“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Some wonder about this scripture for they can look at their own lives and see, in fact, that very little has changed. The Lord shows us how all the old things can pass away and everything can become new. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15). If the new man has the new mind (repentance) in not living for himself at all, then all of the old has passed away. If the new man has the new mind in turning to live only for the one who died for him, then truly everything has become new. If we lose our life for Christ and the gospel (Mark 8:25), deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Christ (Luke 9:23, 24), and forsake all that we have (Luke 14:33), surely the old will have passed away and everything will become new. We have clear examples of prophets and apostles who, without question, lived for God and not for themselves in any way, like Moses and the other prophets, and Paul and the other apostles. Jesus did literally nothing of himself, but what he heard and saw from the Father—who is our chief example to follow. Truly, if we determine to walk in Jesus steps, live only for the Creator, everything will certainly become new, and the old will all be passed away.
So, who lives in the new man?
The new man no longer is willing to serve men, as he did before, for he has been bought with a price and commanded “be not ye the servants of men” (1 Cor. 7:23). If indeed he heeds the admonition, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10), he does so, not because of his own desires, but because his Master has commanded him to do so. When he serves his earthly master, he no longer does so to get his favor or to get a raise. He does so “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” (Eph. 6:6-7).
The life he now lives is really not his living for himself, but living to serve Christ who lives in him (Gal. 2:20), for he truly is living only for Christ. The new man follows his one Master’s example who said, “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). He no longer receives (accepts) honor from men, but receives honor from God only (John 5:44), like his Master (John 5:41). He no longer receives (accepts) any praise at all from men, but any praise he does receive is from God only (Rom. 2:28-29). It is no wonder he states that for all those with the new mind (repentance), all of the old has passed away and all has become new for they have crucified the old man and risen with Christ to walk in the new life.