16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Recently, a friend of mine invited me to a simulcast of a debate between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham the head of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Science Museum. I am usually not very interested in this kind of thing, so I did not attend. Then this last week, I saw that the debate was posted on YouTube and decided to watch it out of curiosity. While it was an interesting debate between evolution and intelligent design, it was also predictable. Both sides had logical reasons why their point of view was correct based on the assumptions arriving from their particular worldview with neither conceding the points of the other. One point in particular that Ken Ham made that I have heard before and always found compelling was the fact that evolutionists in all of their research have never produced a single observable instance in which a species has become more than what it already was. Since evolution is based on the premise of simple organisms become more complex, I think I would have a hard time buying evolution even if I did not believe in the biblical account of creation.
The problem is that we are still in these old, broken down bodies (“the flesh”) that have been corrupted by sin and are perishing. That makes it easy for us to see each other as normal ordinary humans. Yet, at one time, Paul and his original readers made that same mistake with Jesus. He looked like an ordinary human, but He was the very Son of God inside of a very ordinary shell. Paul urges us to not make that mistake when we look at other believers or look in the mirror. If we believe that nothing much has changed, then we will live as if nothing much has changed, and we will maintain similarly low expectations for others in the body of Christ. If we believe that we are a new creation “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24) and view fellow believers this way, we could really become the “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20) that we were created to be. The teaching pastor at my church growing up used to say, “The Christian life is about becoming outwardly who we have already been made inwardly.”
May we look past our exteriors and see the amazing work of transformation that God has accomplished in each of us. May we always be striving to become and help others become outwardly who God has already made us inwardly and treat each other with the respect and expectation of a life that has been so radically and spontaneously transformed.