In order for us to live in the new creation, we have to turn from the things seen to the things not seen. The 3 verses at the end of chapter 4 in the second epistle Paul wrote to the Corinthians are very striking, for they unveil how we, the believers in Christ who have been made a new creation, can live in the new creation for God’s expression.
2 Cor 5:17 – So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away, behold, they have become new.
Since the believers are a new creation, we should not be known according to the flesh (2 Cor 5:16) – since the old things have passed away – but we should be known according to our new nature of the divine life. The difference between the old creation and the new creation is that the old creation does not have the divine life and nature, but the new creation constituted of the believers, who are born again of God, does. But as to how do we live in the new creation, I was enlightened by these verses at the end of 2 Corinthians chapter 4:
2 Cor 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
Living in the new creation is a matter of the inner man – our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day! According to Eph 3:16 we need to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man. Our inner man consists of our regenerated spirit – our born again spirit – as its life and person with the renewed soul as its organ. Our mind, emotion, and will must be renewed and uplifted by being subdued so that they can be used by the spirit, the person of the inner man.
2 Cor 4:17 For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.
The lightness of affliction relates to our body. 2 Cor 4:10 says, Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body. This refers to the working of the cross which works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.
So far we have seen that we the believers of Christ are the new creation because we have the divine life and divine nature, due to our second birth. Since the old things have passed away we should live in the new creation. We live in the new creation by our inner man being renewed and by being strengthened by His Spirit day by day. We also need the working of the cross so that we live by the Spirit and are being led by the Spirit. Finally, we have to turn from the things which are seen to the things which are not seen.
2 Cor 4:18 Because we do not regard the things which are seen but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The new creation is eternal and in the Spirit, since it is constituted with the life and nature of God. The new creation is not seen; regeneration is not seen, transformation is not seen, conformation is not seen – it is only when the process of deification is complete and the believers are glorified is when the new creation will be seen! For the anxious watching of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19).
Rom 8:24-26 For we were saved in hope. But a hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly await it through endurance. Moreover, in like manner the Spirit also joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Praise Him, the Lord who is the Spirit is interceding for us that we would live in the new creation by being renewed and strengthened into our inner man day by day by His Spirit, and by the working of the cross so that we would be eventually glorified for God’s corporate expression for eternity! May we look away from the temporal, momentary things – which are seen – and turn to the Spirit in our regenerated spirit, the eternal life within us which is not seen, so we, the believers in Christ can be fully brought out of the old creation and live in the new creation! The whole of creation is waiting for this! [Source: Recovery version of the bible and footnotes. Sharing by bro. Moh. Hymn below: Where He may lead I’ll follow]
Where He may lead I’ll follow,
My trust in Him repose;
And every hour in perfect peace,
I’ll sing, “He knows, He knows”;
And every hour in perfect peace,
I’ll sing, “He knows, He knows.”
One step I see before me,
‘Tis all I need to see,
The light of heaven more brightly shines
When earth’s illusions flee;
And sweetly through the silence comes,
His loving, “Trust in Me!”