Beth Moore - You are a NEW Creation
Now, the very first thing, if we wanna get really technical, the very first thing that God created was time because it says: "In the beginning". Well, for there to be a beginning, there now is time because it's coming out of the eternal realm. So it goes, the clock goes "tick". That first moment, when there was a beginning, when he said, "L", for "Let there be light," click. That clock began ticking all the way around. And that became time as we know it, and time is very, very much earthly-oriented. It is the temporal orientation of God's program of his agenda. And so we had Genesis and Exodus and then we saw that that same pairing can be found then in the new order when all things are made new and he brings it completely full circle and he ties up every single thread. So I want you to remember that.
Now, listen, the beginning and the end, so Genesis and Revelation, are not the only places you see this. There are all sorts of places, but there is one place in particular that is so spectacular because it has to do with what he was after all along. Would you turn with me, listen, when I was a little girl growing up, our teachers would say, "You better put on your thinking cap," and so that's what I need to say to you right now. Hang with it. Turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 5. We're looking for a couple of verses that are about midway through the chapter but I want to get us there. So, I'm gonna start at verse 1 because there's a very important something there.
"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. And while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please God. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil".
Verse 11: "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience". Verse 12: "We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; and if we are in our right mind, it is for you". Beside ourselves. It's that wording that means, like, if I'm out of my mind, I'm out of my mind for Jesus. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Listen, if we're gonna be crazy, let's just be crazy for Christ. That's kind of how this is going down right here. Verse 14: "For the love of Christ controls us," compels us, some of the versions say, "because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised".
Verse 16, this is where it comes in, 16 and 17: "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore," verse 17, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come". Does any of this sound familiar? That right in the center of it, and I don't mean that timewise, I just mean in this agenda of God, in this kingdom calendar, we have no idea how long it will be until his return, but this we know: tucked right into it, there is a different kind of new creation between the original creation of the heavens and the earth and the new creation of the heavens and the earth, is the new creation of, drum roll please, humans, us. I mean, this is like fall off the path over and over again. They fell in the Old Testament into idolatry over and over again. And this is what he's after, that in Christ Jesus those of us who place our trust in him, that long before there's the new heavens and the new earth, there's this thing that happens to the human heart when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we are a new creation.
Now I want you to jot something down because I think this is a beautiful truth, a beautiful truth that we've got to take home with us today. Each is part of all and all are distinctly each. So all of us who have placed our trust in Christ as Savior, we are part of the all. Nobody can kick us out, nobody can say we don't belong, but all are distinctly each. He does know you in singularity. I want you to hear that again. "Therefore if any one is in Christ". You and I were talking about the global church, getting a global perspective, never forgetting for a single moment that there is a globe that is just constantly, that's invasive, Holy Spirit working to take the gospel just inch by inch, foot by foot, yard by yard, block by block, mile by mile, until it's reaching all the way around the globe, and then, he says, then will come the end of this age, when it has reached every tongue and every people group and every single person that hears, that hears the gospel, has an opportunity to respond or not respond. But any one who is in Christ. You are still one. You still very much matter to him.
Some of you are married into ministry and you feel like somehow you're just like, "They had to take you, like you came with the package". No, you got your own gifting, you got your own reason for being there. You got your own purpose in it. He really does know. You're not just swept up in someone else's, as precious as they are to you, be it a family member, a child, husband, wife, cousin, brother, sister, whatever it might be. Yes, we're in this corporate body but you're also distinctly each. But I wanna remind you of some verses that are pretty familiar. These days, we hear them a good bit in our worship services and should, but I want you to hear Revelations, when I keep talking like this, it means I can't find the passage and I just keep talking and I keep talking, and in my spirit what I'm saying to the Lord is, "If it's not there, move it there, because I need it to be there when I get there because there are 7000 people in this room and I have no idea where this Scripture is".
So, just so you know. But Revelation 7:9 says: "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice". When it says, "loud voice," it's always because there's something that is eternally paramount, that, I mean, it's an announcement, it's heralding something. So they're crying out with a loud voice, "'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.'"
I've gotta tell you something because I love it that the angels and the elders and the creatures are all falling on their faces and saying, "Amen," because salvation belongs to their God. I'm gonna tell you why. This is not in my notes so I'm gonna try not to chase this rabbit but it's the most beautiful rabbit because it says in 1 Peter chapter 1 that "concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to us searched and investigated carefully. They looked to see who the Scripture was talking about when it was talking toward the Messiah. And it says that they finally figured out that it was not for them but for a coming generation", and I'm paraphrasing here where it says it was about our coming salvation, our coming salvation, concerning which the angels longed to understand.
Then I wonder, I don't know what that means exactly. I don't know what that means, that the angels long to catch a glimpse of it, that they don't get it. But I wonder if it's because there they are in the presence of God, I mean, there's like, constantly these creatures flying around the throne going, "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is", and I mean, they're just, like, day and night, "The whole earth is full of your glory," and so they see his just, like, his inconceivable greatness, beauty, holiness, worthiness, and then we're down here going, like, in all our adulteries and idolatries and I think they're going, like, "Whoo, man, couldn't you have done better than this? I mean, there's got to be better choices than these, because this salvation that you're going to save and forgive the ones that actually pinned the Son of God to a block of wood, that beat him until he was nearly dead, that cried out, 'Crucify him,' and this is the one he's gonna say, 'Father, forgive them. They don't even know what they're doing.'"
Yeah, I'm sure the angels were up there going, like, "Wow, we could have honestly thought of better creatures than this". But suddenly, we're all around the throne and they look around, every tongue, every tribe, every language, every ethnicity, every people group, and the angels are going, "Well done. Well done, amen and amen".
All right, I want you to look back with me to 2 Corinthians 5. Now, okay, so we see echoes of Genesis there because it's the new creation, only this is humans, that when we make the decision to receive Christ Jesus, we become new creatures. We become new creatures. Wouldn't it be the coolest thing if we could see echoes of Exodus right next to it? Well, lo and behold, they are there. We just saw 'em in verse 1 and we're gonna see 'em in other places as well, right around these same chapters. Verse 1, did you get it? In 2 Corinthians 5, verse 1: "For we know if this tent that is our earthly home is destroyed," you know what that is? That's the same form, you remember that skéné, that means tabernacle? And when we talked about when he tabernacled? "The word was made flesh and tabernacled among us". It is a form of that same word and it's talking about us now.
We're just walking around in these tents, that we have a permanent, this permanent body coming, that is not like our earthly body. It's something that God has for us that's gonna withstand the sight of him, that's gonna withstand being in his presence, that's gonna withstand all of eternity, that's not gonna groan like ours do, that's not gonna bruise like some of us have on our shins, not gonna cut like some of us may have on our elbows, that's not gonna happen to those bodies. But for now, we tabernacle, we're just walking around in tents here, walking around in tents here. Now remember with me how important this has been because the first way that they ever saw the manifested glory outside that, for our corporate group of people, outside the Garden that was gonna be in that tabernacle in the wilderness by that cloudy pillar by day and that fire by night.
Then we're told this tabernacle, it's the most beautiful thing because in Ezekiel, when he says, "I'm gonna scatter you into the nations because they have been idolatrous". Idolatrous. And so he's gonna send them forth. They were about to go into captivity and he said, "I will scatter you among the nations but I will be," this is King James' rendering, "a little sanctuary among you". It's the most powerful thing. "You will not have this big temple, but I will be a little sanctuary among you". I want you to understand that there, in some marvelous, miraculous way, there's a sense in which you and I are these little sanctuaries because we are where the Spirit dwells now. We are where the Spirit dwells now. And I want you to understand something. Stay right there in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and I want you to hear 1 Corinthians chapter 12 because maybe you're thinking, "Well, I'm", but, you know, what they, like, the Lord showed his glory on the tabernacle, he showed his glory in the temple, the shekinah, he showed his glory on Jesus, but, you know, it's a whole different story now.
And of course, no, we're not gods. Of course, we're humans, we're humans. But I want you to hear something so fantastic. In 1 Corinthians 12 when the apostle Paul is being used by God to tell us about our spiritual gifts, and what happens when the Holy Spirit is in us and the gifting that he brings each one of us, he says in 6 and 7: "And there are a variety of activities, but it's the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good". Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me. We are meant to manifest the presence of God, the very Spirit of God, through the giftings that he's given us, through the love that compels us in Christ. Yes, we're flawed, we are far from made perfect. We got a long way to go. He's finishing what he started, but I can tell you this. We are these little individual sanctuaries walking around. And the very Spirit of the living God is in us and if you never find out where you are gifted to serve, you're not manifesting.
If you're gonna live in your hatefulness and in your unforgiveness and your bitterness, the very purpose your life has, which is to manifest, that you yourself are this little sanctuary, where some measure, some measure, as flawed as it may be, of the shekinah glory of God can radiate from your life, you have not stepped into the very reason why you're alive. Little sanctuaries. His Spirit. Every now and then, that just freaks me out, like, the Spirit of Christ is alive in me. Okay, this thinking that really reaches this climactic point in, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation," he's a new creation, this whole realm of thought begins in 2 Corinthians 3 and I want you to glance at it with me right now. Remember, one of the things we're looking for, we wouldn't have to find it, it's just thrilling. It's just that it's thrilling. Is that we, okay, okay, we've landed in 2 Corinthians 5. We've landed on this little creation narrative, but now it's for these individual humans to come to know Christ. Well, we just said wouldn't it be cool if, in the midst of that, we could find a little Exodus around it. Well, it is not only around it, it is all over it. It's what begins it.
So let's see where I should begin. 2 Corinthians 3, I want to read starting at verse 4. I think that's the perfect place. "Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". Now, go back in your mind to the night of the final supper Christ had with his disciples before he was arrested later that evening and then he was crucified the next afternoon. You'll remember if you've studied it before, you will remember that they sit at a table, they have the Passover meal, he lifts up the cup and he says, "This is the new covenant in my blood". So, I mean, in that moment if there had been a soundtrack playing, if it had been a movie, I mean, there would have been something huge right there. There would have been music, I mean, just epic music right, maybe cymbals, maybe drums, because everything, everything changed in that moment. Already the old was made new.
Do you see the pattern over and over again? God just can't leave anything old. He just keeps making it new. Just keeps making it new. He can't leave anything dead. He just keeps resurrecting. It's just the way that he is. He is life and he is light and he is newness. And so it says here in verse 7: "Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone," this is all a reference to the law being given to Moses, the law which was a good thing. How else would we know the, I believe it's in Galatians, that the apostle Paul says, yes, in chapter 3, when he says, "It was given to us so that we would even be able to recognize our own sin". It was a good thing. It was a good thing. But it has killing power in it. Because if that's all there is to it, if there's no sacrifice, if there is no bloodshed for remission of our sins, we got nothing. We got nothing.
So it says in verse 7: "Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not even gaze at Moses's face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, that which once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For what has been brought to an end came with glory, how much more that which has a permanent glory".
So it says, I want you to drop down to verse 17: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. And this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit". New covenant, new creation. New covenant, new creation. No matter what's getting old, we're part of something new. Every day, every day. No matter what's getting old, if we're in Christ, brothers and sisters, we are part of something new. You know what caused me to bring up this point. I've had a situation I've been dealing with a long time. It's getting really old. I need to know if anybody understands what I'm talking about. It's getting old. And the thing about it is, it came to me not long ago, you know what, the thing of it is, I'm getting old with it.
So, it's so powerful to me to think to myself, 'cause you can be 21 years old and still some things are getting old, like the way so-and-so has been treating me for years is getting old. This mentality that I'm subject to oppression under is getting old. We don't have to be old for some things to be getting old. But just when we think, this is really getting old, we remember, "I'm part of something new. I'm part of something new". If I should live to be 90 years old, I would wanna be able to look at somebody and go, "I may look old to you, but I'm part of something new". But as Jesus came with new, new covenant, new wine, the new person, he says, "Put off the old man of sin and put on the new one created after the likeness and the holiness of God". "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: as I have loved you, so you love one another".