“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)
When I concluded my active-duty military service, I looked for a career that would utilize my undergraduate degree in engineering. I interviewed with several companies. One was an automaker and the other a corporation that made printed paper products. When I think about the products that these two companies produced, they were based upon two of the most significant inventions that changed the world. While I received offers from both of these companies, I chose to work for the company that printed paperboard to make boxes, the kind you see on the shelves in stores.
Some consider the printing press to be the number one invention that changed the world. As I entered the business, I learned something. The printing industry is probably the largest industry in the world. Nearly everything is printed or has some printing involved with its manufacture, sales, and use. Even flooring, countertops, faux wood finishes, and etcetera are printed.
A man named Johannes Gutenberg created the first printing press in Germany. The date was around 1440. That printing press could produce about 3,600 pages per day. When you consider that prior to the invention of the printing press, all reading materials were hand scribed, only the wealthiest of people would have written publications. The Gutenberg Bible was the earliest major book printed and made the printed Bible available to everyone. The printing press was essential in increasing literacy and education. Gutenberg had developed a new creation, the printing press, which changed the world.
In the verses prior to 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul wrote that he would no longer regard people according to the flesh. Prior to his conversion this is what Paul did. Yet afterwards, he had a new perspective. Therefore, he came to this awesome conclusion. Everyone who is in Christ “is a new creation.” The word Paul used for “new,” kainos, refers to something new in form or quality rather than neos, which refers to something new in time (Vine). The believer is a new creation, new in kind.
Paul further explained, “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The believer has been made anew, born again, a new creation of the Master. Thus, the believer is a revolutionary being. As such, God has made the believer one who would change the world.
We who have truly believed in Jesus Christ are those new creations. God has left us in the world for a purpose. It is to be a world changing influence. Believers have had a greater influence on the world than any invention of man throughout all history. How did this happen? It was not by human wisdom or ingenuity. It was because of the work of the Almighty, by which He saved us and recreated us for good works that He has prepared for us to do (Eph 2:8-10). Yet, we have a part in this. It is to be obedient to His calling by yielding to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we seek Him and His righteousness with a whole heart, we will experience His grace moving us to accomplish much for His glory.