2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The Greek word for ‘new’ in context is kainos, according to Strong’s it can also be described as fresh, recently made, of a new kind, unprecedented, uncommon, unheard of.
The Greek word for ‘behold’ is idou, and the Hebrew root (הֵן) pronounced ‘hayn’ for the word ‘behold’ is an interjection and contains the elements of surprise, to pay attention, and to pause in order to really notice and consider.
Contextually, Paul is speaking of no longer regarding people that have accepted Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection as worldly. They are new creations. The word of faith is regarding identity, not sanctification as the some theologians would have you believe.
The text doesn’t say that “he is becoming” a new creation, it says “he IS” a new creation. By the way, the text is gender neutral as there is no male or female in matters of spiritual identity (Gal 3:28). The text doesn’t say that one is becoming new, the tense is that one HAS become new. A change of identity has already taken place.
For those who have accepted Jesus’ offer of a new life, the enemy of your soul and religion don’t want you to know who you are.
Satan repeatedly asked Jesus, “IF you are the son of God.” If Satan would tempt Jesus to believe lies about his identity, wouldn’t he do the same for you and I?
“Do you know who you are?”
The movie, “The Lion King,” contained a powerful portrayal of the very real issue of identity that we all must wrestle with. In the movie, Simba believed the lies that the enemy of his soul had told him. As a result, he lived in a place of shame and exile. Current researcher Brene’ Brown defines shame this way, “Guilt=I did something bad. Shame=I am bad.” The good news is that God offers a solution for both. The offer of continuing forgiveness of sins (for guilt) and a new identity (for shame).
Paul also made this statement:
Galatians 6:15 (ESV)
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Paul makes the bold claim that our religious efforts (circumcision) isn’t what will matter in the end, but our identity.
I want to introduce two Hebrew words to you as they have bearing on you becoming a new creation, giving credit to Rabbi Jonathan Kahn for the inspiration.
Rechem (H7357) רֶחֶם
This word means womb in Hebrew, and has racham as its root. The womb is the place where a delicate and precious new life is formed. The womb is a place of protection, warmth, nurture, and love.
In a healthy relationship, a child is conceived out of love. It is no different with God.
Most people that have gone through the experience of raising a child will have lots of respect and compassion for any pregnant woman. A pregnant woman usually evokes a compassionate response, and we will make all kinds of concessions for her.
A womb in Hebraic thought is synonymous with the word compassion. In fact, they come from the same Hebrew root.
Racham (H7358) רָחַם
This is a Hebrew word meaning to be soft, to have compassion, to pity, to show mercy, to cherish, to love.
Let’s tie some concepts together. In John chapter 3, we find the Pharisee named Nicodemus asking Jesus a question under the cover of darkness. Nicodemus exclaims that Jesus couldn’t do the miracles that he did unless God were with him.
John 3:3-6 (ESV)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Jesus was instructing Nicodemus in being born again of the spirit. This offer of becoming born again only comes through believing in the Son.
14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“For God so loved the world.” How can you believe that God loves you? I offer one new thought. God offers a new identity for you in the womb of God. The womb is a symbol of racham, where God offers compassion, mercy, warmth, and love. Your new identity is birthed in that love, and you are a new creation as a result.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Those old wounds in your soul of shame and rejection don’t have to stay.
Personally, I have been born again for fifteen years, and yet I am just now starting to get this. Recently, I have heard multiple messages regarding identity, building up my faith and tying things together. I am so tired of being rejected. I have decided that the only antidote to repeated rejection and the accompanying hurt is an upgrade in my identity. I am taking hold of this important truth by faith. I have a new identity and that is where I need to live from.
John 1:12 (NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
You see, if you are in Christ, you HAVE been given a new identity as a child of God. You ARE a new creation. You HAVE a new life and destiny. You WERE born again in the womb of God. You WERE shown compassion and given mercy. You WERE conceived in love (for God so loved you).
It doesn’t matter what your old identity was.
Your new identity is who you are having been birthed anew out of the womb of God. You have been made new, clean, fresh, innocent, and dearly loved.
That is who you ARE, a new creation!
If you don’t yet know Jesus, an offer still stands for you to be cleansed, forgiven, and to receive a new identity and destiny.