Explain 2 Corinthians 5:17 Meaning Of " a new creation"?

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Puritan Board Freshman
I have always wondered if this phrase," a new creation " has any connection with the New Heavens & New Earth spoken of in other Old and New Testament scriptures. What I mean is that when Christ was raised from the dead and became the Firstfruits spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:20 to 28 at that moment in the Spiritual realm in redeemed souls in Christ did the unseen aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven have its begining for us? And at the end of the world and with the beginning of the vissible Kingdom the physical manifestation of the Spiritual reality is this hinted at in the phrase from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and other like portions of scripture refferences?


Puritan Board Senior
I've wondered the same as well! The effects of Christ's work on our behalf are more than "so I will go to heaven when I die." We also will have resurrected bodies and a New Heavens and New Earth in which to dwell. Perhaps it is similar to our adoption as sons- already not yet! The old things have passed away and indeed all things are new, but we will say that even more fully at the Second Coming.


Puritan Board Graduate
The phrase new creation [καινή κτισίς] is used only twice in the N.T. ___here and in Gal. 6:15

Lenski comments on this phrase saying:
This is no mere mending or improvement but an actual “creation”___ A Creator is implied ___ “Creation” leads us to think of what God did when he created the world.
Consider Ephesians Two__
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

“… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation …”
Paul is making a Logical Corollary here

If in Christ : (Then) New Creation

Paul makes a 2ND Logical Corollary
If New Creation : (Then) Old Things Have Passed


The form of the Greek word translated “have passed” means an action that has occurred at some POINT in the past.
Whatever these old things are, the apostle declares that when someone becomes a Christian, these old things have departed;
-they have left the building;
-they have passed away.
-They are no longer present doing that which they had always done in choice-making-realm of the Christian.

What are these “old things” that have passed?

Some would say Sin! That Sin has passed away, that sin has left the building.

Is Paul teaching Sinless Perfection here?

Does “old things passing away” equal “we never sin again?”

To refute perfectionist notions we need only back up to chapter 1 of this same epistle:

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

So whatever “old things have passed” means it does not mean that the Christian never sins again.

So what does it mean? When Paul says that the old things have passed away what does he mean?

Remember that the word he used speaks of something that HAPPENED AT SOME POINT IN THE PAST. It has reference, I believe, to the Christian’s Definitive Sanctification.

You can think of definitive sanctification as one of those Defining Moments.

Your regeneration was a Defining Moment. It was instantaneous.

Your justification was a Defining Moment; it is NOT a work in progress.

And so too, your definitive sanctification was a Defining Moment.

In that moment the Holy Spirit perfectly and permanently set you apart from the world and unto Christ. The Living God claimed you as His exclusive property, set apart unto His holy purposes.

How did Paul address that notoriously troubled church in Corinth? __

1 Corinthians 1:2 “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus …” [ Perf. Pass. ]

Now to be sure, there is often in conversion ___ particularly the conversion of those who have lived the life of a pagan ___ a conspicuous and radical change of life at the outset.

See __Acts 19:17-19 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.

These Ephesian converts had very little, if any, training at this point in what was shameful for Christians to be a part of. It was however instinctive to their renewed hearts that these things were contrary to their new relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

But what do we later find Paul teaching some of these same believers at the church in Ephesus?

Turn to:
Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

These growing Christians still had to be exhorted to put off some very stubborn sins which easily beset them.

It is not uncommon today for a man or woman who, upon conversion, will destroy their entire collection of ungodly books, magazines and music rather than to allow those things to be used by others.

This is the fruit of definitive sanctification. It is instinctive because it flows out of our newly established Union with Christ.

But the new believer, freshly converted, is often ignorant of a vast amount of the teachings of the Bible.

Over the years to come, and under the faithful teaching of the Word of God, the believer will learn more, and more, how to apply the many principles of Scripture to their own life. That, however, is what we call progressive sanctification.

It is universally true of Christians that before we were made new creations in Christ we looked at the world, and our life in it, through jaded eyes and a darkened mind.

We thought as the world thought. We lusted after the things of the world. We drank iniquity like water.

These, I submit, are the Old Things that have passed away.

The old frame of mind, or frame of reference which was utterly worldly.

The mind which was set on evil.

The mind which began with self …

continued to be consumed with self …

and ended with self.

Like the mind of the unjust steward in Luke 16:8

“So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”

This was Paul’s own testimony before his conversion:

Acts 26:9 "Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

And so too with those to whom he wrote:

Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

The old man, with his worldly, fleshly frame of reference;

the old man whose mind was polluted,

whose affections were enslaved to sinful pursuits,

whose will was energized by the evil one;

that old man that was You was crucified at the moment of your salvation.

There is now a new principle at work in you.

Your mind is renewed.

Your affections are set on things above.

Your will is to do God’s will.

The old things have passed away.


Puritan Board Freshman
Amen dear sister and Brother, Thank you rbcbob my dear Elder for the good teaching which I know is true based upon the Scriptures used and for your well presented response. The implications of this text are vast and I have always thought that one could open it up and write volumes on its meaning. Looking forward to more responses on it.
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