At various times when I am part of a large congregation where the Word of God is being proclaimed, I will zero-in on the minister or teacher so intently that I in my mind I block out those around me and focus on the message, as if I am in a one-on-one teaching situation. Such was the case this past Sunday, the last Sunday of 2015, as my wife and I visited our older daughter and her husband who are members of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia. Pastor Brent Fuller offered a remarkable message based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, as he shared words of inspiration to end the current and jumpstart the New Year with a “Different Approach,” the title of his teaching. As I reviewed my notes and upon further reflection, I was inspired to complete the following:
A Different Approach
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Because of Christ’s undying love, I choose to love
Based on the love of God, not on what I can see.
Though blindsided by sin with a distorted view,
Through the lens of God’s love I now have a new creation reality.
I longer know Christ or anyone from a human viewpoint
And refuse to imprison others because of their last offense.
God in Christ forgave me each time I would fail or disappoint.
Each day provides one more fresh start, another day to commence:
The old life is gone; a new life has begun that causes me
To take a different approach: To love, see, and know differently.
The final verse of the passage from 2 Corinthians 5 speaks of the individual who abides in fellowship in Christ and becomes a new creation. In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”) The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man in II Corinthians 5:17 which is more clearly expressed in the Amplified Bible:
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
Steven Curtis Chapman reinforces the message of 2 Corinthians 5:17 with the song “All Things New.”