“I’m not who I once was. I’m a new person.”
Those simple words from my son, spoken to students at a school assembly, describe the change God made in his life. Once addicted to heroin, Geoffrey previously saw himself through his sins and mistakes. But now he sees himself as a child of God.
The Bible encourages us with this promise: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). No matter who we’ve been or what we’ve done in our past, when we trust Jesus for our salvation and receive the forgiveness offered through His cross, we become someone new. Since the garden of Eden, the guilt of our sins separated us from God, but He has now “reconciled us to himself through Christ,” “not counting” our sins against us (vv. 18–19). We are His dearly loved children (1 John 3:1–2), washed clean and made new in the likeness of His Son.
Jesus is innocence found. He liberates us from sin and its dominating power, and restores us to a new relationship with God—where we are free to no longer live for ourselves but “for him who died for [us] and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). See the video below to view Fernando Soriano’s story in Episode 4 of In Pursuit of Jesus. As with Geoffrey, Christ’s transforming love gave him a new identity and purpose to point others to the Savior. And He does the same for us!
To learn more about evangelism in the church today, visit christianuniversity.org/WM511.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says of 2 Corinthians: “No letter of Paul’s is more personal and intimate in nature than 2 Corinthians. In it he bared his soul and professed his abiding love for the Corinthians despite the apparent fickleness of their affection for him.” As such, this letter is a fascinating example of the challenges Paul experienced in leading the fledgling first-century church. He had no real template to follow and no completed scriptural authority to refer to, meaning that much of what he did was up for debate and open to question. In this particular letter, Paul’s own motives and apostolic position are on the table—with Paul having to offer a vigorous defense of his heart and his work (1:12–2:11; 11:16–12:10). At the same time, it was necessary that he confront those whose false teaching was undermining the gospel (10:7–11:15). The resulting tension gives 2 Corinthians its own unique edge.