New Creation; New Creature

Concise Bible Dictionary:

See CREATION, THE NEW.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

Scripture indicates that the Lord Jesus became the Head of this new race, when He rose from among the dead. It says that He is “the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead” (Col. 1:1818And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)b). That is, in rising from the dead, Christ was the "beginning" of a whole new order of manhood (Rev. 3:1414And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (Revelation 3:14)). Hebrews 2:1010For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10) confirms this, stating that if God were going to bring "many sons" (a new race) to "glory" (a glorified condition), "the Captain [Author] of their salvation" (the Lord) would first have to be made "perfect." This, again, refers to Christ's resurrection and glorification (Luke 13:3232And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32); Heb. 5:99And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:9)). Thus, He who was destined to be the Head of this new race had to be glorified first before there could be a glorified race under Him. “Glory” (the glorification of the spirit, soul, and body) is something that was not predicated of the old race under Adam, though God had said that that first order of man was “very good” (Gen. 1:3131And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)). This shows the superiority of this new race. Being the Head, Christ has the place of “Firstborn” (first in rank and position) in this race. This means that He is distinguished from the others in the race, having the “preeminence” in “all things” (Col. 1:1818And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)b). (See Firstborn and Headships of Christ.)
Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and are thus sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:1313In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)), are thereby made part of this new race through this connection. They have an inseparable link with Christ the Head, through the Spirit’s indwelling. This is indicated in Paul’s epistles by the expression—“in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17); Gal. 6:1515For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15), etc.). On the very day in which the Lord rose from the dead, He connected the disciples with Himself in resurrection life by breathing into them, and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:2222And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:22)). This was a similar thing to what the Lord did with Adam in the first creation when He breathed into him “the breath of life” (Gen. 2:77And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)), but now it was in connection with Him being the Head of the new race of men.
Being in this new race, Christians are referred to as Christ’sbrethren(Rom. 8:2929For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29); Heb. 2:1111For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11)). Scripture says, “He (Christ) that sanctifieth and they (Christians) who are sanctified are all of one” (Heb. 2:1111For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11)). This refers to those of this new creation race being of the same nature and kind as Christ Himself. “All of one” is not referring to the oneness of the body of Christ, nor is it speaking of the oneness in the family of God, but of our oneness of kind in the new creation. It is an expression that indicates that we are bound up together with Him as one lump, being of the same substance as He is. To indicate this, Scripture speaks of those in new creation as being “of Christ” (Gal. 3:29; 5:2429And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
– J. N. Darby Trans.). Hence, being in this new race we are not only “in Christ” as to our position, but we are also “of Christ” as to our oneness of kind with Him.
An example of oneness of kind is when Adam’s wife was brought to him. He had seen the various creatures pass before him—each was “after his kind” (Gen. 1:21, 24-2521And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24‑25)
). There was, however, none found among all of those creatures that were of his kind, and thus, all such were unsuited to him. But when God brought the woman to Adam, for the first time Adam saw one of his own kind. He said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:2323And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Genesis 2:23)). Similarly, we are "one" with Christ in this new order of humanity. We are of one set and of one kind with Him, and thus, entirely suited to Him. Hence, Hebrews 2:1111For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11) goes on to say that Christ “is not ashamed to call them brethren.” If Adam had taken one of the other creatures for a wife, he would have been ashamed. But when God gave him the woman, which was someone of his kind, he was delighted. Similarly, Christ rejoices to introduce us as His brethren. He says, “Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Heb. 2:1313And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Hebrews 2:13)).
It is noteworthy that while the Lord is not ashamed to have us identified with Him as His brethren, the Word of God never tells us to call Him “our Elder Brother,” or to use other such terms of familiarity. He has a glory of preeminence as the Head of the new creation that sets Him apart from all others in the race. It is a glory that He does not share (John 17:2424Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)). The Lord’s words to Mary indicate this special and distinguished place that belongs to Him alone. He said, “I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God” (John 20:1717Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)). Note: He did not say “our” Father and “our” God, but mentions Himself in relation to His Father and His God separately from that of believers. This shows that as a Man, He has preeminence in all things in the new creation race.
Furthermore, this new order of manhood does not have national distinctions, social distinctions, sex distinctions, etc., as does the first race under Adam (Gen. 1:2727So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27); 1 Cor. 11:3-143But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. 5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (1 Corinthians 11:3‑14)). The Apostle Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for all are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28; 6:1528There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
15For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)
). Since this race is sexless, new persons are not added to it through procreation, but by a work of the Holy Spirit in new birth and salvation. Thus, each individual who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is a separate creation of God. All such are “created in Christ Jesus” as individual pieces of God’s “workmanship” (Eph. 2:10; 4:2410For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
; Col. 3:1010And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:10)), as Scripture says, “If any one be in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)). We are inclined to think that God ceased from His work of creating when He made the worlds and set man on the earth, but God is still creating today—in the sense in which we are speaking—by adding persons as individual creations to the new race under Christ.
Angels in the old creation were also created individually, but we mustn’t think that this new race is akin to angels. In fact, we are a superior order of created beings! This can be seen in the fact that when Christ rose from the dead and ascended into the heavens as a Man, He passed by the elevated place which angels are in, and took manhood to a place far above angels. When He entered the heavens as a Man, He sat down in a place “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:2121Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Ephesians 1:21)). (Principalities and powers, etc. are angelic beings.) This means that not only is Christ in a place that is superior to angels, but that there is now a whole race of men under Him that is superior to those angelic beings as well! Men in this new creation race are now of the highest order of God’s creatures. We were once part of a race that was created “a little lower” than angels (Heb. 2:77Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (Hebrews 2:7)), but now we are in a race that is not just one notch higher than angels—we are “far above” them!
As it was with Adam in the old creation, everything in the new creation race takes its character from the Head of the race. It has His imprint of righteousness and holiness on it (Eph. 4:2424And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)). Thus, we will not only be physically “like” Him (Phil. 3:2121Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)), but morally “like” Him too (1 John 3:22Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)). As to moral likeness, Scripture says, “Having put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness” (Eph. 4:2424And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)). And again, “Having put off the old man with his deeds, and having put on the new, renewed into full knowledge according to the image of Him that has created him; wherein there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is everything, and in all” (Col. 3:9-119Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:9‑11)).
Our connection with Christ in the new creation is frequently confounded with our connection with Him as the members of His (mystical) body. However, these are two different relationships that we have with Him. The difference is this: as men in the new race we are “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17); Gal. 6:1515For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)) and “of Christ” (Gal. 3:29; 5:2429And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
– J. N. Darby Trans.), whereas members of His body, we are united “to” Christ (2 Cor. 11:22For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2); Eph. 1:22; 4:1522And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (Ephesians 1:22)
15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:15)
) and we are in “the Christ.” There may be some exceptions, but “the Christ” is a term in Paul’s epistles that denotes the mystical union of the Head and the members of His body as a unit (1 Cor. 12:1212For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12); Eph. 1:10; 3:410That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)
4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (Ephesians 3:4)
– J. N. Darby Trans.). Also, new creation is an individual thing (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)“if any man...”); membership in the body of Christ is a collective thing—often referred to by Bible teachers as union. Hence, Scripture does not speak of the Church as being “in Christ,” but as men in the new creation race we are. Both are true of believers; they just denote different aspects of our connection with Christ. W. Scott said, “When membership in the body is predicated of any, it is not said they are ‘in Christ.’ We [as members of His body] are not in the Head. The union of the various parts and members of the human body is not in the head; united to the head they are, but not in it. ‘In Christ’ conveys a different order and character of truth from union to Him. United to Him is the body; in Him is the [new creation] race. Both, of course, are true of believers” (The Young Christian, vol. 5, p. 14).
The prospect that God has for this new race is to have all in it “glorified” with Christ (Rom. 8:17-1817And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17‑18)), and also to manifest them as “the sons of God before the world in the millennial day to come (Rom. 8:1818For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18); 2 Thess. 1:1010When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)). Presently, we do not appear to be any different from other men (1 John 3:22Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)), but this is because we are still in our bodies of humiliation (Phil. 3:2121Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)), which are part of the old creation order. However, “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:4949And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:49)). That is, there is a day coming when we will be glorified like Christ—in spirit, soul, and body. This means that our bodies will have the capabilities that the Lord demonstrated in His body after He rose from the dead—passing through physical objects, travelling great distances in a moment of time, etc. (Luke 24:33-3633And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. 36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (Luke 24:33‑36); John 20:1919Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19)). The fallen sin-nature in us will also be eradicated. Thus, we are presently in the process of a transfer from Adam to Christ which will not be complete until the Lord comes for us.