‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).’
The above text is utterly remarkable. Just think about it, and the implications for a person born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). It goes way beyond the metamorphosis that takes place when a caterpillar changes into a chrysalis, and after a period of hibernation emerges as a butterfly. Male and female butterflies then flit about for a few days doing what they naturally do. Afterwards the females lay their fertilised eggs which transmogrify into caterpillars – the cycle of reproduction repeats itself over and over again.
Transformation within a Womb
The formation and birth of a butterfly is amazing, but there’s a vast difference between butterflies and human beings!
A human’s life starts when an egg which has found its way from a female’s ovary into a fallopian tube is fertilised by a single sperm from a male – one out of fourteen million from one ejaculation! The egg continues its journey into the uterus and adheres to its inner wall. There it is nourished and grows to become an embryo. After a period of about two months it grows and becomes a foetus with all the potential of viable life for becoming a newly born baby. Even if the child is born two month early, i.e., at the end of a seventh month period, the chances of survival are high, because the necessary formative growth will have taken place.
Unlike a butterfly, a child from the moment of conception, is given a soul (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 42:5; Zechariah 12:1). At that ‘spark’ moment of life the soul can have no awareness of its eternal destiny. Ultimately it is destined for heaven or for hell (Matthew 18:8, 9). God prepared all that went before, and He has planned and predestined all that will take place into the future (Ephesians 1:5). He brought both mum and dad together, and they did what was ‘natural’ (Genesis 2:24). They were united and became ‘one flesh’ – at best as man and wife (v 25), committed to one another and blessed by God.
Ideally, until their child matures and becomes self-sufficient, mum and dad will support and provide for its needs. They will impart to him or her their moral and spiritual values (Deuteronomy 4:8, 9; Ephesians 6:4 ), and if they are Christians they will ensure their youngster understands that its prime purpose in life is to love God (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37) and to give Him the glory forever (Matthew 6:13; Ephesians 1:12). Next to that they are to love others as themselves (Matthew 22:39).
Transformation of the Body and Soul
If the child follows in his Christian parents’ footsteps, he will undergo an incredible transformation; for he will be transported from the realm of spiritual darkness [death] into the kingdom of God’s light [life] (John 12:46; 1 Peter 2:9). The Holy Spirit will enliven his spiritually dead soul (John 3:3-8), and miraculously it will no longer resemble Adam’s soul (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:14) that was blighted on account of his sin (Genesis 3:6,17-19). Because of this new life, the Christian will be sealed ‘with’ the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), and He will live for ever in God’s kingdom (John 3:16). Furthermore, his body after death, and at the resurrection of the living and the dead, will be made anew as a spiritual body (1 Corinthians15:44) in the likeness of Christ’s body (v 49) .
From the moment of conception, a child is unique (Psalm 33:15), both in body and soul. From the time when a person is able to analyse his motivations he has an inbuilt awareness of what is right and wrong (Romans 2:14, 15). This moral law operates within the mind and conscience of all people, irrespective if they are sons of the living God (Romans 8:19; Ephesians 1:5), or sons of the devil (Acts 13:10). The big difference is for those in Christ, because they are given the gift of eternal life (John 11:25). This is brought about by the transforming Spirit of Christ Jesus who frees them from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
They indeed become new creations, i.e., new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) who live for Him and who are His inheritance (Deuteronomy 4:20; 7:6; Ephesians 1:18). How remarkable is that! Alleluia. As transformed, new creatures their desire is to be witnesses of Christ (Acts 5:32; 1 Timothy 6:12); although they have not seen Him, they see Him (John 20:29) with the eye of faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).