By Dr Dominic Kuek
“We are a new creation in Christ.” It is perhaps one of the most extraordinary statements a Christian can utter. Extraordinary because in a world of the dead and the damned, we are those who are gloriously alive. Extraordinary because God’s unfathomable grace was shown towards undeserving sinners like us. Extraordinary because it is true. Irrefutably, irrevocably true. It is a status that can never be taken away. Our new identity never changes even when we feel weak, when we carry doubts, or when we stumble over our sin. In Christ Jesus, we are a new creation.
But with a new identity comes new implications. After all, inherent to our new identity are the good works which God has prepared for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10). It is on this basis that Paul makes his appeal to his readers in Ephesians 5:3-14. As those who have been rescued from God’s wrath, Christians are to flee the sinful things that provoke his judgement, having nothing to do with the sons of disobedience of whom they were once part of (Eph. 2:2-3; 5:5-7). Instead, they are to live in a way that is in keeping with their new creation identity, bearing fruits of light that are good and righteous and true.
As I reflect on my life, I am all too aware of the compromises that I have made. Even as a child of light, the darkness sometimes feels so attractive to me. Often, I find myself tempted to go back to my old ways, and to my shame, in my moments of weakness I give in to the lust or greed in my heart. Perhaps you might relate to my struggle as well. Paul’s words here in Ephesians is thus a challenging call for us to leave these things behind. Just as a liberated slave has no reason to go on living as one, we have no reason to go on living as our old selves. Not when we have been made for something better, saved for something better.
As God’s new creation, I hope that we take Paul’s commands here seriously. For some, it might mean to stop watching pornography. For others, it might mean walking away from crude jokes and foolish talk in the office. For others still, it might mean learning to be content, not chasing after worldliness because we have a far better new creation waiting for us. The list is non-exhaustive. As God’s new creation, let us be committed to putting aside our sinful ways, and instead walk in the good works that God has prepared for us.