What did the apostle Paul mean when he wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new”? In context this verse is referring to the mystery of the ministry of reconciliation achieved through Christ’s death and resurrection. Paul is trying to have his reader understand the scope of Christ’s work on the cross and in His resurrection. Thus, he chooses to say, “everything has become new.” Why, then, do we not talk about the whole of reality when we speak of Christ’s redeeming work? We always talk and hear about purifying our hearts, protecting our minds, and feeding our soul, but is this really everything? If so, why didn’t Paul just say, “See, your hearts, minds, and souls have become new”? Why would he say, “everything”?
Paul was a careful rhetorician and would not use such an encompassing term lightly. Therefore, we should not read this verse lightly. Are we so naive to think that the human who is in Christ is only reconciled in heart, soul, and mind, but nothing else? I think not. The human is a whole person, an integrated being, not to be divided or compartmentalized. Therefore, for a human to be truly reconciled, the reconciliation made possible through Christ must be for the redemption of everything – the body, the mind, and the soul (and even the universe in which the human dwells).
I submit that as we continue to purify our hearts, protect our minds, and feed our souls we should, additionally, discipline our bodies. It is an error to elevate the unseen areas of the human only to forsake the vehicle that carries the individual. There is much to say about purifying the body by considering the type of foods we consume and how exercise purifies physiological processes in various systems such as memory and clarity of thought, all of which will be addressed in subsequent articles. For now let us begin to expand our vision by taking back our captivated imaginations that have been dampened by nominal Christianity and accept that when Paul says, “everything has become new” he means everything, “God, men, the whole creation, heaven, earth, and all therein, appear in new light.”
Steward everything given to you.
Allow your heart to be purified.
Be diligent to protect your mind.
Generously feed your soul.
Care for the Earth you inhabit,
And Discipline your body.
How could such an expansion in thought change the way you view your reality? We would love to hear from you: