In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
The Greek word for “old” in our text is ἀρχαῖα. It’s where we get the English word “archaic.” I’m not trying to read that back into the text but it brings up an interesting observation for me.
I’m a millennial. And basically, people who are Gen X, Millennials, or Gen Z, respond to true Christians who want to bring Christianity to bear in society by saying things like “That’s archaic.” Ok, maybe my generation doesn’t use such big words, but you get the point! Essentially, they say things like: “Don’t talk about moral living. That’s old-fashioned.” Marriages honored. Homes well-ordered. Sundays cherished. Bibles read. The triune God prayed to in public. Christ proclaimed. Displaying the 10 Commandments.
Dude. All that stuff is archaic. Get on the right side of history. Get with the 21st Century.
My response? Well, no actually. Do you know what’s literally archaic? Living like a pagan. That is the old way. That is the way for the Christian that has passed away. The new has come.
You cannot get more archaic than living mired in sin. Oh, you think homosexuality is new age? Read Romans 1. Oh, you think sleeping with whoever you want is progressive? Read Leviticus.
Solomon pegged it. There is nothing new under the sun in terms of this passing world. Sins today aren’t new. They’re just recycled or revamped with modern technology. Sin is archaic.
That is the old way. But, by God’s power, the new has come. Christians are redirected to now walk this new way. The church should “get with the times” — the gospel times! The new age where Christ has ushered in His grace creating a people who live for the glory of the Lord and who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The new has come! Christians actually follow Jesus. We love the local church. We love the Word of God. We love to tell the good news. We love to learn and study and grow in the knowledge of God. We bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. All of this is from God (cf. 2 Cor. 5:18).
Pastors in a local church should not have to be like dentists. Dentists have to beg people to come into the office. Pastors should not have to beg the people of God to be interested in holy things because Christians have been made new. The old has passed away!
And therefore, Christian values are not archaic. Paganism is. We live in a time period of neo-paganism and we live among neo-pagans. Ours is not the old way, theirs is. Ours is the new. Behold the new has come in Christ. By God’s power, our new life touches everything. We are bound for glory and our journey there is marked by faith and repentance.
We trust the promises of God and we live a life of repentance. Christians aren’t perfected yet. That’s coming. But as we walk in newness of life we really hate and fight and turn from sin.
This means we do not let the neo-pagan society tell us what a wife should be like or what a husband should be like or what a man or woman or child should be like. Get that old way of thinking out of here. Get with the times! We are new. And we desire to walk in the newness of Christ. And so we depend on His Word to guide our steps. We walk in newness of life because the power of God has created a new man.
Dear Christian, live new.
This post was adapted from a sermon you can listen to here.