This week I have been meditating on 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I especially like the way this reads in the Amplified Version: “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” I reflected on the fact that we are not refurbished. When I think of something being refurbished, I think of an item that was old, damaged, broken or no longer functional being restored to useful condition. With the right skills, knowledge, or creativity, some things can be made to look brand new.Take computers for instance. You can purchase one that is sold as refurbished. This means that it was originally purchased and later returned. Once returned, it was sent for repairs where it could be restored to like-new condition.
While I have no problem purchasing something that has been refurbished, that is not the case with our redemption. God did not take the mess we were in and renovate and restore us to like-new condition. We were re-created and given new life! Therefore when the devil comes to condemn us and remind us of our past, we simply inform him that the person he is referring to is dead. Our old man was crucified with Jesus (Romans 6:6). As stated in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Some may say, “I know I was a new creature when I was born again, but I've messed up since then.” That’s the beauty of the grace of God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” No matter what we have done or will do, when we go to God in true repentance, he wipes our slate clean and doesn’t even remember our sins (Hebrews 8:12). If God doesn’t remember them, why should we once we are forgiven?
In Revelation 12:10, the devil is referred to as the “accuser of the brethren.” That is his mode of operation. Our defense against this tactic of the enemy is the Word of God. When he assaults us with flashbacks of our past, we assault him with, “It is written…”! That is why it is important for us to know who we are in Christ. We are not second rate, low quality refurbishments. We are new creations who have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I enjoy looking at renovation projects such as old houses that have been restored and upgraded. I love to watch the Extreme Makeover shows to see projects like this unfold. The best episodes are when they bring in the bulldozers to tear down the house completely and build a new house from the ground. That’s the kind of work that was done is us. Our spiritual “house” was not simply remodeled; we were made brand new. We experienced the first “extreme makeover.” Give thanks to God today for the new and improved you!