The Man in Christ, and What He Becomes
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I. 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.

II. 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.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

WEB: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.

The Change Which Grace Makes in the Human Character
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