A New Creation

“If any one be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold! they have become new.”
—II Corinthians 5:17, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

HOW DOES ONE BECOME a part of the ‘new creation’? We become a ‘new creation’ through the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and for those who receive this begetting, all things ‘become new.’

They have new hopes, new aims, new ambitions. They have a new vocation in life, which is to serve the Lord rather than self. They set their affections on things above, rather than on the things of the earth; and they run diligently for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, rather than for worldly glory, honor, and riches.

The Apostle Paul appeals to anyone who would come to Christ, saying: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”—Rom. 12:1,2

Paul assures us that if we present ourselves a living sacrifice, our offering will be acceptable to God. Such a consecration implies the surrender of our wills and the acceptance of the will of God as it is expressed through Christ. Paul uses the human body to illustrate this point, likening Jesus to the head and his consecrated people to the other members of the body. Figuratively speaking, then, the surrender of our wills means that Christ becomes our Head, and we become members of his body. Thus it is that we are inducted into the body of Christ—or ‘baptized’ into his body, as Paul explains it.—Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 12:13


How may we be sure that, having made a full consecration to the Lord, he has accepted us and has begotten us by his Spirit, and we have thus become his children? Our assurance of this must depend upon our confidence in the promises of God. There are doubtless many who think themselves to be true Christians who are not thus recognized by God. But if we have taken the necessary steps of obedience to the Divine will as outlined in the Scriptures, we may know with certainty that God has accepted us.

Have we repented of our sins, and is our hope of life based upon the redemptive work of Christ? Have we made a full consecration to the Lord, and are we diligently seeking to carry it out day by day? Have we turned our backs upon the world, and have we set our faces heavenward; and are our greatest joys those which pertain to the things of the Spirit? If our hearts respond affirmatively to these questions, and we are looking to the Lord for his continued guidance and help as we walk in the narrow way of sacrifice, then we need have no doubts about our standing among the sons of God. God was well pleased with us when we echoed the sentiments expressed by Jesus: “Lo, I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”—Ps. 40:7,8


The prophecies of the Bible reveal that we have reached the closing years of the Gospel Age—that period of time in the Divine plan during which the body members of Christ would be selected. This is the age of the ‘heavenly calling,’ when those constrained by the love of Christ to make a consecration to the Lord are given the hope of joint-heirship with Christ, to live and reign with him in his kingdom. When this age shall have fully ended there will be no further opportunity to run for such a prize. With the opening of the new age now so near—the Millennial Age—perfect human life on the earth will be offered to those who obey the righteous laws of Christ’s kingdom.

In view of the shortness of the time now remaining in the Gospel Age—although we do not know exactly how long—some inquire as to whether or not the opportunity to run for the prize of the high calling to joint-heirship with Christ is still open. ‘Can we be sure,’ some ask, ‘that although we have consecrated ourselves to God and have a desire for heavenly things, that our consecration has been accepted, and that we have been inducted into the body of Christ?’

We believe so! Jesus said that no one could come to him unless drawn by his Heavenly Father. (John 6:44) Jesus also explained that those who come to the Father by or through him, he “will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) The Scriptures reveal clearly that there is only one purpose for which the Father draws people to Christ during this age, and it is that they may have an opportunity to walk in the Master’s footsteps of sacrifice and, if faithful, live and reign with him in his kingdom. Remember, then, that you could not have come to Christ in the way you did, unless you had been drawn by God; and also remember the promise that having thus come to God through Christ, you will not be cast out or refused. Those who can exercise full faith in these two statements by the Master, need have no misgivings about their hope of the High Calling.

We have another assurance along this same line given to us by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. He explains that while some ‘plant’ and others ‘water’ the ‘seeds’ of truth, it is God that giveth the increase. One or more of the Lord’s people may have been instrumental in ‘planting,’ but if the truth has influenced us to devote our lives to him, and enlightened us with the prospect of the heavenly calling and given us the desire to run for such a prize, then it is of the Lord. He—not man— has given this increase. This being true, it means that there is a place for us in the heavenly phase of the kingdom if we but prove faithful unto death, joyfully sacrificing our all in Divine service.


At the beginning of the Gospel Age, no one could enter the race for the heavenly prize until it was God’s due time. Jesus spoke of John the Baptist as being as great as anyone ever born, but he was not granted the privilege of the High Calling. The “least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he,” Jesus said. (Matt. 11:11) No one could be begotten by the Holy Spirit until it was given at Pentecost. Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, could not enter into the Gospel privileges of this age until God’s due time, and when that time came, Peter was miraculously directed to go to his home to present the Gospel to him. Even then it was necessary for God to give the increase, else Cornelius would not have been brought into the Church.

God’s dealings with his people are just as definite at this end of the age. We are not to suppose that he has relinquished his control over the influence of his promises in the hearts of those who come in contact with them through the proclamation of the truth by his faithful people.

It is still true that he alone giveth the increase. We may witness the truth to millions of people, but only in the hearts of those whom God, by his providences, has specially prepared, and whom he wishes to draw to Christ, will there be a turning to him in full consecration to do his will.

The promises of the Bible are God’s promises, and he is too just and too loving to permit a single individual to be led into a belief of his promises unless he could, by the provision of Christ’s merit and his own faithfulness, realize their fulfillment.

God is still directing his work, and is allowing his people to promulgate the Gospel, and thereby engender hope in the hearts of those who are led to consecration only because he is prepared to make good those hopes. Otherwise there would be no ‘increase,’ no one would be ‘drawn.’


Paul wrote that the Spirit of God bears “witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Rom. 8:16) Do we have this witness of the Spirit? Again, we cannot depend upon our feelings, but must be guided by the testimony of God’s Word; for it is through the Word that the Spirit testifies to us. The Apostle John, for example, informs us that those who are begotten of God do not sin. (I John 5:18, WED) This does not mean that they are able to control their flesh perfectly, but rather, that they hate sin, and are striving against it. Do we find ourselves in this position? Is every inclination which is contrary to the principles of Divine righteousness displeasing to us? If so, we have this evidence that we have been begotten by the Spirit.

Jesus said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: … but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19) Has the Spirit of God operating through the truth made such a change in our outlook and habits of life that the world holds no allurements for us? Does the world recognize our aloofness from its selfish aims, ambitions, and pleasures? If so, then we have a further witness of the Spirit that we have been accepted into the Divine family.

The Apostle Paul advised that we should set our affections on things above, not on things of the earth. (Col. 3:1-4) Have the heavenly promises of the Word taken such a hold upon our hearts and minds that the things of the earth have lost their attraction? Does the hope of being with Jesus in the ‘place’ which he promised to prepare mean more to us than the comforts of an earthly home? And would we be ready, should the Lord indicate it to be his will, to break every tender earthly tie, and give up all earthly comforts, in order to win the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus? If so, then we have a further witness of the Spirit assuring us of our heavenly calling, and an additional incentive to strain every nerve in our efforts to make our “calling and election sure” by faithfulness to its terms.—II Pet. 1:10


Paul wrote that the Spirit witnesses to us of our acceptance into the Divine family, “If so be that we suffer” with Christ. (Rom. 8:17) This, perhaps, is the most direct of all the witnesses of the Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit inspired the Old Testament prophets to testify concerning the “sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (I Pet. 1:10,11) The body members of Christ participate in these foretold sufferings, which means that if we are sharing in them it is a direct evidence that the Spirit’s testimony through the prophets applies to us, that we are a part of ‘the Christ’ company.

Is this true in our experience? The degree of suffering is not the point at issue, neither the manner of suffering. No one in enlightened America today is burned at the stake for his faith, but all who are faithful to the terms of their calling by letting their light shine will suffer in some degree—even if it be only ostracism by their former friends. They will also suffer hardships and weariness in connection with their faithful service to the Lord; and they will be willing to suffer more—yea, to suffer even unto death, if it be the Lord’s will for them.

Do we, then, have this testimony? Has our faithfulness to the Lord and to the truth resulted in a measure of suffering which otherwise we would not have experienced? If so, then we have this important witness of the Spirit that we are the children of God, and “if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17) This particular witness of the Spirit is especially vital now, for it reveals that the narrow way of sacrifice and suffering has not yet closed. When, in the next age, the “highway” (Isa. 35:8) is opened, over which mankind will have the privilege of returning to perfection of human life, there will be no further opportunity of suffering with Christ. If we have that opportunity now, let us rejoice and endeavor faithfully to “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.”—Col. 1:24


Satan, our Adversary, goes about as a “roaring lion” trying to frighten and discourage all who are running for the “prize of the high calling.” (I Pet. 5:8; Phil. 3:14) His attacks are many and varied. He may suggest that we are not good enough for such a High Calling; but our answer to this must be: “It is God that justifieth.” (Rom. 8:33) Of course, we are not good enough in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ we have the assurance of acceptance! Let us hold onto this assurance and not permit Satan to beat our courage down.

Another argument which may be presented to us is that now there is not enough time left in which to make our calling and election sure. In this also, our confidence must rest in the Lord. It was God who drew us to Christ, and through his promises begat within us the heavenly hope by which we are now inspired. Certainly, in doing this he knew better than do our discouraging ‘comforters,’ whether or not there would be time to “add to [our] faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [love],” and by doing this become assured of an abundant entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:4-11

As we climb the Christian ladder outlined by the Apostle Peter (quoted above), we will reach the character required by God of his New Creation. We will demonstrate our love for God, and God will direct our experiences, because we are “the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28)—which is to have a family of Divine beings. The Apostle Paul further says: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”—vs. 29

What a great privilege awaits us if we can be faithful, for then we shall receive “a crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10

Dawn Bible Students Association
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