By MATTHEW TOONI
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Salvation causes a change in the newly born-again believer. Not only is there an outward change, but there is also an inward change. We become a NEW creature in Christ. Our eyes open anew for the first time as if we were fresh from the womb. Our salvation experience mirrors that of the natural birth. Some crying, while some are as calm as a cool crisp morning. I’ve been saved for six years. Some that know me may think that I’ve been saved longer than that, yes, I was a counterfeit Christian for much of my life. I went through religious activity in that I never sought Christ for salvation. I depended upon the preacher that sat by me and his prayer; not understanding wholly what it meant to be saved.
In the first part of this verse, it tells us that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. When an individual is truly saved, they are renewed. In other words, the heart is regenerated. Where do you suppose sin originates? All sin originates from the heart; your thoughts are connected to the heart; your voice then makes those thoughts audible and then your body puts those thoughts into action. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 15:18 KJV – But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. As a counterfeit Christian, I was able to show some morality, I carried a bible to school with me! All these things that you may think would mark a person as saved was just an outward show. I was baptized and joined the church. I “acted” like a Christian, but I had no desire to do anything for God. My testimony was nonexistent, but it didn’t matter to me, I was saved.
The second part of this verse tells us that old things are passed away. In other words, the born-again believers’ desires change. The testimony of the real believer becomes consistent to the salvation experience. That’s the difference between an actual Christian and a counterfeit. Our lives reflect our testimony to this world. If we are indeed a new creature in Christ, our old desires die out along with our old life. It would be inconsistent and hypocritical for a Christian to boldly declare “I’ve been saved and now I can live anyway that I want!” Jesus made it clear in Matthew 6:24 KJV – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The life of the counterfeit Christian is one of great woe. They’re like a person that stands outside of a restaurant, smelling the wonderful aroma coming from inside and they just continue to peer in through the window; knowing the door is just an arm’s length away. There’s no peace in that life.
The last part of this verse tells us to behold, all things are become new. I can’t thank God enough for saving my soul! The Lord began to deal with me at WCU, where I met a preacher giving the gospel, he talked to me, and I did my best to convince him that I was saved (but the alcohol in my room, and my lifestyle said different). Those years of being counterfeit were beginning to unravel. My sin and my relationship with God were growing more apparent. He could’ve called me out and I’d be in Hell. A week went by. The conversation I had with that preacher wouldn’t go away. It bothered me. But by Gods’ mercy and grace, He allowed me one more opportunity at salvation. I called the preacher, and we met up at McDonald’s. He asked a series of questions, and I did my best to convince him, but God showed me where I truly was, and I wept my way to the Savior, and He saved me! In an instant, my tears of sorrow turned to tears of pure joy! Consistency in the life of a Christian is important. Our testimony is important. I encourage you to examine your heart and be absolutely assured that you’re not living a counterfeit Christian life.