2 Corinthians 5:17-18  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
What does it mean to be a ‘new creation’?

It means that every part and aspect of our life takes on a whole new orientation, a whole new outlook, a completely different meaning and purpose to life.  In making this dramatic, life-changing claim, the apostle Paul reminds us of a number of truths associated with it.

Firstly, it is ‘in Christ’.  This means that it can only be a reality if we turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance-and-faith and acknowledge him as our Saviour from our sin and as the rightful Lord of our being and life, that everything from that point on is centred on Him and determined by our relationship with him, with the moment-by-moment presence of his Holy Spirit within us.

Secondly, it means expecting to see the steady progress of saying goodbye to all our ‘old’ attitudes and behaviours that are out of place in this new relationship.

Thirdly, it means that we recognise that this radical change is something that God has brought about for us because we had no ability to achieve it ourselves.  It is a new creation, and God is the only Creator – ‘all this is from God’.  Paul had just declared in the chapter before: “For God, `who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ [ie the Creator] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay [that must be moulded by the Potter’s hands (cf Romans 9:21)] to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).

Thirdly, it means that we are now in a close loving relationship with God as friends, whereas our previous ‘relationship’ hsd been as enemies because of the fact of our sin and God’s holiness.  Paul explains all this in Romans 5:1-11.

Fourthly, it means that the new focus of our lives will be to reach out to others to encourage them to come to Christ and enjoy all the love, joy and peace that we experience day-by-day as his new creation.  The ministry of reconciliation can be very satisfying and fulfilling as we see people’s lives being totally changed, and not just ‘improved’.  In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis reminds us that Jesus came, ‘not to make better men of the old kind’ but ‘to make a new kind of man’ – which is what Jesus implied when he told the ‘good-living’ Pharisee, Nicodemus, “You must be born again’ (John 3:7).
– Bruce Christian