Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For [he’s giving us the reason now], you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way...
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
You may be a Christian, a new creation in Christ, but your eyes, your accent, and your height are all the same as they were before.
There are many things that do not change in regeneration. We need to understand what does not change, as well as what does, if we are to be wise in living the Christian life.
The apostle Paul, describing the Christian life, said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Galatians 2:20 is really a commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:17: “I no longer live” means the same thing as “the old has gone,” and “Christ lives in me” means “the new has come.”
“The life I live… I live by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20). This new life is by faith in the Son of God. That means believing that Christ is for you, with you, and in you. It means trusting Christ to sustain you—whatever you are facing.
“The life I live in the body…” (Gal. 2:20). In the body means that you will continue to struggle with the unique challenges of your temperament. You will feel the pull of your flesh. You will sometimes find yourself lacking courage, losing heart, and lamenting your inconsistency. You will experience sickness, temptation, weakness, and eventually death.
Understanding that the new life is lived “by faith” and “in the body” will help you to not become overly confident or overly discouraged in the Christian life.
Are you more inclined to overconfidence or discouragement?