II Corinthian 5:14-17
14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We were dead. That is what II Corinthians tells us here in chapter 5, verse 14. Dead, how? We know because of the fall of Adam we are all dead spiritually, Romans 5:12 says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: All of us are born dead spiritually, we have inherited our father Adam’s sin nature. And given enough time, we all willfully sin against God. Ephesians 2:1-3 says And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.The Bible says because of our sin we deserve the wrath of God.
But that is just the beginning of God’s plan of redemption. I love the beginning of this passage in II Corinthians 5:14, the love of Christ. Because of Christ’s love for us, His death on the cross for us, and His resurrection from the dead, our sins and trespasses have been paid for, our dead spirits, as Ephesians 2:1 tells us, have been quickened, or brought to life, if we are saved. Look at Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Because of God’s love and through His grace and mercy we can be saved. Christ died for our sins, and not just ours, the sins of the whole world, as we learn in II Corinthians 5:14 it says one[Christ] died for all, if they would only believe!
Which brings us to verses 15-16. What do we do after we are saved? Verse 15 is clear: We are to live for God. In verse 16 it says we may have known Christ in the flesh, meaning we may have gotten saved when we were lost sinners on our way to Hell; but that it not how we are to continue to live. We have a clear command from Scripture that the Christian, that has been saved from sin and Hell, and brought to back to life spiritually, is not to live as he did before he was saved.
We find out how and why in II Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Verse 17 tells us that if we are in Christ, we are a new creature. Jesus describes this process to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 when He said, ye must be born again. That is why you sometimes hear salvation called the “New Birth” When we get saved it like a new child is born, a child of God is born into the Family of God. This child has all the attributes of His Father, the Spirit of God living inside of him, the righteousness of Christ imputed into him, and the fruit of the Spirit coming out of him.
That is why Paul says we are a new creature. Our old sin nature does not control us anymore, if we do not let it, we can be controlled by the Holy Spirit. As the Bible says in Ephesians 4:20-24, But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. There are countless passages in the New Testament that instruct believers to put away sin from our lives. Romans 6, Ephesians 4 and 5, Romans 12, Hebrews 12 and many others. The good news is, we are not alone. This body of flesh may sin, but we are a new creature, with Holy Spirit living inside of us we do not have to be slaves to sin any longer, but we can serve Christ! He gave his life for ours so that we could live for Him! Live for Him today!