17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
This verse sets forth four antithetical statements.
The “therefore” draws an implication from the previous verse (2 Co 5:16).
if [since] anyone is in Christ,
“In Christ” refers to positional truth. It is how God views our status; it is the same status that Christ has before Him. God sees us with the same status that Jesus has before Him.
he is a new [new in kind, not time] creation;
The “new creation” is the Christian’s new status before God (Ga 6:15). It is not an experiential change in the Christian’s behavior. It is not something that the believer did, but what Christ did.
There are two Greek words for “new.” One means new in time; that is not the word here. The other is new in kind, which is our word here. When a person becomes a Christian, he becomes a new species in God’s eyes.
The believer has an entirely new status in God’s eyes, the same status that Jesus has before Him. The privilege of being “in Christ” was not an Old Testament concept, but it became real for the believer in the New Testament. This is a major difference between the Old and New Testament believer.
The church did not begin until Pentecost. At that point the body of Christ, the church, began. This is the new-in-kind creation. This has nothing to do with how the believer personally changes, but with something Christ did; He gave the Christian an entirely new status in God’s eyes. This is not an experience but the status of positional truth. The magnitude of change did not take place in the character of the Christian but in eternal glory.
old things have passed away;
The status of being “in Adam” passed away when believers were placed by God “in Christ.”
Since the believer has a new status with God, there is a whole new dimension to his life. The believer has a new judicial standing before God.
all [not some] things have become new.
The words “have become” is in a Greek tense that indicates the “new” began at a point in the past (salvation) with the results continuing into the present (perfect tense).
The Christian’s status before God radically changed at the point his salvation.
The believer’s status in Christ radically changed his or her life before God. God’s view of the person before and after becoming a Christian is fundamentally different.
Once a person becomes a Christian, he or she takes on a new-in-kind status with God. We hold the same status as Jesus before the Father. This is the new creation the believer has before God.