5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. II Corinthians 5:17-20 (Emphasis supplied).
When I was young in the faith this text use to discourage me because I didn’t fully understand what it meant when it said: …if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. I looked at my life and I was still dealing with a lot of the old things. As a matter of fact, I am still dealing with some of them because of what we are told in Galatians 6:7-9:
6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Emphasis supplied).
Yes, I am getting victory but the more victory I get the more I see how deeply my past has and still is affecting my future. In other words, the closer I get to Jesus the more sinful I see myself to be and the more humble and dependent I become.
So what does Paul mean when he says: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. In the very next verse he tells us what he means. Notice what Paul said in verse 18:
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (Emphasis supplied).
The key phrase is, all things [are] of God. Before we are converted we live to please ourselves. Everything we do is to make us feel good about ourselves. Even when we do things for others we do it because it makes us feel good. However, when we surrender all to Jesus daily we take on His mind (the mind of Jesus Christ) who said in John 4:34, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Jesus’ work and mindset is the work and mindset that all His followers will have when they surrender all to Him each day. This is what makes, all things new: all things are new because now our only purpose in life is the same as Jesus’ and that is, to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. In case you are wondering what that work is Paul tells us that it is, the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18).
In summary, in order to experience God-size success we must have the ministry mindset: A mindset that has only one purpose and focus in life and that is to do the will and work of God 24/7. This new purpose is what makes everything new: We have this new purpose because we now have the mind of Christ and the reason we have the mind of Christ is because we live like Paul who said:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis supplied).
Next week I am going to deal with the first of the 3 principles of ministry mindset. Until then I leave you with this God inspired quote to ponder and pray over:
Christ’s followers have been redeemed for service. Our Lord teaches that the true object of life is ministry. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the law of service–service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they had ever known. By living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men. To His servants Christ commits “His goods”–something to be put to use for Him. He gives “to every man his work.” Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in co-operation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God. Christ’s Object Lessons p.326 & 327 (Emphasis supplied).