2 Corinthians 4-6

Transformed! Christians are New Creatures!

In verse 13, of Chapter 3, Paul says that Moses put a veil on over his face after he spoke with God, because after he had met with God, his face would shine with the glory of God.  It wasn’t because he was trying to hide the glory, but he was hiding the fact that the glory was fading away!

This is always the case when we try to do things in our own strength. Take New Year’s resolutions for example.  When we make them we usually are excited and energized with new hope in what we are going to do. Maybe we will join a gym or try a new diet or so on, but when the work starts, the excitement fades and we fall back into the old pattern. When the work started the hope started to fade and our dream of transforming our old life into a new life came crashing down.

Jesus said that we cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. By this He meant we can’t keep doing the same things over and over expecting different results. Instead, we need a new life. We need to be born again if we are to live eternally in Christ. John 3:16

When things come crashing down people often go to church expecting that to fix everything. It is true that going to church is a good thing and that person is in the right place, but if their situation is going to change, they must be reborn. It has been well said, nothing changes until something changes. We can’t expect anything to change in our life until we are willing to obey God. The most important thing we can do is to give our life to Jesus and let Him lead us.

If a person goes to church expecting God to fix their mess without being willing to follow God’s lead and His Word, that person will most likely leave in frustration saying, “I tried God but it didn’t work so I gave up on God.” The glory of their hope faded and so they are off in search of a new hope that will ultimately fade as well.

However, if that person gives their life and will to Jesus, they will have a new glory and a hope that will not fade but continue to grow no matter what they are going through. This is because they now have an eternal hope. Paul clearly demonstrates this transformation in his own life in Chapter 4. In verses 1&2, Paul says God has given him a new purpose and ministry. The result is a new glory. In Acts 8&9 we read about Paul’s old ministry and old ways. He thought he was serving God but he was really serving the god of this world (verses 3& 4). It is important to note that there is a second veil mentioned here. This veil is not on Moses but on the minds of the people.

Unlike the world which always wants the glory for self, the transformed new life in Christ seeks to give God the glory. Paul is no longer taking credit for the ministry. He is saying that if you look at him and see glory it is Christ’s glory that you are seeing, no matter what he was going through.

As we move through Chapter 4, and into Chapter 5, we see that Paul has an eternal focus based on Christ Jesus. New creatures in Christ are heavenly minded! They are no longer seeking life in this world but life with the Lord Jesus. Paul says in Chapter 5:14&15 that it is the Love of Christ that controlled him, and he wanted to be like Christ Jesus. This can only happen if we are born of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit is allowed to take up residence in our heart. It is clear, that as new creatures, we are to be transformed by the fruit (or evidence) of the Spirit flowing from the Spirit through us . Galatians 5:22&23 

Paul also makes it clear, in 1 Corinthians 14:32, that we are not robots but that we choose what is going to control us. I firmly believe this is where the phrase “In Christ” comes in. I believe this means that we are in surrender to and thus led by Christ in a right relationship with Him. 4:5

Having now an eternal perspective and a desire to be Christ-like, controlled by His love, Paul’s perspective on the world, and Christ Jesus for that matter, has changed dramatically along with his purpose for living. Chapter 5:16-6:10  

This brings us full circle back to his purpose and  his ministry. Paul is a new creature, and a new man. Truly, as he declares in verse 17, the old things have gone and the new things have come.

It can be no other way. Jesus said if we are going to see the kingdom of God we must be born again. We must be a new creature and the evidence of that will be our transformation. A person can go to church yet remain unchanged. If we are to become a Christian there must be a new birth resulting in the transformation from the old things to the new.

Jesus is the light of the world and He is shining that light drawing us to Him. Don’t let the god of this age put a veil over your eyes. Come out into the light and let Jesus transform you.

John 3:1-21 is a good place to start.

Pastor Dave