There is No “New Creature” Inside Us

Neither is there a “new man” inside us. We don’t “become a new creature”. We pass over from being part of the old creation to being legally part of the new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Galatians 6:15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

When I think of the “new creation”, why do I think of justification, and not only about regeneration? Well, I ask, why do most Calvinists draw the line between two natures? Where does the Bible talk about the new creation being a new nature? Where does the Bible talk about union with Christ being a new nature? Why don’t you draw the line between the justified and the condemned?

I am not denying the new birth or the absolute necessity for it. I am only saying that the new birth is not “union with Christ” and that it does not result in something called “the new nature”. The “new man” has to do with a change in legal state, and not first of all with a change of substance or nature.

II Corinthians 5:14 “one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sakes died and was raised. From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh”.

We should not judging the new creation by morality or immorality or by anything other than the gospel of justification. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a NEW CREATION. The old has passed; the new has come.”

“Those who live” means first of all those who are justified. The category of “those who live” is also not about a change of substance or nature but about an imputed reality, legal life because of justification.

The “new man” is first of all about a legal change of identity, a legal before and after. It’s not gradual; it’s an either or—- this legal state or that legal state. The new is not continually caused by a “sacramental feeding on Christ” but by God’s imputation of what God did in Christ in His death and resurrection.

Christ is here by His Spirit, yes, but not in some different way because of water or bread and wine. And also, Christ is not here, not yet, and we believe and obey and hope, waiting for the day when Christ will be here. He has not not yet come down from heaven as He will someday, and heaven has no Christians in it yet, no matter what the “minister of the sacrament” might say.

John 3: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

So how then are we in Christ? Only for those now in Christ legally has the old has passed. For some of the elect, God has already declared the legal verdict. One day, at the resurrection, there will be visible evidence of that verdict. God is justified in justifying the ungodly elect.

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6 Comments on “There is No “New Creature” Inside Us”

  1. Eileen Beckett Says:

    Great post!

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Carol Hoch Jr: The background of the “new creation language is Isaiah 43:16-21, Is 65:17, and Is 66:22…Should “he is” be supplied in II Cor 5:17a? No–if any person is in Christ, new creation. To insert “he is” in 5:17 wrongly narrows the scope of the new creation to an individual. , p161

    The Significance of Newness for Biblical Theology: All Things New, Baker, 1995
    Is 43:18 “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
    19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
    I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
    20The wild beasts will honor me,
    the jackals and the ostriches,
    for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
    to give drink to my chosen people,
    21the people whom I formed for myself
    in order that they declare my praise.

    Is 65:17″For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
    and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
    Is 66:22″For as the new heavens and the new earth
    that I make
    shall remain before me, says the LORD,
    so shall your offspring and your name remain.

    John R. W. Stott, Men Made New: An Exposition of Romans 5-8 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1966), 45: “This is the crucifixion of our our ‘old self’. What is this ‘old self’? Is it not the old nature. How can it be if the ‘body of sin’ means the old nature? The two expressions cannot mean the same thing or the verse makes nonsense.

    The ‘old self’ denotes, not our old unregenerate nature, but our old condemned in Adam life—Not the part of myself which is corrupt, but my former self. So what was crucified with Christ was not a part of us called our old nature, but the w…hole of us as we were before we were converted. This should be plain because is in this chapter the phrase ‘our old self was crucified’ (verse 6) is equivalent to ‘we…died to sin (verse 2).”

    The crucifixion of the “old man” refers to a definitive break with the past in Adam and is something God declares to be true of the elect when God justifies them by imputation. God transfers the justified elect from the age of Adam to the age of Christ. The justified sinner is separated legally and positionally from the community of Adam by being placed into the death of Christ to sin.

    Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 3:10 and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 3:11 Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.

    The “new man” in Colossians 3:10-11 is corporate in nature and refers to the new community in which all racial distinctions are dissolved. It is a social structure where there is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.” Therefore, to “have been clothed with the new man” is to have been brought into a new community and to have put on new clothing (i.e., a new way of conducting oneself in relationships) fit for that new community. The old man, then, by contrast, is the community still under its old head Adam.
    Thus the “new man” in Colossians 3:10 is not something inside an individual, but rather the new community in Christ.

    In Ephesians 2:15, the Jewish elect and the Gentile elect have been justified and reconciled, and together in Christ they form the “new man” which is a new redemptive-historical society in which all have free and equal access to God and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (2:5-6). In God’s design of the “new man” there are no divisions or hostility among members, only peace (2:16).

    Romans 6:6 is still thinking of the two humanities (and their heads) as in Romans 5:12-21.15 The “old man,” then, must be who the elect were “in Adam,” that is, in the old age of guilt, death and judgment. The focus is corporate .Thus, the “old man” is not our sinful nature, nor is it our immaterial corruption.

    Romans 6 says that the old man “was crucified with Christ.” But how can that be? We were not there at Golgotha and this is surely the time to which the past tense was crucified Answer: the “with Christ” language relates the elect to to the redemptive history of Christ; it is not talking about new birth or Christ indwelling us individually, even those events result from justification.

    The “Old man” in Romans 6:6 is not the body of sin because the crucifixion of “our old man” prevents the “body of sin” from dominating us. The two entities are not the same. Those positionally joined to Christ’s body are “dead to sin” in the same way that Christ became “dead to sin”, by means of legal union, justification.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Gaffin review of Horton’s book on covenant union: Throughout Part Two Horton voices reservations about the Reformed doctrine of regeneration. He agrees with its substance and intention but finds problematic the way it has been formulated, in particular the notion that regeneration produces a habitual change and involves the infusion of new habits (a new habitus). This he sees as a lingering residue of the medieval ontology that eventually made the Reformation necessary. These concerns, with his own proposal, are articulated especially in Chapter 10 (“Covenantal Ontology and Effectual Calling”). The promising alternative for him lies in a avoiding “a causal scheme of infused habits” (213).

    I share fully Horton’s concerns about the notion sometime present in Reformed treatments of the ordo salutis that regeneration is prior to effectual calling and produces an antecedent state addressed in effectual calling. That notion is quite problematic and ought to be rejected.

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Warfield (Perfectionism, p 374)—It is taught that the Christian is to turn on the old carnal nature, or the new Spiritual nature, as he may choose, and let it act for him. Who this “Christian” is who possesses this power it is a little puzzling to make out. He cannot do anything good—and presumably, therefore, would never turn on the Spirit in control. He cannot be the new Spiritual nature, for this new Spiritual nature cannot do anything evil—and this “Christian” “may choose to walk after the flesh.” Is he possibly some third nature? We hope not, because two absolutely antagonistic and noncommunicating natures seem enough to be in one man. The only alternative seems, however, to be that he is no nature at all—just a nonentity: and then we do not see how he can turn on anything

  5. Harold price Says:

    Hey Mr. Mcculley,

    I was reading this post again brother. And I noticed you said no Christians are in heaven. Where then do they go brother?

    Thank you for the help
    Harold


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