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In creation, two elements came into being concerning man’s makeup: body and spirit. In Christianity, the body of man will eventually be recreated, but the spirit of man is already recreated, which manifests the omnipotence of the Spirit of God as its Creator. The first creation was intentionally temporary; the last or new creation—eternal! Thus, Christians have, not the life of the Spirit, but the “life” of Christ, from the power of the Spirit, which is the “life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). The life of the believer is Christ Himself (Col 3:4), and the power of this new Life in Christ is the Holy Spirit—who “shall abide with you forever” (Jhn 14:16; Rev 22:17).
Old and New Creations
Of the first creation we read, “all things were made by Him” (Jhn 1:3); and again, “all things were created by Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). Not so the second creation, for the formula of this is “in Me” (Jhn 15:4). This is “the creation of God” (Rev 3:14) with Christ as its Head, as the first was by Christ with Adam as its head. Accordingly, in Ephesians we are said to be God’s “workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). So that this new creation (new creature - 2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15—NC), and the works morally suited in character to it, are as truly as the first creation divinely formed and prepared. And, what is of deepest moment, they are altogether and exclusively in the Lord Jesus in every respect.
Thus we are chosen in the Lord Jesus, have redemption in Him; are made nigh, sealed, blessed, accepted, and seated in Him, in “whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Eph 1:11; Heb 9:15 ), etc. In the same Epistle too, we read, “Having put on the new man, renewed into full knowledge, according to the image of Him that has created him,” wherein there is neither Greek nor Jew . . . but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:10, 11). Clearly we see here the righteous title of the Lord Jesus as sovereign Head of the new creation, and the same scriptures constitute our title-deeds to this inheritance in Him, in whom all its moral characteristics find full and blessed display.
In Romans 6:11 we get the first mention (not only the concept but also the direct wording—NC) of this new ground. “Likewise, reckon ye also yourself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord.” So in verse 23, “the wages of sin is death”—this is the old creation—“but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”—this is the new creation. For, be it observed, it is not only eternal life, but in “Christ Jesus our Lord,” which establishes it as this new, positive order of blessing which is ours in union with Him as “the beginning of the creation of God” (could probably mean “beginning of the new creation”—NC) and which is perfectly exemplified only in the moral beauty of His own character—“the fruit of the Spirit” (who is the Spirit of the Father and of Christ - Rom 8:9; 1Pe 1:11; Phl 1:19—NC).
Then, in Romans Eight, it is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” making it clear our deliverance judicially the curse of the first creation. In Adam is condemnation, in Christ Jesus, none; because in the reckoning of faith we have died with Him out of the creation to which condemnation belonged, and for those who are His it is “irrevocably” abolished (Rom 11:29). “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Hence our present portion is that we are actually upon virgin soil, as it were, of a new creation—“in Christ, a new creation” (first One to possess the eternal body—NC).
“Old things are passed away”; this was indispensable, for it is impossible that we should have at the same time a standing in Adam to answer for ourselves (law), and a standing in the Lord Jesus who has answered for us (grace). It is the total relegation, morally, for faith of the former and abrogated creation, now no longer acknowledged, and carrying with it a final repudiation of the flesh and its activities.
What a thorough, what a perfect, deliverance this is! In fine, it is God’s solution for us of every problem as to our relation morally to man’s world. I have died in the death of Christ. As the reckoning of faith, and in the same reckoning, the “old things”, in which the life of the first man found gratification, “have passed away”; be it the world, with its: lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life; or be it the flesh itself, with all its nameless variety of ways of working; or be it man’s religiousness, or will-worship (Col 2:23); all that God traces to that parent root of self-will, or lawlessness, He in His supremacy over evil, assures us that all has “passed away,” as between us and Himself.