What does the Bible say new creation?
Thousands of years ago, God created the first man and woman: Adam and Eve. Now, God says that we who believe in Him are a new creation. “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
How are we a new creation? What does it mean to put on this new self? Why is sin still a significant challenge? Let’s unpack the answers to these questions and more!
Christian quotes about being a new creation
“Your regrets, mistakes, and personal failures need not follow you into the present. You are a new creation.”
“If you are what you’ve always been, you are not a Christian. A Christian is a new creation.” Vance Havner
“Learning to live as a Christian is learning to live as a renewed human being, anticipating the eventual new creation in and with a world which is still longing and groaning for that final redemption.”
What does it mean to be a new creation in Christ?
When we repent of our sin, acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and believe in Jesus for salvation, the Bible says we are “born again” of the Spirit (John 3:3-7, Romans 10:9-10). Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin loses its power in our lives, and we are no longer enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). We are restored to spiritual health as God’s Holy Spirit lives within us, enabling a close relationship with God.
In this “New Covenant,” God puts His laws upon our hearts and writes them on our minds (Hebrews 10:16). We reject the sins God rejects and love spiritual things, and we crave the things of God. Everything is new and joyful.
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
2. Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to the things of old.”
3. Romans 10:9-10 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
4. John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
5. Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
6. John 1:13 (NIV) “Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
7. 1 Peter 1:23 (KJV) “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
8. Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
9. John 3:6 “Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of His creation.”
10. Romans 6:11-12 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
11. Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
12. Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
13. Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
What does it mean to walk in the newness of life?
We have died to sin, so we no longer purposefully continue to live in it. Just as the Father’s glorious power resurrected Jesus from the dead, we are enabled to live new lives of purity. We spiritually unite with Jesus in His death, so we are raised to new spiritual life. When Jesus died, He broke the power of sin. We can consider ourselves dead to the power of sin and, in our newness of life, able to live for the glory of God (Romans 6).
When we walk in the newness of life, the Holy Spirit controls us, and the fruit of that life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We have the power to resist sin’s control and not give in to sinful desires. We give ourselves entirely to God as an instrument for His glory. Sin is no longer our master; now, we live under the freedom of God’s grace (Romans 6).
14. Romans 6:4 (ESV) “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
15. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
16. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.”
17. Romans 6:6–7 (ESV) “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
18. Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love”
19. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
20. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.”
21. Colossians 2:6 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”
22. Colossians 1:10 “so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
23. Ephesians 4:1 “As a prisoner in the Lord, then, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received.”
24. Galatians 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
25. Romans 8:4 “so that the righteous standard of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
26. Galatians 5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
27. Romans 13:14 “Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.”
If I am a new creation, why do I still struggle with sin?
As new creation people, we are no longer enslaved to sin. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t have temptations to sin or that we will be sinless. Satan will still tempt us to sin – he even tempted Jesus three times! (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus, our High Priest, was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Satan and worldly things can tempt our physical body (our flesh). We may have sinful habits developed throughout our lifetimes – some of them before we were saved and some even after if we were not walking in step with the Spirit. Our flesh – our old physical self – is at war with our spirit, which has been renewed when we came to Christ.
“I joyfully agree with the law of God in the inner person, but I see a different law in the parts of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin, the law which is in my body’s parts.” (Romans 7:22-23)
In this war against sin, a new creation believer has the upper hand. We still experience temptation, but we have the power to resist; sin is no longer our master. Sometimes our physical self wins out over our renewed spirit, and we fail and sin, but we realize that has pulled us away from the sweet relationship we have with Christ, the lover of our souls.
Sanctification – growing in holiness and purity – is a process: it is an ongoing war between the spiritual and the flesh, and warriors need discipline to win. This means reading and meditating on God’s Word every day, so we know and are reminded of what God defines as sin. We need to be in prayer daily, confessing and repenting our sins and asking God to help us in the struggle. We need to be tender to the Holy Spirit when He convicts us of sin (John 16:8). We shouldn’t neglect meeting with other believers because we encourage each other and spur each other on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-26).
28. James 3:2 “For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well.”
29. 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
30. Romans 7:22-23 (NIV) “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
31. Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
32. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Struggling with sin versus living in sin
All believers struggle with sin, and those who discipline themselves for holiness usually have victory. Not always – we all stumble occasionally – but sin is not our master. We still struggle, but we win more than we lose. And when we do stumble, we quickly confess our sin to God and anyone we’ve hurt, and we move on. Part of a victorious struggle means being aware of our specific weaknesses for certain sins and taking steps not to repeat those sins.
On the other hand, someone living in sin isn’t struggling against sin. They’ve essentially given them over to sin – they’re not warring against it.
For instance, the Bible says sexual immorality is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:18). So, an unmarried couple living together in a sexual relationship is literally living in sin. Other examples are constantly overeating or getting drunk because gluttony and drunkenness are sins (Luke 21:34, Philippians 3:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). A person living with uncontrolled anger is living in sin (Ephesians 4:31). Those who habitually lie or live a gay lifestyle live in sin (1 Timothy 1:10).
Basically, a person living in sin is repeatedly committing the same sin, without repentance, without asking for God’s help to resist that sin, and often without acknowledging that it is sin. Some might recognize they are sinning but try to justify it somehow. The point is that they’re making no effort to battle against evil.
33. Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?”
34. 1 John 3:8 “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
35. 1 John 3:6 “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”
36. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT) “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
How to become a new creature in Christ?
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). How do we get there?
We repent (turn away from) our sin and turn to Christ. “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).
If we confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9-19).
When you repent and place your faith in Jesus for your salvation, you become a new creation in Christ. You are transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light – the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).
37. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
38. Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”
39. Romans 4:5 “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
40. Ephesians 1:13 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
41. Romans 3:24 “and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Benefits of being a new creation in Christ
- You have a clean slate! “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Your sins are washed away. You are sanctified: made holy and pure, set apart for God. You are justified: made righteous in God’s eyes and cleared of the punishment you deserve. Once, you were on the path to destruction, but now your citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:18-20).
- You are a son or daughter of God! “You have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!”
Just like with your physical conception and birth, you became the child of your parents, you are now born again, and God is your Father. You have free access to God at any time; you have intimacy with Him – “Abba” means “Daddy!” You have His amazing, mind-blowing love, and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-38). God is for you! (Romans 8:31)
- You have the Holy Spirit! He will give life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). He helps our weaknesses and intercedes for us according to God’s will (Romans 8:26-27). He empowers us to live pure lives and be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8). He guides us into all truth (John 16:13). He convicts us of sin (John 16:8) and teaches us all things (John 14:26). He gives us spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
- You are seated with Jesus in heavenly places! (Ephesians 2:6) Our radical new creation involves dying to sin and resurrecting to our new life with Jesus, united with Him – spiritually – in heavenly places. We are in the world, but not of the world. Just as, in Christ, we died to sin and resurrect as a new creation, we also, in Christ, are seated in the heavenly realms. That’s present tense – now!
- You have abundant life and healing! “I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) As a new creation, we don’t just exist. We have a superior, extraordinary life that overflows with blessings beyond anything we could ask or think. And that includes our health.
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (James 5:14-15).
42. 1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
43. 1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”
44. Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
45. Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
46. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Examples of a new creation in the Bible
Paul: Saul (Paul in Latin) experienced an extraordinary conversion. Before placing his faith in Jesus, he orchestrated massive persecution against Christians (Acts 8:1-3). He was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. And then, the Lord knocked him off his horse, struck him blind, and spoke to Saul. God sent Ananias to heal Saul and tell him that he was God’s chosen instrument to take His message to the Gentiles, kings, and Israel’s people (Acts 9).
And that’s just what Saul did! When he became a new creation, he stopped persecuting the church and instead became its most significant evangelist – introducing the message of Jesus throughout the Middle East and southern Europe. He also wrote half of the New Testament books, explaining essential doctrines about faith and what being a “new creation” meant.
Cornelius was a Roman captain of the Italian Regiment in Caesarea (in Israel). Perhaps through the influence of godly Jews, he and all his household regularly prayed to God and gave generously to the poor. At this time, the new church was just starting after Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven, but it was just Jews – not “Gentiles” or non-Jews. God gave both Cornelius and Peter a vision. God told Cornelius to send for Peter, and He told Peter not to call anything unclean if God makes it clean. This was God’s way of telling Peter it was okay to go into a Roman’s house and share God’s Word.
Peter traveled to Caesarea to meet Cornelius, who had gathered his friends and relatives to hear Peter’s message. Peter shared the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection for their salvation. Cornelius’s family and friends, who came from an idol-worshiping background, believed in Jesus and were baptized. They were the beginning of the church among the Romans (Romans 10).
The Jailor: When Paul was on one of his missionary journeys with his friend Silas, they were in Macedonia, where they introduced the message of Jesus for the first time. They encountered a demon-possessed slave girl who could tell the future. Paul commanded the demon to leave her, and it did, and she lost the power to tell fortunes. Her angry masters couldn’t make money from her fortune-telling anymore, so they stirred up a mob, and Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten, and thrown into jail with their feet in stocks.
Paul and Silas were singing praises to God at midnight (new creation people rejoice even in bad circumstances) while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly, an earthquake threw open the prison door, and everyone’s chains fell off! The jailor thought everyone had escaped and pulled out his sword to commit suicide when Paul called out, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We’re all here!”
The jailor fell at their feet, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
And Paul and Silas shared the word of the Lord with their jailer and with all who lived in his household. The jailer washed their wounds, then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. Before this, they worshiped the idols of the Greek gods – now, they knew the All-Powerful true God, who opens prisons doors and sets the captives free!
47. Acts 9:1-5 “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.”
48. Acts 16:27-33 “When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.”
49. Acts 10:44-46 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had also been poured out on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter responded.”
50. Acts 15:3 “Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.”
Becoming a new creation in Christ means you enter into relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. Becoming a new creation means entering a new life of breathtaking privileges and spectacular blessings. Your life is radically changed. If you are not yet a new creation in Christ, NOW is the day of salvation! Now is the day to enter into unimaginable joy in your new life with Christ!