From Pastor’s Desk:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
To make something new is to completely do away with the old, which leads to an interesting concept, that is, why do we see some who have accepted Christ as Savior still doing the same things they used to do as the “old” person. I mean, if the old has gone and the new has come, shouldn’t they be acting differently? Of course, there are many who would argue from many different perspectives on the subject, but one still cannot get away from the principle of Scripture.
The following, admittedly, is rather philosophical jargon, but here goes.
Note the word “creation,” revised from “creature” in the KJV, which is, κτίσις ktisis (ktis’-is), or, original formation. Could we think of it as the time of creation when everything was never-before, fresh, and totally new? Dare we think of it as being born as individual, never-before, fresh, and totally new?
If we allow that, then, can we not allow that at creation there was a process begun, with everything, and everyone, entering that process to become what or who it or they were to become. That being the case, as one accepts it, then can we not assume that when one is saved, or born again, or made a new creature, that person becomes a part of a process of becoming what or who he/she is going to finally be?
The church is too quick, in my opinion, to judge one who is still “rough around the edges” after they have come to know Christ. That is, of course, the point of the matter. They have come to know Christ as Savior, but they have entered a process of knowing Him as Lord, and giving Him complete control of their lives. They have been made a new creature, or creation, and are now on the road to being what/who God intends for them to be.
Now don’t misunderstand, or misinterpret my remarks. I believe in growing up and becoming mature in the Lord. One cannot remain an infant, child, adolescent, etc., but must, as the writer of Hebrews says, “…go on to perfection (completion)” (6:1). Those “rough edges” must be smoothed out somewhere along the way, and if one is sincere, the Lord will see to that. We can help, but it is ultimately The Holy Spirit’s job, simply because He knows how better to do it then we.
In conclusion I would say that most folks I know (well, okay, everyone I know), including me, are still in that process, and will be until death separates us from this life or we are caught up to be with the Lord in the air at the time of His coming.
Don’t give up on the process! It might include some valleys in between the mountain tops. Most assuredly it will necessitate some trials along the way to grow you into the person God can use effectively. But when the devil confronts you with your past just tell him to “Bug off, I’m a new creature in Christ Jesus, and He’s still working on me.” Might have to tell that (kindly, with love) to some other Christians, also.