What does 2 Corinthians 5:17 mean?
ESV: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
NIV: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
NASB: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
CSB: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
NLT: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
KJV: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
NKJV: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has written that Christ's death for sin has changed the way he regards people. Instead of looking at each person as a mere human being, he must view those who are in Christ as something entirely different. Those who are "in Christ" are those who have faith in Him, credited with Christ's righteous life, and their sin forgiven by Christ's death in their place. Such people are new creatures. Those "in Christ" have become something they were not before. Their identity has changed from being the fallen version of themselves, to being associated with the righteousness of Christ. That's who they are now.

In fact, the old version of a Christian, who they were before they were "in Christ," is not recoverable. The old is gone, Paul writes. The new has come. All the old dreams and ideas and agendas and purposes have ceased to exist and have been replaced by Christ's ideas and agendas and purposes in an entirely new creature called "Christian."

Paul's words are true in another way. The old way of humanity is also gone. The old way of the law is also gone. Christ is the long-promised new Covenant that makes it possible for men and women to be made new once and for all, and for eternity, with no possibility of returning to the old.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 5:11–21 describes an appeal to those in Corinth who know Paul. It's important they understand he is not crazy for continuing to preach the gospel, even though it leads to so much suffering for him. Christ's love compels Paul to continue to tell all people that they be reconciled to God through faith in Christ, just as he was. In Christ, God is not counting people's sins against them, but instead giving them credit for Christ's righteous life. As Christ's ambassador, Paul begged all people to be reconciled to God through faith in Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Why does Paul endure so much suffering for preaching about Christ? He continues here his discussion of eternity, comparing our earthly bodies to living in a tent. Paul would rather live in the eternal body God has prepared for those who trust in Christ, free from the groaning and burden that afflicts everyone here. With that to look forward to, he preaches with courage that all in Christ are new creations. In Christ, God is reconciling people to Himself, not counting their sin against them. Paul implores everyone to be reconciled to God in this way through faith in Christ.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 5 follows Paul's confident declarations in the previous chapter. His suffering, though severe, is only a light, momentary affliction preparing him for eternal glory beyond all comparison. He would rather occupy his eternal body, which gives him the courage to continue his mission to preach the gospel that God is reconciling people to Himself, forgiving their sin, through faith in Christ. Those in Christ become a new creation. He concludes by imploring all to be reconciled to God, which he continues to do in the following chapter.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 6/22/2024 6:18:51 PM
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