy changes. Among them, the CEO said, will be an effort to hide political posts from users’ news feeds, noting the site is aiming to promote “healthy and positive” interactions.
“We’re currently considering steps we could take to reduce the amount of political content in News Feed,” Zuckerberg wrote, adding: “One of the top pieces of feedback we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience.”
“Civic and political” groups will also face what amount to shadow bans – a practice in which social media platforms limit the reach of certain content, instead of outright deleting it – Zuckerberg said, observing that such pages had been removed from Facebook’s “recommendations” tab ahead of the 2020 presidential election. That policy will now be made permanent.
“We’re continuing to fine tune how this works, but now we plan to keep civic and political groups out of recommendations for the long term, and we plan to expand that policy globally,” Zuckerberg said, describing the move as “a continuation of work… to turn down the temperature and discourage divisive conversations.”
While a number of social media platforms insist they do not shadow ban – in Twitter’s case, dubiously – Facebook has been more open about the tactic. Following a controversial New York Post story last year on purported shady business dealings of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, company rep Andy Stone said the site was working to “reduce distribution” of posts sharing the article. It is unclear whether Facebook will use the same method to excise politics from its news feed.
Back in 2017, Facebook announced that it had tweaked its algorithm to “reduce the spread of problematic links such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation,” an earlier step to rein in verboten content, which it defined only vaguely. Though the company insists it does not moderate posts based on users’ political beliefs, recent years have seen repeat allegations that its policies target conservatives unfairly, including by US lawmakers.
Those charges were only amplified earlier this month, after former US president Donald Trump was booted from the site, accused of inciting violence after his supporters staged a riot on Capitol Hill on January 6. The decision was decried by some speech activists and civil libertarians, with renowned national security whistleblower Edward Snowden deeming the move a “turning point in the battle for control over digital speech.”
Christian Research Network
What does it mean to be an Evangelical? In days gone by Evangelical differentiated Protestants from Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. During the revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and America, Evangelicalism became a movement.
The word Evangelicalism is derived from the Greek words euangelion, which means “good news,” and euangelizomai, which means “to proclaim as good news.” This good news is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-5). This good news, which is the Gospel of Christ, and the preaching of it are what Evangelicalism was based upon. (Source)
You may recall when Evangelicals were conservatives who identified with the right-wing of the Republican party as well as Religious or Christian Right groups. At one time most Evangelicals were a force in electing candidates with Judeo-Christian values. Much has changed in the Evangelical movement. That change came about when Purpose-driven pragmatism reared its ugly head in the visible Church. Just like the secular pragmatist, the Christian pragmatist “focuses on practical approaches and solutions.” Basically it’s a philosophy of “whatever works.” In other words, “The central idea of pragmatism is that truth is proved by whether or not the idea in question “works,” meaning it produces the expected or desired results.”
We see pragmatism played out in the political arena. While conservatives insist on applying the “values voter” litmus test to candidates, pragmatists insist on supporting candidates who would tenaciously push the conservative agenda through Congress. A candidate’s morals and character is not a concern. Moreover, the pragmatist is all about compromise.
A Witch’s Brew
Several years ago I penned a piece that addressed the downgrade in the visible Church. I used supermarket shopping to paint a word picture that many readers found helpful. I pointed out that there’s a “diabolically inspired supermarket of truth and error in the postmodern Church,” and took them for a stroll through a supermarket to shop for the ingredients in Syncretism Stew….
Aisle 1-Mysticism Madness;
Aisle 2-Charismatic Confusion;
Aisle 3-Pentecostal Pandemonium;
Aisle 4-Enlightened Emergents;
Aisle 5-Purpose-driven Pragmatism;
Aisle 6-Secular Strategies…to suck in seekers;
Aisle 7-Twelve-steps…to “group think”;
Aisle 8-Preposterous Pop Psychology;
Aisle 9-Discernment Disintegration;
Aisle 10-Predatory Pastors;
Aisle 11 Social Justice Socialism;
Aisle 12 Critical Race Theory…absent critical thinking
On and on it goes.
I added the following reminder, “The Body of Christ trusts its Shepherds to feed them healthy nutritious foods, yet many of them are literally starving their sheep to death! A diet of “Bible Light” does not nourish the soul – it causes spiritual malnutrition! A shepherd’s job is to lead the flock in Christian life and faith.” (Source)
Tragic, isn’t it?
Loose Definitions Of Evangelical
Syncretism in Evangelicalism started happening when elements of various religious beliefs were integrated into mainline denominations. As syncretism spreads, creeds, confessions and doctrine get tossed aside resulting in a fundamental change of beliefs. When Truth declines, false teaching flourishes. The wily serpent uses syncretism to separate God from His people.
Before I move away from syncretism, I want to stress that Evangelicals have been assimilated into the world because of it. More on how assimilation happens in a moment.
So, has Evangelical lost its meaning as some suggest? Or is it still possible to nail down the term? The answer is yes and yes. But in order to fully understand what it means we must go back in time to when the movement first began. It is my hope that after reading this article with the simply stated facts it contains the reader will come to know what Evangelical originally stood for; likewise, those who identify as “Evangelical Christian” will know if they can truthfully make that claim.
Read article HERE.
Retail investors have banded together to turn over the tables on Wall Street, and it has created a wild frenzy that is making headlines all over the globe. Unprecedented short squeezes have pushed the share prices of GameStop, AMC, Macy’s and BlackBerry to insane heights, and prominent voices in the financial world are complaining that trading in those stocks has become completely divorced from the fundamentals. In fact, these young retail investors are actually being accused of turning the market into “a video game”. Infamous investor Michael Burry, who made crazy amounts of money betting against the housing market during the last financial crisis, even had the gall to claim that recent trading in GameStop was “unnatural, insane, and dangerous”.
Of course Burry is right, but the truth is that the entire market has been transformed into a giant casino and has been “unnatural, insane, and dangerous” for a very long time.
If the entire market fell 50 percent tomorrow, stock prices would still be overpriced.
So it is more than just a little bit hypocritical for the Wall Street establishment to be complaining about GameStop when they have been gaming the system for years.
Ultimately, GameStop is not a good long-term investment. Most people download video games these days, and so a brick and mortar retail chain that sells physical copies of video games shouldn’t be attractive to anyone.
GameStop lost money last year, and they will lose money again this year.
But a group on Reddit known as “WallStreetBets” noticed that some big hedge funds had taken ridiculously large short positions against GameStop, and they sensed an opportunity. They realized that if they all started to buy GameStop all at once, it would likely create a short squeeze of epic proportions.
And that is precisely what has happened.
A year ago, a single share of GameStop was going for about four dollars.
At the beginning of the month, GameStop was sitting at $17.25.
On Wednesday, it closed at $347.51.
In addition to making huge profits, the investors on “WallStreetBets” also wanted to get revenge on the big hedge funds for all the evil things they have done in the past.
Every great story needs a great enemy, and in this case the great enemy is a hedge fund called Melvin Capital…
Melvin Capital, the $12.5 billion hedge fund founded by Gabriel Plotkin, was one of the main targets of the Reddit campaign, after an SEC filing revealed that the fund had a large short position in GameStop.
‘By the end of the week (Or even the end of the day), Plotkin is going to have less than a college student 50k in debt who works part time at starbucks,’ one Reddit user wrote on Wednesday morning.
Nobody knows for sure how much money Melvin Capital has lost, but it appears to be in the billions…
CNBC could not confirm the amount of losses Melvin Capital took on the short position. Citadel and Point72 have infused close to $3 billion into Gabe Plotkin’s hedge fund to shore up its finances. On Wednesday’s “Squawk Box,” Sorkin said Plotkin told him that speculation about a bankruptcy filing is false.
Melvin Capital has supposedly closed all of their short positions in GameStop now, but not everyone is buying that claim.
In any event, the crowd on WallStreetBets intends to continue to drive up the prices of GameStop, AMC, Macy’s and Blackberry for the foreseeable future.
Eventually, each of those mini-bubbles will collapse, but for now the big short sellers are squealing in pain.
Needless to say, the large hedge funds have been reaching out to their “friends” for help, and the SEC just released a statement which indicated that they are watching developments closely…
We are aware of and actively monitoring the on-going market volatility in the options and equities markets and, consistent with our mission to protect investors and maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, we are working with our fellow regulators to assess the situation and review the activities of regulated entities, financial intermediaries, and other market participants.
And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters just a few hours ago that the White House is “monitoring” the situation.
But what is there to “monitor”?
All is fair in love and investing, and the retail investors of “WallStreetBets” caught some big hedge funds with their pants down and punished them for it.
After everything that big hedge funds have gotten away with over the years, many would argue that a little bit of revenge was definitely in order.
But Wall Street has never seen anything like this before.
Retail investors are supposed to be small fish that get eaten alive by the bigger fish, but now technology has changed the rules of the game…
The way people trade stocks has been upended by the rise of no-fee apps like Robinhood. That technology has democratized investing, giving armchair investors far removed from traditional banks free access to sophisticated trading instruments, like options.
You could pay an analyst to tell you what stocks to buy, or you could create a Reddit account and follow forums like WallStreetBets. Millions of young people are opting for the latter, which is partly why the sudden surges in GameStop and AMC have caught Wall Street veterans by surprise.
Nobody should shed a tear for the short sellers.
They have made obscene amounts of money over the years by manipulating the markets and by preying on weak companies.
Now an Internet mob is preying on them, and many that are involved believe that revenge is a dish best served cold.
If you can’t handle the pain, don’t play the game.
In the end, this entire farce of a market is going to utterly collapse anyway. So the truth is that very few are going to get out of this thing unscathed.
Since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, investors have seen their portfolios increase in value by trillions of dollars, but this bubble only exists because of unprecedented manipulation by the Federal Reserve and others.
Now a relatively small group of retail investors is manipulating stock prices to punish a couple of hedge funds and everyone is in an uproar over it?
What a joke.
Our financial markets are fraudulent, and they have been for many years.
Nobody should be accusing retail investors of turning the stock market into “a video game”, because the Federal Reserve already did that a long time ago.
(Tyler O’Neil – PJ Media) On Tuesday, Facebook suspended Robert A.J. Gagnon, a prominent Christian scholar on the topic of Bible sexuality, for 7 days. His crime? Speaking out against transgender ideology and President Joe Biden’s new transgender military policy. Facebook claimed that Gagnon’s criticism of this government-imposed ideology violated the platform’s “Community Standards on violence and incitement.”
Ironically, Gagnon’s post drew attention to Facebook’s suspension of his friend, Laurie Higgins, who got a 7-day ban for criticizing Biden’s policy.
“There was absolutely no incitement to violence on our part. We abhor violence done to any person,” Gagnon told PJ Media on Tuesday. “This is just a thinly veiled and pathetic excuse for censorship of any critical views toward trans-tyranny over our consciences, religion, and reason.”
“Only one point of view is being allowed,” he added, ominously. “Trump was not the great danger to the Republic. Left-wing canceling is.” View article →
More to Do Than Securing Our Own Salvation
Matthew 25:14–46; Luke 19:12–27; Philippians 1:23
We have greater work here to do than mere securing our own salvation. We are members of the world and church, and we must labor to do good to many. We are trusted with our Master’s talents for his service, in our places to do our best to propagate his truth, and grace, and church; and to bring home souls, and honor his cause, and edify his flock, and further the salvation of as many as we can. All this is to be done on earth, if we will secure the end of all in heaven.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Doing Little Things Out of Love for God
Proverbs 15:17; Hebrews 13:1
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, for He regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
15:12 love one another: To abide, a believer must obey (v. 10). To obey, a believer must love other believers (13:34, 35).
15:12 The Lord would soon leave His disciples. They would be left in a hostile world. As tensions increased, there would be the danger of the disciples’ contending with one another. And so the Lord leaves this standing order, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”
15:12. One primary command was given by Jesus to believers: they must have mutual love (Love each other; this is repeated in v. 17). Christians grow by caring for and nurturing each other. The standard for that love is Christ’s example of humble sacrificial service: as I have loved you.
15:12 “This is My commandment” Jesus repeated this theme often (cf. 13:34; 15:17; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7–8, 11–12, 19–21; 2 John 2, 5).
© “that you love one another” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE, a continual command. Love is the fruit of the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:22). Love is not a feeling, but an action. It is defined in practical terms (cf. Gal. 5:22–23; 1 Cor. 13).
© “just as I have loved you” This is an AORIST ACTIVE INDICATIVE. This was possibly a figurative reference to the cross (cf. v. 13). Again, it was Jesus’ special type of self-giving love that believers are to exhibit (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14–15; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 3:16).
15:12. This is my precept, that you keep on loving one another as I have loved you. From the precept “Abide in me” (15:1–11) Jesus now proceeds to the next one, “love one another.” It is only when we abide in Christ—in his words, in his love—that we shall be able to keep on loving one another! For the explanation of 15:12 see on 13:34, where this is called a new precept.
12 Finally, having laid the groundwork, Jesus repeats verbatim the “new command” (without calling it “new”): “This is my command, that you love each other just as I loved you” (v. 12, as in 13:34). By this they “make their dwelling” in Jesus’ love (see v. 9), acting out their new identity in their relationship to one another. Oddly, Jesus does not spell out what this means in practice. He does not, for example, repeat the command to “wash each other’s feet” (13:14), nor does he provide any concrete illustration of love for one another, as is done, for example, in 1 John: “But whoever has the world’s livelihood and sees his brother having need and closes off his heart from him, how does the love of God dwell in him?” (1 Jn 3:17). In the verses to follow, Jesus will focus on his own love for the disciples more than on theirs for one another (vv. 13–16), returning to the explicit command to “love each other” only at the end, still without explanation (v. 17), so as to frame the whole paragraph (vv. 12–17).
12 The “commands” of verse 10 are reduced to one, the command to love one another as Christ has loved them. This is the “new commandment” of 13:34 (where see note). Augustine’s saying, “Love, and do what thou wilt” is a clear expression of what Jesus is teaching here. If we love, in the sense in which Jesus uses the term, we need no other rule.
12 It is worth noting that the aorist tense (ēgapēsa, GK 26, “loved”) is used to call attention to the love of Jesus as demonstrated once and for all on the cross, while the present tense (agapate) is used to stress the continuous relationship of love that should exist between believers.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1551). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, p. 140). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.
Prayer as Well as Preaching
Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Prayer must carry on our work as well as preaching; he does not preach heartily to his people who will not pray for them. If we do not prevail with God to give them faith and repentance, we are unlikely to prevail with them to believe and repent.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
God Is the Greatest Conceivable Being
Exodus 19:11; 2 Chronicles 2:5; Psalm 135:5
And so, Lord … we believe that you are a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.
ANSELM OF CANTERBURY
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ “Doomsday Clock” – a construct representing the threats to humanity from the nuclear to the natural – remains in the red at 100 seconds to midnight for 2021, its proprietors have warned.
The scientists released their annual forecast on Wednesday, highlighting a resurgent nuclear arms race, climate change, and online misinformation about the Covid-19 epidemic as three existential threats humanity must face down if the species is to survive.
While the clock’s hands haven’t moved since 2020, when it ticked into its current position, the scientists behind it have cautioned urgently against allowing the current state of affairs to settle in as a “new abnormal.”
Also on rt.com
While the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took effect earlier this month, the 50 countries that signed it have no nukes themselves – and the treaty is an effort to push their nuclear-armed neighbors toward disarmament. As of 2019, all of those nuclear-armed neighbors were working on modernizing their arsenals. The bulletin called on nuclear-armed nations – especially the US – to resist the temptation to beef up their nuclear programs and take disarmament seriously, warning that the potential for “stumbling” into nuclear war has never been greater.
Climate change, too, remains a dire threat, despite a drop in emissions in the early months of the pandemic. With several nations on the road to recovery already, “emissions have largely bounced back,” the scientists pointed out, a problem that will only increase as more economies reopen. Citing wildfires and cyclones over the past year, they urged countries to direct stimulus funds toward green energy, chiding the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for essentially sabotaging low-income countries’ efforts to clean up their energy production by weighting aid packages heavily toward fossil fuels.
Alongside these more concrete threats, the atomic scientists saw fit to throw in the Covid-19 “infodemic,” described by the World Health Organization as “an over-abundance of information … that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”
Ironically, they said Covid-19 itself is not an existential threat to humanity, taking a far more level-headed view of the virus, while depicting ‘too much information’ as a potentially apocalyptic catastrophe.
Also on rt.com
The Doomsday Clock scientists blame social media and its business model built on emotionally manipulating its users for the “internet-fueled undercutting of rational discourse and policy-making.” They also skewer governments for politicizing the response to the virus.
Disinformation running rampant on the internet has not only hampered governments’ ability to respond to the pandemic, but “could have even more drastic consequences in a nuclear crisis,” they said – a situation that could perhaps lead to “a nuclear war that ends world civilization,” the scientists warn, noting that the climate-change debate has already been similarly polarized.
If humanity is to avoid an existential catastrophe – one that would dwarf anything it has yet seen – national leaders must do a far better job of countering disinformation, heeding science, and cooperating to diminish global risks.
While governments owe it to their constituents to communicate honestly and effectively, few people really expect them to do that, public relations firm Edelman’s recent ‘trust barometer’ survey found earlier this month. Nor do people expect the truth from the media, it found – a situation that does not bode well for the scientists trying to rescue the reputation of both institutions.
“They will never relent. These people are never gonna let you not wear a mask,” the Kentucky Republican told Todd Herman, the fill-in host on Rush Limbaugh’s national broadcast.
“I promise you, you will never get out from the mask because they’re saying that even after all are vaccinated, we don’t know, you still might catch it a little bit, you still might transmit it, even after everybody’s vaccinated. So don’t listen to these people.
“TThe mask mandates have not worked, none of the mandates have worked,” Paul added, referring to government strategies during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s study after study after study that show that when you put in place these mandates, guess what, the incidents of the infection kept rising. Even [President] Biden admitted this the other day. The trajectory of the virus has been unaffected by anything we’ve done so far. Our only hope of changing the trajectory is a vaccine, but it should be voluntary.”
An incredulous Herman noted, “The masks ain’t going away. … The technocrats don’t want to give up control.”
Paul also blasted the absurdity of the Congress’ second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, who is now a private citizen.
“It means we can impeach Todd Herman, Rush Limbaugh. We’re coming for you, buddy,” he said.
He pointed out the process was unconstitutional because chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is not presiding over the proceedings.
“The fact that the chief justice refuses to walk across the street means we’re not impeaching a president,” Paul said.
He discussed suggestions of impeaching Sen. Bernie Sanders or Vice President Kamala Harris for their own incitement of violence.
“None of us said we should impeach Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris because it’s a dumb idea to hold someone responsible for inciting violence. … We have to have saner, calmer minds take over this.”
To evince how people are overreacting to use of certain words such as “fight,” Paul recounted how he stated on the Senate floor Tuesday: “If you are a senator who has never used the word ‘fight’ figuratively in a speech, raise your hand. No one raised their hand.”
“This is a charade,” he concluded concerning the second impeachment of Trump.
Paul also hammered the recent onslaught against freedom of speech by Big Tech in America.
“It’s a closed-minded notion to not let other people speak,” he said.
“It started with the climate extremists … They made only one truth, and if you didn’t agree, you’re a denier. … When you cannot dissent, there is no free society. … We should all resist. We should all fight in a figurative way. But we should all resist.”
Paul also focused on allegations of massive fraud in the 2020 presidential election, urging changes be made in all state legislatures to ensure election integrity in future races.
“We shouldn’t have Republicans kept behind the barbed-wire fence 30 feet away,” Paul said, referring to the exclusion of GOP members during the ballot-counting process.
“Yeah, they recounted the votes,” Paul noted, “the same votes that were counted the first time. But no one found out if they were valid.”
Some people only double-mask. These people want grandma to die. Others triple-mask. These people only kind of want grandma to die. But you are a good and virtuous citizen, so you came to this article to find out how you can be even more righteous than those lame double-maskers and triple-maskers. Here are seven great ways you can stay safe, brought to you by SCIENCE!
1. Wear 749 masks. This is literally 746 times safer than triple-masking. We did the math. It’s SCIENCE.
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4. Get attacked by an Alien Facehugger. According to SCIENCE, Facehuggers are almost impossible to remove once attached and their looks will scare everyone away, helping you with social distancing. If anyone tries to get within 6 feet of you, you can fling alien acid-blood at them. In addition, acting as a host for a Xenomorph means you will never have to worry about getting the virus!
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6. Figure out how to turn your head inside out and retract it into your body like a turtle. This takes a lot of practice, but Shaolin monks and Mitch McConnell insist it can be done. Try it today– for SCIENCE.
7. Lock yourself in your home until you’re isolated, unemployed, sick, anxious, and severely depressed, in hopes that the virus goes away someday.
There you have it. Grandma will now live forever.
5:17 A new creation, a new heaven and a new earth, are promised in the Word of God (cf. Is. 65:17; Rev. 21:1). By the New Birth the Christian has already undergone the fundamental change; he is a new creature of the sort that belongs in the new creation.
5:17 in Christ. Union with Christ summarizes our experience of redemption. Believers are elected (Eph. 1:4, 11), justified (Rom. 8:1), sanctified (1 Cor. 1:2), and glorified (3:18) “in Christ.” Here Paul focuses on the momentous significance of the believer’s union with the Savior. Because Christ is the “last Adam,” the One in whom humanity is recreated (1 Cor. 15:45; Eph. 2:10) and who inaugurates the new age of messianic blessing (Gal. 1:4; cf. Matt. 11:2–6), the believer’s spiritual union with Christ is nothing less than participation in the “new creation.” Translating “there is a new creation” instead of “he is a new creation” draws this conclusion more clearly, but the thought is there either way.
5:17 in Christ Refers to being in union with Christ through the Holy Spirit; those who believe in Christ participate in His death and resurrection.
new creation Believers are transformed in Christ as part of God’s renewal of all creation (Rom 8:19–20; compare Isa 65:17–25). As a new creation, believers grow into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor 3:18; 4:4; compare Col 3:10).
5:17 new creation. The redemption of a people who now live for Christ by living for others, effected by the power of the Spirit (3:3, 6, 18) and the death of Christ (5:14–15), is the beginning of the new creation that was destined to come amid this evil age (see Isa. 43:18–19; 65:17–23; 66:22–23). This new creation is also the beginning of Israel’s final restoration from God’s judgment in the exile (see the context of Isa. 43:1–21; 65:17–25).
5:17 in Christ. These two words comprise a brief but most profound statement of the inexhaustible significance of the believer’s redemption, which includes the following: 1) the believer’s security in Christ, who bore in His body God’s judgment against sin; 2) the believer’s acceptance in Him with whom God alone is well pleased; 3) the believer’s future assurance in Him who is the resurrection to eternal life and the sole guarantor of the believer’s inheritance in heaven; and 4) the believer’s participation in the divine nature of Christ, the everlasting Word (cf. 2Pe 1:4). new creature. This describes something that is created at a qualitatively new level of excellence. It refers to regeneration or the new birth (cf. Jn 3:3; Eph 2:1–3; Tit 3:5; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jn 2:29; 3:9; 5:4). This expression encompasses the Christian’s forgiveness of sins paid for in Christ’s substitutionary death (cf. Gal 6:15; Eph 4:24). old things passed away. After a person is regenerate, old value systems, priorities, beliefs, loves, and plans are gone. Evil and sin are still present, but the believer sees them in a new perspective (see note on v. 16), and they no longer control him. new things have come. The Gr. grammar indicates that this newness is a continuing condition of fact. The believer’s new spiritual perception of everything is a constant reality for him, and he now lives for eternity, not temporal things. James identifies this 
5:17 in Christ: Paul is presenting the results of Christ’s death for the believer and the believer’s death with Him (v. 14). Because believers are united with Jesus both in His death and resurrection, they participate in the new creation. That is, they receive the benefits of being restored by Christ to what God had originally created them to be (Gen. 1:26; 1 Cor. 15:45–49). All things have become new: A believer’s life should change, because he or she is being transformed into the likeness of Christ (3:18). Instead of living for oneself, a believer lives for Christ (v. 15). Instead of evaluating others with the values of the world, a believer looks at this world through the eyes of faith (v. 16).
5:17. Paul’s conversion gives him a whole new way of looking at things. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is (or there is) a new creation. In Greek there is no subject or verb in the final clause. While the NKJV supplies he is, some other translations suggest there is (HCSB; see also TNIV and The New Geneva Study Bible). The latter is preferable. The believer enters into a new creation. In this new creation old things have passed away and all things have become new. The believer belongs to a new family (the Church), should have a new way of looking at people (v 16), and should be driven by a new motivation (v 14). In other words, the believer’s perspective should have dramatically changed. However, Paul is not suggesting that Christians will automatically have this perspective or will live accordingly. He is talking about positional truth here.
5:17 If anyone is in Christ, that is, saved, he is a new creation. Before conversion, one might have judged others according to human standards. But now all that is changed. Old methods of judging have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
This verse is a favorite with those who have recently been born again, and is often quoted in personal testimonies. Sometimes in being thus quoted, it gives quite a false impression. Listeners are apt to think that when a man is saved, old habits, evil thoughts, and lustful looks are forever done away, and everything becomes literally new in a person’s life. We know that this is not true. The verse does not describe a believer’s practice but rather his position. Notice it says that if anyone is in Christ. The words in Christ are the key to the passage. In Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. Unfortunately, “in me” not all this is true as yet! But as I progress in the Christian life, I desire that my practice may increasingly correspond to my position. One day, when the Lord Jesus returns, the two will be in perfect agreement.
5:17. No one was more able to reflect on that transformation than Paul who switched from a persecutor of Christ to a proclaimer of Christ (Acts 9:5, 20–22). He was in Christ (a phrase Paul used repeatedly in his epistles to speak of a believer’s spiritual relationship to Christ) because he believed the message of the gospel and was identified by faith with Christ (2 Cor. 5:14–15; cf. Rom. 6:3–4; Gal. 2:20; 6:14). To be in Christ is to be a new creation (cf. Gal. 6:15). This new creation is brought about by the Holy Spirit, the Agent of regeneration (Titus 3:5) and the Giver of divine birth (John 3:3, 6–8). God’s new creative work, begun in each one who believes in Christ, will one day be consummated on a universal scale (Rev. 21:4–5). The old life of slavery to self and sin has gone (2 Cor. 5:16; cf. Rom. 6:6–14; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9). The new life of devotion to Christ means that one has new attitudes and actions (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14–15; Rom. 6:4; Eph. 4:23–5:2).
5:17. Paul asserted that every person who is in Christ—who is joined to him in his death and resurrection—has become a new creation. Paul drew from Old Testament prophetic language, describing the new world that God would bring at the end of the age (Isa. 66:22). This language also appears in the New Testament (2 Pet. 3:13). “New creation” describes those who follow Christ because they have begun the transformation that will eventually lead to their full enjoyment of salvation in the new heavens and new earth. Christ’s death and resurrection introduced a foretaste of that new world to come.
Paul’s ministry was compelled by the display of Christ’s love on the cross. Paul had been united to Christ in his death and resurrection, and thus had been inwardly renewed and regenerated. The apostle truly was a new creation. In this changed state, he began to look at people differently. Prior to coming to Christ, Paul would not have thought about the Corinthians much. He certainly would not have worked and sacrificed for the Gentiles in that church. But now the shadow of Christ’s cross fell across his view every time he looked at other people. He saw believers as new creations in Christ and unbelievers as people in need of Christ. This perspective shaped his ministry.
5:17 “if” This is another FIRST CLASS CONDITIONAL sentence, like those in vv. 13 and 16.
© “in Christ” This is one of Paul’s favorite metaphors to describe the Christian. It speaks of our position in Christ.
|NKJV, NRSV, NJB, NIV
The term ktisis is used in a variety of senses in the NT. The lexicon by Louw and Nida lists the following possibilities.
- creation (the act of creation, cf. Mark 13:19; Rom. 1:20; Eph. 3:9)
- creature (that which is created alive, cf. Mark 10:6; Rom. 1:25; 8:39; Col. 1:15; 23)
- universe (all that was created, cf. Mark 13:19; Rom. 8:20; Heb. 9:11)
- institution (cf. 1 Pet. 2:13)
- authority (cf. 1 Pet. 2:13)
© “the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” Notice the purposeful interchange of verb tenses.
- “old things passed away” This is AORIST tense and it refers to a completed act in past time. This refers to conversion.
- “new things have come” This is PERFECT tense which refers to a past completed act with abiding results. This refers to discipleship.
There is a Greek manuscript variant which reflects “all things” in the final clause (MS D2). This type of clarifying addition is common for the later scribes. The oldest Greek manuscripts (MSS P46, א, B, C, D*, F, G) end with kaina.
This concept of “new” is part of OT terminology for the eschaton. The OT prophets spoke of this new age.
- “new things” (cf. Isa. 42:9; 43:19; Jer. 31:22)
- “new covenant” (cf. Jer. 31:31–34)
- “new heart, new spirit” (Ezek. 11:19; 18:31; 36:26)
- “new name” (cf. Isa. 62:2; 56:5; 65:15)
- “new song” (cf. Ps. 96:1; Isa. 42:10)
- “new heavens and new earth” (cf. Isa. 65:17; 66:22)
This eschatological newness had come in Jesus, but the old was still present. The new has not been fully consummated. The overlapping of the Jewish “two ages” by Jesus’ two comings was unforseen by OT prophets though they depicted the Messiah in lowly servant terms as well as victorious royal terms.
17. So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old things passed away, and look—the new things have come.
Verses 16 and 17 are the logical conclusion of the preceding passage (vv. 14–15), are analogous, and show both a negative and a positive contrast (vv. 16 and 17 respectively). Because these two verses convey a parallel message, the last one depends on and is influenced by the first. The Greek clauses are short and in translation have to be augmented with the verb to be in the first sentence.
Let us look first at the word so, which introduces a summary of what Paul has been saying earlier about the unity believers have with Christ. He died for them and was raised, and they in turn live for him (v. 15). When Paul writes, “If anyone is in Christ,” he expresses the fact that numerous people in Corinth and elsewhere are true believers.
Next, the phrase in Christ occurs some twenty-five times in Paul’s epistles and signifies the intimate fellowship believers enjoy with their Lord and Savior. To be in Christ connotes being part of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27), and Christ brings about a radical transformation in the believer’s life. Instead of serving the ego, the Christian follows Christ and responds to the law of love for God and the neighbor.
Some translators want to see balance in this sentence and thus link the word anyone in the first clause with the pronoun he (“he is a new creation”) in the second. But most expositors, rightly so, see the new creation not as being limited to a person but as extending to the total environment of this individual (compare Gal. 6:15; Rev. 21:5). That is, when people become part of the body of Christ at conversion, their lives take a complete reversal. They now abhor the world of sin and former friends are hostile to them. Their preconversion lifestyle is history, and “the old things have passed away” (see the parallel in Isa. 43:18–19). For converts, the life in Christ is a constant source of daily joys and blessings; the body of believers provides them with ready support and help; and self-assurance and trust certify the genuineness of their composure.
Scholars debate whether Paul borrowed the phrase a new creation from the rabbis of his day. Even if he did, these Jewish teachers never associated this phrase with moral renewal and regeneration. According to them, renewal occurred with respect to remission of sins, but not in the sense of the transformation that Jesus Christ brings about in the life of believers. For converts to the Christian faith, the old things no longer attract, for new things have taken their place through Christ. Although temptations always surround them, believers pray the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13), and they know that God supplies strength to resist evil.
Ver. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.—
In Christ and what it involves:—
- The new relation indicated. The believer is “in Christ.” 1. As the ground of his acceptance (Phil. 3:9). Christ by His atoning sacrifice has supplied the grounds whereby sinful men may become objects of complacent regard to God. We are lost in ourselves, but are to find ourselves in Him, surrounded by His merits as with a wall of defence, sheltered by them as by an all-embracing canopy. This alone is the position “wherein we are accepted in the beloved.” 2. As deriving from Him his spiritual life (John 15:4, 5; cf. Gal. 2:20). The link of union being faith. Christ is “the living soul” of the spiritual life of the believer. The order is, first the believer enters into Christ by faith, then Christ enters into the believer by power. The branch is in the tree by union with it, and the tree is in the branch by the life it imparts to it in the nourishing sap. 3. As the sphere of his activities. Suppose, e.g., a person hears a glowing account of Australia. He believes every word of the account. By this act of faith Australia enters his heart, and he becomes possessed by an intense desire to get there. Physically, Australia and he are thousands of miles apart, but morally Australia dwells in his heart, and has become a motive power within him, and will not give him rest until it brings him bodily there. He ventures across the ocean, until he finds himself actually in the country which was already in his heart. Here, now, he lives and acts. Thus it is with the believer; the whole fabric of his life becomes permeated by its spirit and purposes. Such expressions as “in sin,” “in faith,” “in wisdom,” “in love,” “in the spirit,” mean that the particular things in which the person is said to be, form the sphere of his activity, the circle in which he moves, the atmosphere in which he breathes. And this devotedness of life to Christ is not limited to the religious activities, but includes all secular employments.
- The new experiences involved in this relation. 1. He who is in Christ is a new creation. In what sense? Clearly not in any physical or constitutional sense, for in that case he would not be the same person after the change. The latter portion of the text explains the nature of this important process. It is not the person that passes away, but his things, his former principles, motives, aims, and habits: and new ones have been substituted. 2. This change involves an entire reversal of the whole tenor of the life. Take, e.g., the steam locomotive. Its course is in a certain direction, but connected with it is the reversing gear. By the action of this gear the engine which may be seen proceeding with such speed in one direction may in a few minutes be seen moving with equal velocity in the contrary direction. The change does not involve any change in its construction, but only in its course; every wheel, rod, and crank that worked before works now, only in the reverse direction. This represents the change effected upon the believer through his relation to Christ. There has been no change effected in his constitution, only the whole course of his activities has been changed as to direction. And the change in these respects has been so entire as to justify the statement that he who has undergone it is a new creature. The new life is so different from the old, so changed as to its employment and aims, as to be like the life of another person. Paul himself is a striking exemplification of this truth. (A. J. Parry.)
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:—When the Apostle Paul said this, I suppose he was thinking of himself. What a different man he had become since he was a Christian! I do not wonder that he thought himself almost a new creation by the Almighty Maker. How many old things had passed away; how many new things had come! His whole manner of thought had been revolutionised. Before, he was on the highway to position and honour in the Jewish Church; now, he was reviled as an apostate. He had entered a new world of thought and life. But notice the stress laid by the apostle, here and elsewhere, on that little preposition “in.” It is to be in Christ which makes one a new creature. So he says, “My wish is that I may be found in Him”; and in another place, “When God revealed His Son in Me.” It is one thing to be with Christ, and another thing to be in Him. If we had been with Christ when He was walking the streets of Capernaum or Jerusalem, we might not have thought much about it. Nicodemus was with Him, and had a long conversation with Jesus, but does not seem to have come again. Judas was with Jesus during all His ministry, and then betrayed Him. We are all of us with Jesus, in a certain sense, by being taught about Him from childhood, by growing up in the midst of Christian society. But we are not necessarily in sympathy or union with Him on that account. Our purposes may be very different from His. Contiguity is not union. How often parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, live together, side by side, for years, in utter ignorance of each other’s inmost thoughts, sorrows, experiences, and hopes. They do not understand each other at all; for it is mutual love, not proximity, which leads to mutual knowledge. Nor is it enough even to be strongly attached to others, and clingingly devoted to them. That does not necessarily produce real union. We may cling to them externally, yet never be in them, never get a glimpse of the real secret of their lives. It was the sort of feeling with which a snail sticks to the rock, or a barnacle to a ship’s bottom—because they need something strong and solid to cling to. To cling to another for our own comfort is not to be in him. So some persons cling to Jesus—for their own salvation. Weak in themselves, they need something to hold them up. They may cling merely for their own sake, only to be saved. They have not entered into the mind or the heart of Christ at all. Nor is it enough to have a great deal to say or to do about Christ in order to be in Him. You may spend your life in talking about Him, using His Name on all occasions, and yet be in no real union with Him. Men may fight for Him, die for Him, and not be in Him. The crusaders who went to Palestine to die under the banner of the Cross were, many of them, in no sympathy with Him. To be in Christ we must love Him. But love means much more than blind affectionate instincts, or clinging attachments, or sudden emotions. Love looks up to receive a higher influence, to be inspired by a purer life. Love must elevate us, or it is not really love. If any man loves, he is in the person he loves. He has entered into his soul, and has something of his spirit. If any man loves Christ, he is in Christ, because he has something of Christ’s spirit, and is a new creature. He has something added to him, or developed out of him, that was not there before. There is nothing sudden, nothing artificial about this. This change is as natural as that by which the blood renews the body; the body seeming to continue the same, but always becoming different. It is a growth, and all growths are gradual. Conversion is always sudden, for it is simply turning round. But regeneration is gradual, for it is a growth. Paul was converted in a moment on his way to Damascus. He changed his mind about Christianity. He began a new life. But it took him a long time to become a Christian. Thus, if we are in Christ, we grow into new convictions. Not into new speculations or beliefs, for these may change suddenly, or may not change at all. Belief puts us with Christ, but not in him. A creed is like a carriage, which may take us to the place where our friend is, but cannot put us into communion with him. But if we are in Christ, we have new convictions. Spiritual things become more real to us. God becomes to us more real. So, also, if we are in Christ, we grow into new affections. A change of heart, as it is called, does not mean any new faculty or power of loving implanted in us, which we had not before. It means having new objects of love. What we did before merely from a sense of duty, we now do with pleasure. So, again, the Bible is a new book if we are in Christ. If you stand outside of the Cathedral of Milan, or the Minster of Cologne, and look on the vast windows of the choir, they seem dark and dingy. But go inside and let the light stream through them, and they turn into emeralds, and sapphires, and rubies, and are gorgeous with the forms of saints and angels. So enter into a book, sympathise with the spirit and aim of its author, and you can understand it. We call the Bible a supernatural book. I call it the most intensely natural book ever written. It is a revelation of human nature, showing its motives and workings. It is like a watch with a transparent dial, through which we look and see the movement. Again, if we are in Christ, life becomes new. Nothing prevents life from seeming old, stale, flat, and weary, like having an object—something we are interested in, something we love to do. The higher and better this object is, the more of interest it adds to our life. There is no end to the joy and freshness of existence, if we can have Christ in our hearts, and be in His heart, by drinking His spirit. And if any man be in Christ, death is new. Death has lost its terrors. (Jas. Freeman Clarke.)
The man in Christ, and what he becomes:—
- The state supposed. “If any man be in Christ.” 1. Any man may be in Christ. For what hinders? Nothing from without the sinner himself. There is no prohibition, no legal barrier interposed to prevent any one being in Christ. 2. Every man must be in Christ in order to be saved. 3. Every believer is in Christ. The sinner, by the first act of faith in Christ, becomes united to Him, or one with Him. In what respects one? Not one in essence, in nature, or person; but one with Christ in law—in the eye of the Divine Lawgiver. The believer is so treated as if he had done what Christ did.
- The consequent change affirmed. The change is not antecedent to, but consequent on, the state of being in Christ. Every man in Christ is brought into—1. New relations. Every state of being gives rise to corresponding relations. A state of poverty, for instance, has its relations generally among the poor of this world; of wealth, among the rich; of rank, among the noble; of power, among the powerful; of rule and authority, among the rulers of this world; of liberty, among the free; of subjection, among the servile; and of captivity, among the captives. So it is with spiritual relations. Of these Christ is at once the source and the centre. The relations of every one in Christ are all changed. Being in Christ the man is out with Satan; he is severed from the world. 2. Receives a new nature or disposition. New relations tend to the formation of a new character, to fit the “man in Christ,” for intercourse with those to whom he is spiritually related. A mere superficial and temporary change will not answer the appellation of a new creature. That can mean nothing less than a real, a radical, a universal, and abiding change over the whole man, over his whole spirit, and soul, and body. The new creature has new views. It is in the new as it was in the old creation; the first element produced to dispel the darkness and disorders all around was light. New inclinations as well as new views. New affections.
III. The evidence adduced. Old connections with the devil, the world, and the flesh, are broken off; old idols are cast away. “Behold, all things are become new.” The man in Christ becomes a Christian, who is become a new man, and comes into a new world. To the new creature, even old and familiar things wear a new aspect. To his eyes, the sun shines with new splendour, the heavens display new glory, “the manifold works of God” present new wonders. “Behold!” which is a note of attention, of wonder, and of admiration. 1. With attention, for its certainty and importance. 2. With wonder, for its novelty. 3. With admiration, for its excellence. New things may be noteworthy for their greatness and novelty, but not for excellence or usefulness. (Geo. Robson.) Man in Christ a new man (text in conjunction with vers. 13–16):—We can attach only four intelligible ideas to the expression “in Christ.” 1. In His ever-sustaining energy. This cannot be the idea, inasmuch as Paul uses it to designate the state of a particular class of men; whereas all men, good and bad, live in Him. 2. In His dispensation. Again, as Paul means here the state only of a certain class of men, this cannot be the idea, since all men now during eighteen hundred years have been in Christ in this sense. 3. In His affection. There is propriety in a man saying of his friend, or a loving parent of his child, “He lives in me. He mingles with all my thoughts, sympathies, and plans.” In this sense men are verily in Christ. 4. In His character. Without figure, we live in the character of others. The soul of the artist lives in the genius of his master; that of the pupil in the ideas and mental habits of his admired teacher. The spirit of our heroes, the ideas of our favourite authors, do we not live in them? So all men in a moral sense live either “in Adam,” or “in Christ.” The selfishness, the carnality, the falseness, and the moral atheism, which came into the world through Adam, form that moral atmosphere which the millions breathe as their vital air. To be “in Christ” is to be so thoroughly impregnated with His ideas, so imbued with His spirit, so inspired with His purposes that our spirits live in Him. This connection is most vital. Hence the Bible teaches that what the foundation is to the building, the fountain to the stream, the root to the tree, the head to the body, Christ is to the good. Now he that is so in Christ is a “new creature,” a new man. This man has three things new.
- A new imperial impulse (ver. 14). Love transfigures the lover into the spirit of the object. Now this love in Paul’s case became the dominant passion of his being. It carried him on like a resistless torrent. 1. This new governing impulse is incomprehensible to those who possess it not (ver. 13). The apostle under its influence appeared to be mad to some. They saw him brave the greatest perils, &c., and they could not discover the principle which produced this self-sacrificing conduct. It was not ambition, for Paul repudiated power. It was not avarice, for Paul suffered the loss of all things. The world never has understood the principles that rule the truly good. The world did not understand Christ; even His own relations considered Him mad. “The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” Love alone can interpret love. 2. Arises from reflection upon the death of Christ. The apostle assumes that “Christ died for all.” Now the fact that “Christ died for all,” seemed to suggest to the apostle two strong reasons why he should be zealous in the cause of Christ. (1) That the whole world was in a ruined condition. “Then were all dead,” in a moral sense. With this view of the world, he felt overwhelmed with the magnitude of his work. (2) That the principle of self-sacrifice is the binding principle of action. “He died for all, that they which live,” &c. Selfishness is the death of the world. Christ died to destroy it.
- A new social standard (ver. 16). “Henceforth” implies that he did once know men after the flesh; that his conduct towards men was once regulated by carnal standards. Such standards, however, Christianity regards as false and evanescent. It estimates man by his righteousness and not by his rank. The fact that this is the true standard serves: 1. As a test by which to try our own religion. What is the kind of sympathy we have with Christ? 2. To guide us in the promotion of Christianity. In our endeavours to convert the world, we are not to inquire if men are rich or poor, &c.; it is sufficient to know that they are men, and that they are morally dead. 3. To indicate the principle on which we should form our friendship with men. It should be not on account of their material condition but of their spiritual character. 4. As a rule to regulate our actions. Paul said, “When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me, I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Spiritual considerations not material ones then ruled him; principles not persons became his authorities.
III. A new spiritual history (ver. 17). In what sense can you call this change a “creation”? 1. It is unlike the first creation in many respects. The first creation—(1) Was the production of something out of nothing. It is not so in the new. No new element or faculty of being is produced; the change is simply in the mode and course of action. When a vessel that has been pursuing her course to some northern port turns directly round and sails to the south there is no change in the vessel, the mariners, or the cargo. The change is simply in the course. (2) Presented no difficulties. The Creator had only to speak and it was done, to command and it stood fast. But in this moral change there are resisting forces—“the world, the flesh, and the devil.” (3) There was nothing but direct force. There was no instrumentality. But in this change you must have Divine argument, suasion, example: God did not “strive” to create, but He strives to save. 2. Wherein then is the propriety of representing this moral change as a creation? In both cases there is the production (1) of something new; a new imperial passion, love! This passion for Christ is a new thing in the universe. (2) Of something new by Divine agency. The architect can rear a cathedral, the sculptor can carve from marble, the painter can depict life on his canvas, the machinist can construct engines, but not one of them can create. God alone can create. It is so in this moral change. He alone can produce it. (3) Something new according to a Divine plan. Everything in the universe is formed by plan. The work in the human soul is also so. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” &c. “We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ.” Conversions are accomplished by plan. We may not know the plan. The architect has the outline of that majestic cathedral which is in course of building:—very few, if any, know of it; he has it in the secrets of his own brain. Still the building under his superintendence is advancing. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are helping to work his plan. Some are excavating the mountains, and some are ploughing the seas, &c. Very few of the workers are known to each other, yet the act of each helps to work out the plan of the architect. So it is in the moral creation. Heaven, earth, matter, mind, even hell is unwittingly working for it. (4) Something new which develops the Divine glory. The universe is a mirror of God, &c. There is more of His glory seen in the free intellect, the pure sympathies, the lofty aspirations, the refined conscience of one regenerate soul than the whole material universe displays. (5) Something new in a gradual way. According to geology unnumbered ages were taken up in bringing this earth to its present form as a suitable residence for man. So man does not become virtuous and great by a bound; it is by a series of efforts and a course of training. 3. These remarks are sufficient to show the propriety of representing man’s moral change as a “creation.” It is not, however, the things without that change. Material nature, society, events that pass over him—all may remain the same; but the change is within. His consciousness is changed, and with that all has changed. He looks at the forms of the universe with a new eye, with a new judgment. He looks at all through the medium of a new passion, and all assume new phases. If you would have me admire some fine piece of architecture, or some magnificent painting, inspire me first with a love for the artist. The moment we look at the universe through love to Christ, the Great Architect, it becomes new: the old universe passes away, and new heavens and a new earth appear. Conclusion: Such, then, is what Christianity does for us. What a world this will be when Christianity shall have realised its sublime mission! I rejoice to believe that that period will one day come. (D. Thomas, D.D.)
Man in Christ a new creature:—
- What a new creature is. It is a second birth added to the first. 1. The efficient cause is the Holy Ghost; who but God can alter the hearts of men, and turn stones into flesh? 2. The organical cause or instrument is the Word of God (Jas. 1:18). 3. The matter is the restoring of God’s image lost by the fall. He does not bestow new faculties, but new qualities. As in the altering of a lute, the strings are not new, but the tune is mended; so, in the new creature, the substance of the soul is not new, but is new tuned by grace; the heart that before was proud is now humble, &c.
- What kind of work the new creature is. 1. A work of Divine power (Eph. 1:20). It is a work of greater power to produce the new creature than to make a world. (1) When God made the world He met with no opposition; but when God is about to make a new creature Satan and the heart oppose Him. (2) It cost God nothing to make the world, but to make the new creature cost the shedding of Christ’s blood. 2. A work of free grace. There is nothing in us to move God to make us anew; “By the grace of God I am what I am.” 3. A work of rare excellency. A soul beautified with holiness is like the firmament bespangled with glittering stars; it is God’s lesser heaven. In the incarnation, God made Himself in the image of man; in the new creation, man is made in the image of God. 4. Concerning the new creature, I shall lay down two positions: (1) That it is not in the power of a natural man to convert himself, because it is a new creation. (2) When God converts a sinner, He doth more than use a moral persuasion, for conversion is a new creation.
III. The counterfeits of the new creature. 1. Natural honesty, moral virtue, &c. Morality is but nature at best. Heat water to the highest degree, you cannot make wine of it. 2. Religious education. This is a good wall to plant the vine of grace against, but it is not grace. Have not we seen many who have been trained up religiously, who have lived to be a shame to their friends? 3. A form of godliness. Every bird that hath fine feathers hath not sweet flesh; all that shine with the golden feathers of profession are not saints. How devout were the Pharisees! Dædalus, by art, made images to move by themselves, insomuch that people thought they were living; formalists do so counterfeit a devotion that others think they are living saints—they are religious mountebanks. 4. Change of opinion. Man may change from error to truth, yet only in the head, not in the heart. 5. Sudden passion, or stirring of the affections. Many desire heaven, but will not come up to the price. King Herod heard John gladly; his affections were moved, but his sin was not removed. 6. Trouble for sin, i.e., while God’s judgments lie upon men; when these are removed, their trouble ceaseth (Psa. 78:34–36). Metal out of the furnace returns to its former hardness. 7. Possession of the Spirit. A man may have some slight transient work of the Spirit, but it doth not go to the root; he may have the Spirit to convince him, not to convert him, the motions of the Spirit, but the walk after the flesh. 8. Abstaining from sin. This abstaining may be from restraining grace, not renewing grace. Men may leave gross sin, and yet live in more spiritual sins; leave drunkenness and live in pride; leave uncleanness and live in malice.
- Wherein the essence of the new creature exists. 1. In general it is—(1) A great change. He who is a new creature is not the same man he was. He is of another spirit. (2) A visible change, one from darkness to light. Paul, when converted, was so altered that all who saw him could scarcely believe that he was the same. (3) An inward change. Though the heart be not new-made, it is new moulded. 2. More particularly it consists in two things. (1) “Old things are passed away.” Old pride, old ignorance, old malice; the old house must be pulled down ere you can set up a new, yet though it be a thorough change, it is not a perfect change; sin will remain. If sin then is not quite done away, how far must one put off the old man, that he may be a new creature? There must be—(a) A grieving for the remains of corruption (Rom. 7:24). (b) A detestation of old things, as one would detest a garment in which is the plague (Psa. 119:63). (c) An opposition against all old things; a Christian not only complains of sin, but fights against it (Gal. 5:17). (d) A mortification of old corrupt lusts (Gal. 5:24; Rom. 6:11). (2) “All things are become new.” The new creature is new all over; grace, though it be but in part, yet it is in every part. There is—(a) A new understanding (Eph. 4:24). The new creature is enlightened to see that which he never saw before. He knows Christ after another manner. He knows himself better than he did. When the sun shines into a room it discovers all the dust and cobwebs in it; so, when the light of the Spirit shines into the heart it discovers that corruption which before lay hid. A wicked man, blinded with self-love, admires himself; like Narcissus, that seeing his own shadow upon the water, fell in love with it. (b) A renewal of conscience. The least hair makes the eye weep, and the least sin makes conscience smite. A good conscience is a star to guide, a register to record, a judge to determine, a witness to accuse or excuse; if conscience doth all these offices right, then it is a renewed conscience, and speaks peace. (c) The will is renewed. An old bowl may have a new bias put into it; the will having a new bias of grace put into it is strongly carried to good, and carries all the affections along with it. (d) A new conversation. Grace alters a man’s walk; before he walked proudly, now humbly; before loosely, now holily; he makes the Word his rule, and Christ’s life his pattern. Conclusion—1. In this, true Christianity consists. It is not baptism makes a Christian; many are no better than baptised heathens. 2. It is the new creature fits us for communion with God. Birds cannot converse with men unless they had a rational nature put into them, nor can men converse with God, unless they partake of the Divine nature. Every one that hangs about the court doth not speak with the king. 3. The necessity of being new creatures. Till then—(1) We are odious to God. (2) Our duties are not accepted with God; they are but wild grapes. When they brought Tamarlane a pot of gold he asked what stamp it had on it, and when he saw the Roman stamp on it he refused it; so if God doth not see His own stamp and image on the soul, He rejects the most specious services. (3) Get no benefit by ordinances. The Word preached is a “savour of death”; nay Christ Himself is accidentally a “rock of offence.” (4) We cannot arrive at heaven (Rev. 21:27). Heaven is not like Noah’s ark—that received clean and unclean. Only the pure in heart shall see God. 4. The excellency of the new creature. (1) Its nobility. The new creature fetcheth its pedigree from heaven; it is born of God, and is fellow-commoner with angels. (2) Its immortality. The new creature is begotten of the incorruptible seed of the Word, and never dies. 5. The misery of the unregenerate creature; dying so “good were it for that man if he had never been born.” (T. Watson.)
The new creature:—Our text is to be viewed—
- As a requisition upon the sinner. Nothing short of a new creation can constitute any man a Christian. 1. If we consider the extent of the requisition, as applied to individuals, the emphasis rests upon the word “any.” It matters not who he may be. No man can become a Christian in any other method. 2. The requisition may be considered in its application to character in each individual. Here the emphasis is on the words “new creature.” (1) The object to be obtained marks this necessity for a new creation. This object is not to be in the church. That may easily be secured by conformity to outward ordinances. It is not reform in external conduct merely. This may be accomplished by man’s own exertions. It is not to obtain a good reputation among men. But it is to be in Christ, and to be made an heir of everlasting glory. This object no partial change of character can secure. (2) That which separates men from God is a radical perversion of motive and principle; the change required therefore is a change of the heart, a new creation of the soul in its principles and objects of pursuit. They have but one simple want. But that want is a total one. They must be new men.
- As a privilege to the Christian. He is a new creature—1. In the personal relations which he sustains. (1) In his relations to God his Creator and Judge. He stands in the Divine presence no longer under condemnation. The penalty for his sin has been endured. God is no longer angry, but is a reconciled Father. He enjoys the comfort of this new relation. His conscience is peaceful through the blood of sprinkling, and perfect love has cast out fear. (2) In his relation to Jesus the Saviour. Once, like others, he despised and rejected Him. Now he has embraced Him in the warm affections of his heart, as his comfort, and hope, and portion for ever. (3) In his relations to men around him. To the children of God, wherever they are, he is a brother and a friend. To the unconverted, he feels a bond of pity which he never knew before. He now knows the galling chain which they ignorantly wear. He labours and prays that they may also become new creatures in Jesus Christ. 2. In his personal character. (1) He is released from the dominion of sin. It may dwell within him, but it dwells there as a captive, not as a ruler. (2) He is released from the darkness and confusion of mind, which sin has produced. The image of God which was lost in man’s apostasy, has been restored. In the true order of his powers, his whole soul is devoted to the service of God. Thus his heart has become right in the sight of God. (3) He has received a principle of Divine grace within him, which shall flourish and increase for ever. 3. In his associates. There was a time when he avoided the society of the pious, when he loved the associations of the worldly. Now there has been a total revolution in all his intercourse with men. He has forsaken the society of those who fear not God, and he selects for his friends those in whom he can find the mind of Christ. He now regards men according to their character in the sight of God. 4. In his occupation and enjoyments. His desire is in the fulfilment of every required duty, to honour the God whom he delights to serve. Religion sanctifies his daily engagements. His comforts and joys come to him from above. He looks beyond the bounds of sense to find his joy and his crown of rejoicing in eternity. Prayer is no longer a task but a pleasure. The Bible comes to him not so much to remind him of a duty as to call him to a privilege. 5. In his prospects. (S. H. Tyng, D.D.)
The believer a new creature:—
- The Christian’s position—“in Christ.” There are three stages of the soul. First—Without Christ, this is the state of nature, and is a most unhappy condition. It is inconvenient to be without gold; it is miserable to be without health, without a friend, without reputation, but to be without Christ is the worst lack in all the world. The next state, “in Christ,” leadeth to the third, with Christ, which is the state of glory. 1. Our business now is with the second, “in Christ,” which is the state of grace. I never heard of any persons being in any other man but Christ. We may follow certain leaders, and imitate eminent examples, but no man is said in these respects to be in another. (1) We must interpret this by scriptural symbols. (a) We were all of us in the first Adam. Adam stood for us. Now, as in Adam we all fell, so all who are in Christ are restored. (b) Noah’s ark was a type of Christ. Christ is the ark of God provided against the day of judgment, and we are in Him. (c) Christ is God’s eternal city of refuge, and we, having offended, flee for our lives and enter where vengeance cannot reach us. (2) Christ represents us as being in Him as the branch is in the vine. (3) Paul describes us as being in Christ also as the stone is in the building. In some of the old Roman walls you can scarcely tell which is the firmer, the cement or the stone, for their cement held the stones together as though they were one mass of rock; and such is the eternal love which binds the saints to Christ. 2. “How do we come to be there?” (1) By faith. (2) By love. When love and faith come together, then there is a blessedly sweet communion.
- The believer’s character—a “new creature.” The phrase suggests—1. A radical change. (1) A man may undergo many changes, but they may be far from being radical enough, to be a new creation. Ahab may humble himself, but he is Ahab still. (a) Conversion is sometimes described as healing; but healing does not rise to the radical character of the text. Naaman washed in Jordan, and came up with his flesh clean like unto a little child; but it was the same flesh and the same Naaman. The woman, bowed down with infirmity eighteen years, was marvellously changed when she stood upright; but she was the same woman. (b) There are great moral changes wrought in many which are not saving. A drunkard may become sober, and many persons of debauched habits regular; and yet their changes may not amount to regeneration. The most startling changes will not suffice unless they are total and deep. The Ethiopian might change his skin, the leopard his spots; but the leopard would remain a leopard, and the Ethiop would still be black at heart. (c) Even the metaphor of resurrection does not go so far as the language of the text. The daughter of Jairus is the same child, and Lazarus is the same man after restoration to life. A new creation is a root-and-branch change; not an alteration of the walls only, but of the foundation; not a new figuring of the visible tapestry, but a renewal of the fabric itself. (2) We are new creatures through being in Christ. People object to the doctrine that men are saved by faith in Christ on the ground that there must be a great moral change. But if those who are in Christ are new creatures, what greater change can be desired? He who believes in Christ, finding himself pardoned, loves Christ, and loves the God who gave Christ, and love to God expels love to sin. 2. A Divine work. If any doubt it, let us bid them make the effort to create the smallest object. (1) Regeneration is God’s sole work. In the first creation who helped God? So the sovereign will of God creates men heirs of grace. (2) It was more difficult to create a Christian than to create a world. Unto Him, then, be glory and strength! 3. Remarkable freshness. It is very long since this world saw a new creature. All the creatures we now see are old and antiquated. Any new creature coming fresh into the world would startle us all. And yet the text tells you that there are new creatures upon earth, fruits that have freshness and bloom of Eden about them, life with the dew of its youth upon it; and these new creatures are Christian men. There is a freshness about them which is to be found nowhere else. He that prayed yesterday with joy, shall pray in fifty years’ time, if he be on earth, with the selfsame delight. He that loves his Maker, and feels his heart beat high at the mention of the name of Jesus, shall find as much transport in that name, if he lives to the age of Methuselah, as he doth now. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Of the nature and necessity of the new creature:—That God’s creating of a new supernatural work of grace in the soul of any man, is that man’s sure and infallible evidence of a saving interest in Jesus Christ. Why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation. First, the same almighty Author who created the world created also this work of grace in the soul of man (chap. 4:6). Secondly, the first thing that God created in the natural world was light (Gen. 1:3), and the first thing which God createth in the new creation is the light of spiritual knowledge (Col. 3:10). Thirdly, creation is out of nothing; it requires no pre-existent matter. So it is also in the new creation (1 Pet. 2:9, 10). Fourthly, it was the virtue and efficacy of the Spirit of God which gave the natural world its being by creation (Gen. 1:2). Fifthly, the Word of God was the instrument of the first creation (Psa. 33:6–9). Sixthly, the same power which created the world still supports it in its being: the world owes its conservation, as well as its existence, to the power of God. Just so it is with the new creation (Jude ver. 1, “Preserved in Christ Jesus,” and 1 Pet. 1:5). Seventhly, in a word, God surveyed the first creation with complacence and great delight (Gen. 1:31). So this also in the second creation; nothing delights God more than the works of grace in the souls of His people. Next we must inquire, in what respects every soul that is in Christ is made a new creature; and here we shall find a threefold renovation of every man that is in Christ. First, he is renewed in his state and condition: for he passeth from death to life in his justification (1 John 3:14). Secondly, every man in Christ is renewed in his frame and constitution; all the faculties and affections of his soul are renewed by regeneration: his understanding was dark, but now is light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8); his conscience was dead and secure, or full of guilt and horror, but is now become tender, watchful, and full of peace (Heb. 9:14); his will was rebellious and inflexible; but is now made obedient and complying with the will of God (Psa. 110:2). Thirdly, the man in Christ is renewed in his practice and conversation; the manner of operation always follows the nature of beings. Now the regenerate not being what they were, cannot walk and act as once they did (Eph. 2:1–3). Thirdly, let us inquire into the properties and qualities of this new creature. First, the Scripture speaks of it as a thing of great difficulty to be conceived by man (John 3:8). Secondly, but though this life of the new creature be a great mystery and secret in some respects; yet so far as it appears unto us, the new creature is the most beautiful and lovely creature that ever God made; for the beauty of the Lord Himself is upon it: “The new man is created after God” (Eph. 4:24). Thirdly, this new creature is created in man upon the highest design that ever any work of God was wrought: the end of its creation is high and noble (Col. 1:12). Fourthly, this new creation is the most necessary work that ever God wrought upon the soul of man: the eternal well-being of his soul depends upon it; and without it no man shall see God (Heb. 12:14; John 1:3–5). Fifthly, the new creature is a marvellous creature; there are many wonders in the first creation (Psa. 111:2). But there are no wonders in nature, like those in grace. Sixthly, the new creature is an immortal creature (John 4:14). Seventhly, the new creature is an heavenly creature; “It is not born of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13); its descent is heavenly. Eighthly, the new creature is an active and laborious creature; no sooner is it born, but it is acting in the soul (Acts 9:6). Behold he prayeth! Activity is its very nature (Gal. 5:25). Ninthly, the new creature is a thriving creature, growing from strength to strength (1 Pet. 2:2), and changing the soul in which it is subjected from glory unto glory (chap. 3:18). Tenthly, the new creature is a creature of wonderful preservation. There are many wonders of Divine providence in the preservation of our natural lives, but none like those whereby the life of the new creature is preserved in our souls. Fourthly, we will demonstrate the necessity of this new creation to all that are in Christ, and by Him do attain salvation; and the necessity of the new creature will appear divers ways. First, from the positive and express will of God revealed in Scripture. Secondly, this new creation is the inchoative part of that great salvation which we expect through Christ, and therefore, without this, all expectations of salvation must vanish. Salvation and renovation are inseparably connected. Thirdly, so necessary is the new creation to all that expect salvation by Christ; that without this, heaven would be no heaven. Fourthly, there is an absolute necessity of the new creature to all that expect interest in Christ and the glory to come, since all the characters and signs of such an interest, are constantly taken from the new creature wrought in us. Fifthly, the last thing is, how the new creation is an infallible proof and evidence of the soul’s interest in Christ; and this will appear divers ways. First, where all the saving graces of the Spirit are, there interest in Christ must needs be certain; and where the new creature is, there all the saving graces of the Spirit are. Secondly, to conclude: where all the causes of an interest in Christ are found, and all the effects and fruits of an interest in Christ do appear, there, undoubtedly, a real interest in Christ is found; but wherever you find a new creature, you find all the causes and all the effects of an interest in Christ. Is the new creature the infallible evidence of our saving interest in Christ? From hence, then, we are informed—Inference 1. How miserable an estate all unrenewed souls are in. Inference 2. On the contrary, we may hence learn what cause regenerate souls have to bless God for the day wherein they were born. Inference 3. Learn from hence that the work of grace is wholly supernatural; a creation-work is above the power of the creature. Inference 4. If the work of grace be a new creation, let not the parents and friends of the unregenerate utterly despair of the conversion of their relations, how great soever their present discouragements are. If it had been possible for a man to have seen the rude chaos before the Spirit of God moved upon it, would he not have said, Can such a beautiful order of beings, such a pleasant variety of creatures, spring out of this dark lump? Surely it would have been very hard for a man to have imagined it. Inference 5. If none but new creatures be in Christ, how small a remnant among men belong to Christ in this world! Inference 6. If the change by grace be a new creation, how universal and marvellous a change doth regeneration make upon men! First, because the work of grace is wrought in divers methods and manners in the people of God. Some are changed from a state of notorious profaneness unto serious godliness; there the change is conspicuous and very evident: but in others it is more insensibly distilled in their tender years, by the blessing of God, upon religious education, and there it is more indiscernible. Secondly, though a great change be wrought, yet much natural corruption still remains for their humiliation. Thirdly, in some the new creature shows itself mostly in the affectionate part in desires after God; and but little in the clearness of their understandings, for want of which they are kept in darkness most of their days. Fourthly, some Christians are more tried and exercised by temptation from Satan than others are; and these clouds darken the work of grace in them. Fifthly, there is great difference and variety found in the natural tempers and constitutions of the regenerate; some are of a more melancholy, fearful, and suspicious temper than others, and are therefore much longer held under doubtings. Inference 7. How incongruous are carnal ways to the spirit of Christians! who being new creatures, can never find pleasure in their former sinful companions and practices. If none be in Christ but new creatures, and the new creation make such a change as hath been described, this may convince us how many of us deceive ourselves, and run into fatal mistakes in the greatest concernment we have in this world. First, that the change made by civility upon such as were lewd and profane is, in its whole kind and nature, a different thing from the new creature. Secondly, that many strong convictions and troubles for sin may be found where the new creature is never formed. Thirdly, that excellent gifts and abilities, fitting men for service in the Church of God, may be where the new creature is not; for these are promiscuously dispensed by the Spirit, both to the regenerate and unregenerate (Matt. 7:22). Fourthly, be convinced that multitudes of religious duties may be performed by men, in whom the new creature was never formed. Next, therefore, let me persuade every man to try the state of his own heart in this matter. First, consider well the antecedents of the new creature; have those things passed upon your souls, which ordinarily make way for the new creature. 1. Hath the Lord opened the eyes of your understanding in the knowledge of sin and of Christ (Acts 26:18). 2. Hath He brought home the Word with mighty power and efficacy upon your hearts to convince and humble them (Rom. 7:9; 1 Thess. 1:5). 3. Have these convictions overturned your vain confidences, and brought you to inward distress of soul. Secondly, consider the concomitant frames and workings of spirit, which ordinarily attend the production of the new creature. 1. Have your vain spirits been composed to the greatest seriousness and most solemn consideration of things eternal, as the hearts of all those are whom God regenerates? 2. A lowly, meek, and humble frame of heart accompanies the new creation; the soul is weary and heavy laden (Matt. 11:28). 3. A longing frame of spirit accompanies the new creation; the desires of the soul are ardent after Christ. Thirdly, weigh well the effects and consequents of the new creature, and consider whether such fruits as these are found in your hearts and lives. 1. Wherever the new creature is formed, there a man’s course and conversation is changed (Eph. 4:22). 2. The new creature continually opposes and conflicts with the motions of sin in the heart (Gal. 5:17). 3. The mind and affections of the new creature are set upon heavenly and spiritual things (Col. 3:1, 2; Eph. 4:23; Rom. 8:5). 4. The new creature is a praying creature, living by its daily communion with God (Zech. 12:10; Acts 9:11). If the new creation be a sound evidence of our interest in Christ, then let me persuade all that are in Christ to evidence themselves to be so, by walking as it becomes new creatures. The new creature is born from above; all its tendencies are heavenward. Let every new creature be cheerful and thankful: if God hath renewed your natures and thus altered the temper of your hearts, He hath bestowed the richest mercy upon you that heaven or earth affords. This is a work of the greatest rarity. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.” There are unsearchable wonders in its generation, in its operation, and in its preservation. (John Flavel.)
The new creature delineated:—Consider this change, on account whereof Christians are new creatures in respect of—
- The inward frame of mind. And this is what the Scripture calls a new heart, a new spirit, a renovation in the spirit of the mind, a transformation by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. There is a change in their—1. Apprehensions. (1) They had once a notional sight only of the being and perfections of God; but now they appear to them the surest realities. (2) They once saw no beauty in Christ, nor were sensible of any need they stood in of Him; but He is now altogether lovely. (3) They once saw no great evil in sin; but it now appears an evil and bitter thing. (4) They once saw no great beauty in holiness; but it now appears the most amiable grace. 2. Purposes. Once the bent of their mind was towards the earth; it is now towards heaven. 3. Affections. There is a change in their—(1) Love. They now hate what they once loved, and vice versâ. (2) Sorrow. The things which once moved their grief were worldly losses and crosses, pain in their bodies, &c. As for their sins, they were not grieved on account of them. But the new creation has wonderfully turned the channel of their sorrow. (3) Hope. This they once placed on the creature; but they now place it on the Creator. They had once no views beyond this earth; but they now reach to heaven. (4) Fear. The things which once moved their fear, were the threats of men, the frowns of the world, &c. They now fear God’s displeasure more than anything else. They dare not now live in sin. (5) Anger. They were once angry with those who were a hindrance to them in sin; but they now love and thank them. Their anger is now turned against themselves.
- The outward course and manner of life. They do not now live in sin as they once did; but “have put off concerning the former conversation, the old man,” &c. And this reformation is sometimes so remarkable that it is taken notice of, and admired by others. But this change carries more in it than what is negative. It is a change not only from sin, but to holiness. That is, they live in the practice of the whole of their duty; all that duty they owe, either to God, their neighbour, or themselves. (C. Chauncey, A.M.)
The change which grace makes in the human character:—
- A visible change—“Behold.” There is a change without as the expression and effect of a change within. This visibility will appear—1. To ourselves. If a man entertains a hope that it has taken place, and yet is not able to perceive that he is in any wise different from what he was before, that man ought rather to fear than hope. 2. To others. It behoves us so to conduct ourselves that men shall take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. We must seem to be religious as well as be so actually. How otherwise can we be the lights of the world? Must we not show our faith by our works?
- An admirable change. The interjection is thrown in not barely to attract attention, but to excite wonder and admiration. It is admirable if we consider—1. Its author. It is God. Every work of God is admirable. What a noble piece of work is man, even in his ruins! how much more then in his restoration! 2. The loving-kindness displayed in making it. “Behold, what manner of love” is here! 3. Its nature and connections. It is a singular change, infinitely superior to any other of which the human character is susceptible. Other changes are necessarily superficial; this is deep and radical. It inserts a new mainspring. What evils other changes restrain or abate, this eradicates; and this communicates the reality of the good, of which they do but put on this appearance.
III. A thorough change. “All things are become new.” There may be a partial reformation, while the heart remains unchanged; but if the heart is changed, the reformation must be universal. Where one trait of the Christian character is found, there they are all found. Where faith is, there is love, for faith worketh by love; and where these are, in inseparable society is found the whole sisterhood of graces, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance. And so the heart that hates one sin hates all, and is equally disposed to renounce all. Therefore if any of you find that your religion is not universally influential, you may conclude that it is vain.
- A change of the nature of a substitution, and not a superaddition. There is a passing away of the old things, and a coming in their place of new. The new man is not put on over the old man, but the old man is first put off. The soul becomes dead unto sin before it is made alive unto righteousness.
- A great change. It is hardly necessary to affirm this after what has been already said. It is a work of God; a new creation; a passing from death unto life, a being born again, a translation out of darkness into marvellous light, a resurrection.
- A permanent change. It lasts. (W. Nevins, D.D.) Is conversion necessary?—
- In order to salvation a radical change is necessary. 1. Everywhere in Scripture men are divided into two classes, with a very sharp line of distinction between them—sheep lost and sheep found, guests refusing and guests feasting, wise virgins and foolish, sheep and goats, men “dead in trespasses and sin” and alive to God, men in darkness or in light, “children of God” and “children of wrath,” believers who are not condemned and of those who are condemned already, &c., &c. 2. The Word of God speaks of this inward change as—(1) a birth (John 1:12, 13; 3; 5:4; 1 John 5:1). (2) A quickening (Eph. 1:19; 2:1). (3) A creation, as in our text, and this also is no mere formality, or an attendant upon a rite (Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10; 4:24). (4) A translation (Col. 1:13). (5) A “passing from death unto life” (1 John 3:14; John 5:24). (6) A being “begotten again” (1 Pet. 1:3; Jas. 1:18). Can you conceive of any language more plainly descriptive of a most solemn change? 3. The Scriptures speak of it as producing a very wonderful change in the subject of it. (1) In the character (Rom. 6:17, 22; Col. 3:9; Gal. 5:24). (2) In feeling. Enmity to God is exchanged for love to God (Col. 1:21). This arises very much from a change of man’s judicial state before God. Before a man is converted he is condemned, but when he receives spiritual life we read “there is therefore now no condemnation,” &c. This altogether changes his condition as to inward happiness (Rom. 5:1, 11). 4. It is further represented as the chief blessing in the covenant of grace (Jer. 31:33, cf. Heb. 10:16; Ezek. 36:26, 27).
- This change is frequently very marked as to its time and circumstances. Many souls truly born of God could not lay their finger upon any date and say, “At such a time I passed from death unto life.” Conversion is often so surrounded by restraining grace that it appears to be a very gradual thing, and the rising of the sun of righteousness in the soul is comparable to the dawning of day, with a grey light at first, and a gradual increase to a noonday splendour. Yet, as there is a time when the sun rises, so is there a time of new birth. If a dead man were restored to life, he might not be able to say exactly when life began, but there is such a moment. There must be a time when a man ceases to be an unbeliever and becomes a believer in Jesus. In many cases, however, the day, hour, and place are fully known, and we might expect this—1. From many other works of God. How very particular God is about the time of creation! “The evening and the morning were the first day.” “God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” So in the miracles of Christ. The water turns at once to wine, the fig-tree immediately withers away, the loaves and fishes are at once multiplied in the hands of the disciples. Miracles of healing were as a rule instantaneous. 2. From the work itself. If it be worthy to be called a resurrection, there must manifestly be a time in which the dead man ceases to be dead and becomes alive. 3. From the conversions mentioned in Scripture. Paul was one moment an opponent of Christ, and the next was crying, “Who art Thou, Lord?” and this conversion was to be a pattern (1 Tim. 1:15, 16). Let us look at other instances. The Samaritan woman, Zacchæus, Matthew, the three thousand at Pentecost, the Philippian jailer. It would be much more difficult to find a gradual conversion in Scripture than a sudden one. 4. From experience. The matter is one about which I feel it a weariness to argue, because these wonders of grace happen daily before our eyes, and it is like trying to prove that the sun rises in the morning.
III. This change is recognisable by certain signs. 1. A sense of sin. True conversion always has in it a humbling sense of the need of Divine grace. 2. Faith in Jesus. 3. The change of his principles, objects, desires, life. A convert once said, “Either the world is altered or else I am.” The very faces of our children look different to us, for we regard them under a new aspect, viewing them as heirs of immortality. We view our friends from a different stand-point. Our very business seems altered. We learn to sanctify the hammer and the plough by serving the Lord with them. (C. H. Spurgeon.) Regeneration is—
- A change. 1. A real change; from nature to grace, as well as by grace. 2. A common change to all the children of God. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 3. A change quite contrary to the former frame. What more contrary to light than darkness? (Eph. 5:8); flesh to spirit (John 3:6); translation from one kingdom to another (Col. 1:13). 4. A universal change of the whole man. It is a new creature, not only a new power or new faculty. Understanding, will, conscience, affections, all were corrupted by sin, all are renewed by grace. 5. Principally an inward change. It is as inward as the soul itself. It is a clean heart David desires, not only clean hands (Psa. 51:10). If it were not so, there could be no outward rectified change. The spring and wheels of the clock must be mended before the hand of the dial will stand right.
- A vital principle. This new creation is a translation from death to life (1 John 3:14). It is not, then, a gilding, but a quickening; not a carving, but an enlivening.
III. A habit. It is impossible to conceive a new creature without new habits. Nothing can be changed from a state of corruption to a state of purity without them.
- A law put into the heart. Every creature hath a law belonging to its nature. Man hath a law of reason, beasts a law of sense and instinct, plants a law of vegetation, inanimate creatures a law of motion. A new creature hath a law put into his heart (Jer. 31:23; cf. Heb. 8:10). It is called the “law of the mind” (Rom. 7:23), it beginning first in the illumination of that faculty—as sin began first in a false judgment made of the precept of God, “You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” It consists in an inward conformity of the heart to the law. The soul hath a likeness to the word and doctrine of the gospel within it (Rom. 6:17). As melted metal poured into a mould loses its former form, and puts on a new shape, the same figure with the mould into which it is poured; the soul, which before was a servant of sin, and had the image of the law of sin, being melted by the Spirit, is cast into the figure and form of the law.
- A likeness to God. Every creature hath a likeness to something or other in the rank of beings: the new creature is framed according to the most exact pattern, even God Himself. The new creature is begotten; begotten, then, in the likeness of the begetter, which is God. Were not a real likeness attainable, why should those exhortations be, of being “holy as God is holy, pure as He is pure”? (1 Pet. 1:15; 1 John 3:3). (S. Charnock, B.D.)
17. The great significance of Christ’s work is expressed when Paul says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come (lit. ‘so that, if anyone [is] in Christ, [there is] a new creation’). What it means to be in Christ has been variously interpreted: to belong to Christ; to live in the sphere of Christ’s power; to be united to Christ; and to be a member of the Christian community through baptism. It is difficult to explain precisely what Paul intended by the expression here, and each of the options mentioned above is feasible. At a minimum, to be in Christ means to belong to him through faith, and to belong to him means living in the sphere of his power, being united with him through the Spirit, and to have become a part of the Christian community by baptism.
While we may wish to be able to explain precisely the meaning of being in Christ here, what Paul stresses is its significance: the person in Christ is a new creation, so that it may be said, the old has gone, the new is here! This is reflected in the changed outlook of which verse 16 spoke and in a new holiness of life (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9–11). Commenting on Paul’s statement that the old has gone, the new is here!, Chrysostom says, ‘By this he briefly showed that those who, by their faith in Christ, had put off like an old cloak the burden of their sins, those who had been set free from their error and been illumined by the light of justification, had put on this new and shining cloak, this royal robe’ (Bray, p. 250).
God’s plan of salvation, while primarily concerned with humanity, encompasses the whole created order (cf. Rom. 8:21). When people are in Christ, they have already become part of the new creation. It is true, of course, that for the time being the old still persists and the new has not yet fully come (cf. Rom. 8:18–25; Gal. 5:15–26). However, in the present passage, it is the newness of life in Christ now which is being stressed, rather than the limitations and the tension involved in participating in the new creation while still living as part of the old. Being a new creation now will culminate in transformation by resurrection to immortality in the new created order at the parousia (cf. Isa. 65:17–25; 66:22; Rom. 8:19–23; Rev. 21:1).
17. Therefore if any man is in Christ. As there is something wanting in this expression, it must be supplied in this way—“If any one is desirous to hold some place in Christ, that is, in the kingdom of Christ, or in the Church, let him be a new creature.” By this expression he condemns every kind of excellence that is wont to be in much esteem among men, if renovation of heart is wanting. “Learning, it is true, and eloquence, and other endowments, are valuable, and worthy to be honoured; but, where the fear of the Lord and an upright conscience are wanting, all the honour of them goes for nothing. Let no one, therefore, glory in any distinction, inasmuch as the chief praise of Christians is self-renunciation.”
Nor is this said merely for the purpose of repressing the vanity of the false apostles, but also with the view of correcting the ambitious judgments of the Corinthians, in which outward disguises were of more value than real sincerity—though this is a fault that is common to almost all ages. For where shall we find the man that does not attach much more importance to show, than to true holiness? Let us, therefore, keep in view this admonition—that all that are not renewed by the Spirit of God, should be looked upon as nothing in the Church, by whatever ornaments they may in other respects be distinguished.
Old things are passed away. When the Prophets speak of the kingdom of Christ, they foretell that there will be new heavens and a new earth, (Isaiah 65:17,) meaning thereby, that all things will be changed for the better, until the happiness of the pious is completed. As, however, Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, this change must take place chiefly in the Spirit, and hence it is with propriety that he begins with this. There is, therefore, an elegant and appropriate allusion, when Paul makes use of a commendation of this kind, for the purpose of setting forth the value of regeneration. Now by old things he means, the things that are not formed anew by the Spirit of God. Hence this term is placed in contrast with renewing grace. The expression passed away, he uses in the sense of fading away, as things that are of short duration are wont to fall off, when they have passed their proper season. Hence it is only the new man, that flourishes and is vigorous in the kingdom of Christ.
5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The second conclusion Paul draws from 5:14–15 (dying with Christ) is that the person who is “in Christ” has experienced a profound inner revitalization. The traditional interpretation of the expression “new creation” understands it anthropologically, referring to the spiritual or ontological renewal of the person that occurs at regeneration. This is a prominent theme of Pauline soteriology (e.g., Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 5:7; Eph. 2:15; 4:24; Col. 3:10; Titus 3:5). The 2011 revision of the NIV relegates this reading, “that person is a new creation,” to the margin, preferring to render this clause “the new creation has come.” The translators argue that Paul’s thought in this verse is that “a new universe is in the works.”2 The traditional interpretation is surely correct. The motif of transformation, so prominent in the previous chapters, presents being “in Christ” as the sphere in which individual renewal takes place by God’s Spirit (3:3, 6, 14–18; 5:5). In 4:6 Paul’s allusion to Genesis 1 seems intended to depict conversion as a kind of creation ex nihilo: “The same God who said, ‘Let light shine from darkness’ made his light shine in our hearts” (author’s translation). The prophetic traditions Paul explicitly relies on in chapter 3 are Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s promises of a radical anthropological renewal that would occur by God’s Spirit (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26, alluded to in 2 Cor. 3:3) through the new covenant written on the heart (Jer. 31:31–33, alluded to in 2 Cor. 3:6). When read in light of these passages, together with Paul’s affirmation that “the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6) and his reference to our present inner renewal (4:16), there is little room for doubt that 5:17 also speaks of the inner renewal of the believer and should be understood as a continuation of the transformation motif.
The old has gone, the new is here! Paul explains his pronouncement that anyone in Christ is a new creation with a maxim-like statement that emphasizes the complete dissolution of the past and the arrival of something new. Paul alludes to a prominent motif in Isaiah whereby the prophet predicts that God’s former act of deliverance at the Red Sea will be utterly eclipsed by God’s future deliverance of Israel (42:9; 43:18–19; 48:3–6). Paul does not cite any text directly, nor can his meaning here be precisely defined by the Isaianic context. In the present context, the “old” that has passed probably refers to boasting in appearances (5:12), living for self (5:14–15), and looking at others from a worldly vantage point (5:16). The “new” present reality relates to the new covenant work of the Spirit (3:3–4:6). This involves the Spirit’s transformation of the human heart (3:3, 18; 4:6), the granting of new life by the Spirit (3:6), the illumination of the mind by the Spirit (3:14–4:6), and the new reality of reconciliation with God (5:18–21).
5:17 / Paul draws a general conclusion (Therefore, hōste) from the fact that, since his encounter with the resurrected Lord on the way to Damascus, he no longer knows Christ according to the flesh as a crucified messianic pretender. The contrast in verse 16 between Paul’s old and new ways of perceiving Christ prompts a further contrast between old and new that makes Paul’s experience prototypical of all believers. Being in Christ (e.g., 1 Thess. 2:14; 5:18; Gal. 1:22; 2:17; 3:26; 5:6; 1 Cor. 1:4; 15:22; 2 Cor. 3:14) or “in the Lord” (e.g., 1 Thess. 5:12; Gal. 5:10; 1 Cor. 7:22, 39; 11:11; 15:58; 2 Cor. 2:12) results from having been baptized into Christ by faith (Gal. 3:27), so that one now forms part of the church, which is the “body of Christ” (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12–31; Rom. 12:4–8; Col. 1:18, 24; 2:16–19; 3:15; Eph. 1:23; 4:4–16; 5:23). Believers are personally united with Christ, who is a corporate figure like Adam and indeed his typological counterpart (cf. 1 Cor. 15:22, 45).
Being in Christ (“the last Adam”) causes one to be a new creation. In the “postexilic” time of distress, Nehemiah’s prayer (Neh. 9:6–37) takes creation as the ground for hope (v. 6). If the God who elected Abraham and led Israel out of Egypt is really the creator God, then he can and will lead Israel out of the present situation of degradation and distress (cf. R. Rendtorff). In Isaiah, the expectation of Israel’s restoration as a second exodus redemption included the idea that God would make “new heavens” and a “new earth” (Isa. 65:17–19; 66:22–23; cf. 1 En. 45:4–5; 72:1), and that there would be a return to the ideal conditions in Eden (Isa. 51:3; cf. Jub. 4:26 [no sin]). Within this new creation, “all flesh” would come to Zion in order to worship God (Isa. 66:22–23). Obviously, we are dealing here with much more than individual transformation (cf. 2 Cor. 5:18 [“the world”]). Paul calls believers a “new creation” (cf. also Gal. 6:15) because they, with the rest of creation (cf. Rom. 8:19–22), undergo a physical and spiritual transformation (see on 4:7–5:15), which is an act of creation on a personal level (see the allusion to Gen. 1:3–4 in 2 Cor. 4:6).
Paul’s radical distinction between the old (ta archaia) and the new (kaina) is also drawn from Isaiah. This in the context of Israel’s future redemption from exile, which recalls the exodus from Egypt, Isaiah 43:18–19 reads: “Do not remember the former things, and do not consider the old things (ta archaia). Look (idou), I am doing new things (kaina) which will now spring up, and you will know them. And I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.” This ot text plays a major role in the nt (cf. O. Betz). Paul identifies these “new things” with the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in the world. In the process, he recalls the “old (palaia) covenant” and the “new (kainē) covenant” mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3:6, 14, which is also understood in the traditional context of the second exodus redemption. The condemnation of the law that sent Israel into exile under the “old covenant” (and expelled Adam from Eden) is being reversed.
17 Again Paul states a consequence, “so that,” which flows from the spiritual death and resurrection of those (vv. 14–15) whom he now characterizes in the singular as “anyone [who is] in Christ,” who is “a new creation.” For that person the things of the former times, and especially the worldview, are in the past. “Look,” he says, “the new has come.”
Thus the first of the two sentences in this verse is brief and proverblike, and the second is subsidiary to and dependent upon it. In the first, the words “so then” (with which the previous verse also begins) introduce the pithy sentence of six words that sums up the entire passage vv. 14–16. In this conditional sentence the “if”-clause is “if any [one is] in Christ,” and the “then”-clause is, tersely,43 “new creation.” The result is a memorable text of unsurpassed power in the writings of Paul.45
In the second sentence the subject of both parts is “the old [things].” The verbs in the two parts are significant. In the first “passed away”47 (NIV, “gone”) is aorist, indicating a single action, now completed, pointing (1) to the end of the former dispensation, and (2) to the end of the former life of the person who is now in Christ. In the second “become”48 (NIV, “come”) is perfect tense, indicating a past action with continuing effects. The triumphant “look,”49 followed by the perfect tense (“become”) and the antonym “new,” combines to make the impressive statement, “behold, the old things have become and are new.”
|So that, if any[one is] in Christ,
|a new creation.
|The old [things]
The two sentences together emphasize the eschatological centrality of Christ. “In Christ” the old ends and the new—a new creation—begins. But this eschatological centrality is tightly connected with the soteriological centrality of Christ. Christ is the “one” who “died and was raised for all,” the “one” in and for whom “all” who have “died” now “live” (vv. 14–15). The crucified and risen Christ is the divine agent of universal salvation, the divider of history into two aeons, the “no longer” aeon when all things were “old” and the “now” aeon when all things have become, and are, “new.”
But this “new creation” is coterminous with the “new covenant” mentioned earlier (3:6); together they divide history into two epochs. The “old” things of creation and of the “old covenant” (3:14) coincide, as do the “new” things of the “new covenant” and the “new creation.” The inauguration of both the “new covenant” and the “new creation” occurs “in Christ,” and at the same time, that is, when he died and was raised for all, bringing to their respective ends the “old” in the former creation and in the “old covenant.” The “old” in the former creation are the things to which those who are “in Christ” have “died,” that is, to the godless, self-centered living, “according to the flesh,” of those “in Adam” (v. 15; cf. Rom 5:12). The “old” in the “old covenant” relates to law-keeping as the method of relational acceptance with God, which Paul also characterizes as “according to the flesh” (Rom 8:4). Both the “old” in the former creation and the “old” in the “old covenant” have “now” passed and “no longer” govern those who are “in Christ.” Those who are “in Christ” are—and are to be—governed by the Spirit (cf. Eph 5:18).
While the blessings of both the “new covenant” and the “new creation” have “come” in Christ, as proclaimed by his apostolic servant Paul, they remain hidden until the universal resurrection (4:14); they are not yet “by sight” (5:7). Nonetheless, the “new creation” may be entered now, through the word of God, the gospel, “by faith” (5:7). This openness to all is indicated by the “if anyone …” with which the verse begins.
Who is this “anyone”? As with the entire passage (vv. 14–17), Paul is speaking in the first instance of himself. These few words are Paul’s spiritual autobiography and testimony in a nutshell. The very openness and brevity of the expression “if anyone …” are eloquent expressions of Paul’s sense of the love and mercy of Christ toward him, the persecutor of Christ’s people (4:1; 5:14). The words “if anyone” mean “yes, even such a one as me” (see 1 Tim 1:12–16).
Thus, this verse may be understood in both an objective and a subjective sense. Objectively, it is Paul’s declaration that “in Christ,” by faith, he has entered the “new creation” in which the “old” things have “passed away” and have become “new.” Work on the “building from God,” which will be his at the general resurrection, has already been begun (4:17). This process of “edification,” which began at the moment of incorporation “in Christ,” will continue quietly and unseen throughout life until the final moment of revelation and glorification (see 3:18; Rom 8:19).
Subjectively, this verse summarizes the changes in Paul’s own life. Love for others is now his controlling motive in place of self-interest (v. 14), which he had expressed in zealous persecution. Serving the one who had died and been raised for him has taken the place of self-centered living (v. 15). True understanding of Christ and of his people has replaced ignorance and error (v. 16). The Creator who once said, “Let there be light,” has more recently shone his light into Paul’s darkened heart, making him a new creation (4:6). The subjective personal revelation, experienced “now,” is the sign of the objective “new creation” to be revealed then.
Nonetheless, as throughout this passage, Paul is also speaking representatively for all. Implicit in the words “if anyone” is the gracious evangelical invitation and summons to “all” for whom the “one” died and was raised (vv. 14–15) to enter “into” Christ by faith-commitment, to enjoy the benefits, objective and subjective, that will “now” hold true for “anyone” who responds. The invitation and summons, which are implicit in v. 17, will soon be made explicit, though in the different terms, “be reconciled to God” (v. 20).
17 Paul next states the second outcome of the death and resurrection of Christ. Whenever a person comes to be part of the body of Christ by faith, there is a new act of creation on God’s part. One set of conditions or relationships has passed out of existence (parēlthen, aorist); another set has come to stay (gegonen, perfect). And v. 16 indicates that the principal area of change is that of attitude toward Christ and other people. Knowledge “from a worldly point of view” has given place to knowledge in the light of the cross (cf. Gal 6:15). When a person becomes a Christian, he or she experiences a total restructuring of life that alters its whole fabric—thinking, feeling, willing, and acting. Anyone who is “in Christ” is “Under New Management” and has “Altered Priorities Ahead,” to use wording sometimes found in shop windows or (in England) on road signs.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., 2 Co 5:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1679). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (2 Co 5:17). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Hunt, D. L. (2010). The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 788). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1841). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Utley, R. J. (2002). Paul’s Letters to a Troubled Church: I and II Corinthians (Vol. Volume 6, pp. 241–242). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.
 Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, pp. 192–194). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
 Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, pp. 233–234). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 481). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
27 Jan 2021
9 states considering permitless concealed gun carry bills
Republican lawmakers in nine states are considering bills to change existing gun restrictions by letting people carry concealed weapons without requiring a permit. Following the lead of 15 states that already allow concealed carry without a permit, legislation aiming to relax the rules has been introduced in Utah, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia, Fox News reported.
Many Indian, Chinese soldiers injured in another clash: report
In a sensational disclosure, a government source has reported that many Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured following a clash at Naku La in North Sikkim three days ago. However, the situation is said to be under control as of now. Incidentally, Naku La was one of the original face-off sites, along with Pangong Tso, Galwan, Gogra, Hot Springs, in early May last year.
Judge blocks Biden’s 100-day deportation freeze temporarily
A federal judge blocked Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing the new president’s Executive Order that initiated a 100-day deportation freeze, following a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleging the pause was unconstitutional. Judge Drew Tipton from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, a former President Donald Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeland Security, a move that will apply across the United States for 14 days.
Same pen that urges ‘Buy American’ put thousands out of work
The order signed Jan. 25 by Biden (pictured at right) follows a campaign pledge to tighten federal rules that dictate U.S. government purchases here at home but it comes less than a week after Biden, on his first day in the White House, revoked the permit for adding 800 miles to the massive Keystone XL pipeline that currently runs from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The pipeline has become a symbol of job creation versus carbon pollution, and Biden sided with environmental activists and their concerns by killing it and thus ending good-paying, blue-collar jobs related to its construction.
Drought conditions could impact power generation in the West
Ongoing drought and low snowpack mean that hydro production at two big dams could be impacted, affecting the West’s power supply in 2021.
Tornadoes in January? They’re more common than you think in Alabama
Alabama got hit by what was likely a strong tornado last night. A tornado-warned storm ripped through the northern Birmingham suburbs of Fultondale and Center Point, killing at least one person and injuring several others.
NYT: “Biden Most Religiously Observant Christian President in Half Century”
The mainstream media has lost no time in falling over themselves to fawn over President Biden, but in doing so, many, the New York Times not the least among them, have made outlandish claims that are, at best, laughable, and at worst, horrifying. n an article headlined, “In Biden’s Catholic Faith, and Ascendant Liberal Christianity”, the New York Times called newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden the “most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century.” …with Mr. Biden, a different, more liberal Christianity is ascendant: less focused on sexual politics and more on combating poverty, climate change, and racial inequality.” Mr. Biden’s policy priorities reflect those of Pope Francis, …
This Jewish Cowboy is looking to bring a New Breed of Red Heifer to Israel
Rosenblatt first learned animal husbandry at Fresno State University and continued his studies at Hebrew University. “From my studies, I realized that cross-breeding with Texas Longhorns would greatly benefit the Israeli cattle industry,” Rosenblatt explained. “I presented the idea to the class and everyone, including the professors, agreed that this project would greatly benefit the country.”
105% increase in shootings, 70% increase in homicides in Minneapolis last year
Minneapolis experienced a 105% increase in shootings between 2019 and 2020, according to an end-of-year report presented to the City Council last week. The city recorded 82 homicides in 2020, a 70% increase over 2019’s 48 homicides. Between 2016 and 2019, Minneapolis had an average homicide rate of 41, the report from the Minneapolis Police Department states.
Thousands of Pro-lifers Join West Coast Walk for Life, No Pro-aborts Protest Event
The COVID-outbreak along with political unrest did not stop San Francisco pro-lifers from holding the 17th Annual Walk for Life West Coast on the weekend, sending out the message that “abortion hurts women.” While organizers expected only hundreds to show up at the January 23 walk, they were stunned when almost 2,000 showed up.
Israel threatens to attack Iran if US eases sanctions, rejoins 2015 nuke deal
Israeli officials warned they will attack Iran if President Joe Biden eases U.S. sanctions on Iran and rejoins the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Two weeks ago, Tzachi Hanegbi, a cabinet member and top advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened that Israel will take action, as it did against Iraq in the 1980s and against Syria in 2007, to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear program.
Russia flies warplanes by Alaskan coast in first probe of Biden admin
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected and tracked two Russian Tu-142 “Bear” maritime reconnaisance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft crossing into the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Monday night. While Russia has frequently sent aircraft near the Alaskan coast, this latest incident is the first NORAD has publicly disclosed in 2021 and comes just days after President Joe Biden took office on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Biden hit with first major lawsuit as Texas objects to ‘unlawful’ immigration freeze
Less than a week into President Joe Biden’s term, the administration has been hit with a major lawsuit over a flurry of executive orders issued shortly after the Inauguration Day ceremonies. The legal action, brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, specifically seeks to stop an “unconstitutional, illegal, and bad” freeze on deportations of illegal immigrants from the state.
Ashkenazi warns against ‘confrontational’ Israeli approach to Biden
Israel should not take a publicly oppositional approach to the Biden administration, but should always maintain a military option to counter the Iranian nuclear threat, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday. Ashkenazi made the remarks at the Institute for Security Studies Annual Conference…
Growing concern in Israel over appointment of Malley as US rep. to Iran
The Jewish anti-Israel co-head of the radical left-wing group Code Pink, Ariel Gold, supports the appointment of Robert Malley as the next US special representative to Iran. As does columnist Peter Beinart, who no longer believes in a Jewish state; Iranian nuclear deal cheerleader and echo chamber creator Ben Rhodes; and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrat from Vermont.
All border wall construction to be stopped Tuesday night
Construction workers on the U.S.-Mexico border were notified to stop all border wall projects by the end of Tuesday, according to a congressman whose district sits on the international boundary. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, said…federal contractors working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection were notified…to stop installing the 18- to 30-foot-tall portion of slatted steel wall…
Curfew stays despite ‘scum’ riots in Dutch cities
The Dutch government says it will not lift a curfew, after a third night of violent protests against increased Covid curbs across the Netherlands. Shops in Rotterdam and other cities were looted and Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said: “It’s scum doing this”. More than 180 arrests have been made. The Dutch chief of police said the riots no longer had “anything to do with the basic right to demonstrate”.
Too close for comfort? Grazing cows lead to squabble on Lebanese-Israeli border
Lebanese cattle herders from a village close to the border with Israel said several of their cows, which have grazed freely in the area for decades, were taken by Israeli soldiers, in what could become a new dispute between the two countries. The herders from the border village of Wazzani say Israeli patrols crossed into a grey zone…and started rounding up livestock, taking seven cows.
Dozens injured in anti-lockdown protests in Lebanon’s Tripoli
At least 45 people have been injured in overnight clashes in northern Lebanon between security forces and demonstrators angered by a coronavirus lockdown that has worsened their economic woes, the Lebanese Red Cross says. At least nine of the injured were treated in hospital following rolling scuffles in the city of Tripoli, the Red Cross said on Wednesday.
Israel military revising operational plans against Iran: General
Israel’s top general warned attack plans against Iran were being revised and said any US return to the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran would be “wrong”. Israeli Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi made the remarks on Tuesday in an address to Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. He said the move was made after Iran began restarting its nuclear programme in recent months.
Police fire water cannon as Tunisians march on parliament
Tunisian riot police on Tuesday turned water cannon on protesters outside the heavily barricaded parliament as they tried to quell the largest rally yet since demonstrations began this month over inequality and police abuses. Hundreds of protesters marched from the Ettadhamen district of the capital where young people have clashed nightly with police for more than a week, and were joined by hundreds more near the parliament.
UAE health: COVID-19 may require an annual vaccine
People might need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus annually, according to the spokeswoman of United Arab Emirates’ health sector. Doctor Farida Al-Hosani said virus mutations increase the likelihood that there will be a need to re-vaccinate against it annually in much the same way that people do for influenza, state news agency WAM reported.
Report: Israeli settler population surged during Trump era
Israel’s West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years, a pro-settler group said Wednesday, a period that coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity. The report by West Bank Jewish Population Stats shows the settler population growing by around 13% since the start of 2017 to reach 475,481.
Significant eruption at Merapi volcano, ash to 12.2 km (40 000 feet) a.s.l., Indonesia
A significant eruption took place at the Indonesian Merapi volcano at 06:40 UTC on January 27, 2021. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. Due to the meteorological cloud, ash estimate to 12.2 km (40 000 feet) above sea level was based on the IR temperature. Ash cloud is moving NNW, the Darwin VAAC reports. Multiple ground reports warned of a significant eruption, the center added.
Deadly flooding and landslides hit Santa Catarina after half a month’s worth of rain falls in 6 hours, Brazil
Flooding and landslides killed at least two people in Santa Catarina, Brazil, after 104 mm (4 inches) of rain fell in a six-hour period on Sunday, January 25, 2021. This is equivalent to half a month’s worth of January rain. Heavy rainfall has been lashing Florianopolis in Santa Catarina since January 21. More downpours hit the state in the following days, with almost 40 mm (1.6 inches) in a 1-hour period on Sunday.
Violent and dangerous tornado blasts Fultondale, Alabama, leaving at least 1 dead and several injured
A large and dangerous tornado touched down near Fultondale, Alabama, a northern suburb of Birmingham, just before midnight on Jan. 25, leaving behind a slew of damage with reports of injuries and at least one dead. The twister was reported in the town of in Fultondale around 10:30 p.m. Monday and unleashed extensive damage throughout Jefferson County.
1 in 5 Americans have sexually transmitted diseases
New federal data show that an estimated 1 in 5 people in the United States have had a sexually transmitted infection on any given day and half of them are in people under the age of 24. Statistics from 2018 were released on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Korea reports big jump in COVID-19 cases on outbreaks in Christian schools
South Korean authorities were scrambling on Wednesday to contain coronavirus outbreaks centred around Christian schools as the country reported a jump in infections, dampening hopes of a speedy exit from a third wave of the pandemic.
‘They’re Wasting Our Time’: Rand Paul Shreds ‘Unconstitutional’ Trump Impeachment, Lists Examples Of ‘Democrat Incitement’
“No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise.”
Major winter storm to strike California with excessive rain and heavy mountain snow
A major winter storm is forecast to strike California, U.S. with excessive rain and heavy mountain snow later today, January 26 through Thursday, January 28, 2021.
Rare snow blankets Southern California, potent winter storms to bring more this week
Southern California residents woke up to a surprising sight on Saturday, January 23, 2021, as rare snow dusted parts of the region, including Malibu, where significant snow has not fallen for years. Meanwhile, a pair of potent winter storms are forecast to unleash further snow across the state this week, bringing also a threat of flooding and landslides.
Large tornado hits Fultondale, causing significant damage, Alabama
At least one person has been killed and more than 20 injured after a large tornado ripped through Fultondale, Alabama, U.S. at around 22:30 CST on January 25, 2021 (05:30 UTC, January 26), causing significant material damage and downing trees. The tornado was described by the NWS as ‘large and extremely dangerous.’
Trump makes moves toward parallel presidency as Biden agenda blockaded
The resistance to the corrupt Biden agenda is gaining steam and it’s now clear that numerous elements of the political machine are lining up to block Biden’s actions.
The Left Keeps Accusing Conservatives of “The Big Lie” – A Term Invented by Hitler As He Prepared to Persecute German Jews.
Bloomberg explained the analogy in September: “Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, his minister of propaganda, espoused a technique known as the ‘Big Lie,’ which involved repeating a colossal falsehood until the public came to believe it was true.”
Biden Says He Will Reopen Palestinian Mission In Washington, And Fully Support Dividing Israel And Jerusalem To Create Two State Solution
One reason why President Trump cut financial aid to the Palestinians was because those funds were being used by Hamas to fire rockers across the border at Israel, Joe Biden is obviously not bothered by the monies being used in that way and as agreed to reopen the Palestinian mission in Washington. Let the rockets fly!
Apple bans nearly 40,000 apps after demands by Chinese Communist Party
The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities. Including the 39,000 games, Apple removed more than 46,000 apps in total from its store on Thursday. Games affected by the sweep included Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to research firm Qimai.
Areas of seven Chinese provinces enter ‘wartime’ mode following COVID-19 outbreaks
“Wartime” mode typically means that restrictions are placed on when residents can leave their homes, and almost all public facilities, such as schools, stores, stadiums, and parks, are closed.
Trump creates office of the former President for the people
Former President Donald Trump creates “Office of the Former President” on Monday, January 25, 2021. “Office of the Former President” seeks to advance the interests of the United States and carry on the agenda of his administration.
France: Iran must comply with nuclear deal before US returns to pact
France on Tuesday said the Iranian government must comply with the terms of the 2015 accord limiting its nuclear program before the United States returns to the deal. Russia, however, expressed the opposite view and said Washington must first rejoin the treaty and lift sanctions against Tehran.
Inbound Warhead Explodes Above Saudi Capital After Weekend Drone Intercept
Major blast shakes city in another likely missile intercept over Riyadh…
Headlines – 1/27/2021
Apostasy Watch Wednesday 1-28-21