“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) 

Most of us wouldn’t have any problem identifying what is meant by the old has gone in this passage.  We all have baggage we need to release – old habits, regrets and hurts we need to unload. That’s why the Gospel is such good news!  In Christ, we can say good riddance to them all!  Praise God!

But, that’s not all!  It’s not enough to simply let go of the past; God has a hope and a future for each of us in Christ, and He desires for us to flourish today! “The new has come.”  What does that mean?  I call it the great exchange!  We get to exchange our guilt for God’s grace!  We exchange our unrighteousness for His righteousness!  We exchange our bondage for His freedom, our death for His life, our darkness for His light, our sorrow for the fullness of His joy, and our poverty for His wealth!  All that the Father made available to Jesus is available to us in Christ!  The Bible says we are complete in Christ!

When the Bible says the new has come, it means we have a new way of life, a new way of thinking, new desires and a new beginning.  Here are just five of the new realities we experience when we are in Christ that we should thank God for today:

  1. We are forgiven! (Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 2:13)
  2. We are made children of God! (John 1:12 and 1 John 3:1)
  3. We are indwelt by Christ! (Colossians 1:27 and Galatians 2:20)
  4. We have a new life! (2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 2:4, 5)
  5. We can know we have eternal life! (1 John 5:11-13, John 10:27-29)

Spend time in worship today, searching these passages and thanking God for the new life you have in Christ!  Make a list of all that you have released from your past and what is becoming new to you each day as you grow in your walk with Christ. How has your life changed since you came to Christ?  You may not be all that you want to be or think God wants you to be, but thank God you are not what you used to be!  Let each day be an adventure of discovering who you are in Christ!