Years ago in Scotland, a simple fisherman was bound by strong drink; on too frequent occasions he took the money from his catch and spent it on liquor while his wife and children suffered miserably. They lived in a little hovel off the end of the fishing village, out of sight of most of the villagers.
But one day there came a great change. Old John, as he was called, came to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Saviour. There was an immediate transformation. He brought his full money home and gave it to his astonished wife. He worked more steadily, and soon they had more money than they had had in years. The wife bought new clothes and new shoes for the children, and new dresses for herself. There was food on the table, coal for the fire , and all was going very well.
After a few weeks of this, his wife said to him one day, "John, if you are going to keep on like this we should begin to think of moving out of this miserable place and taking a better place."
"Right," said John, "I shall go and see the landlord about a new house at once." He made his way through the town to the landlord and asked to rent a good house which was available. The landlord said, "I would never rent a good house to you."
"Why do you say that?" asked John. "You don't know me at all, and I am quite sure that I am able to pay the rent and that I would be a model tenant for you."
"Of course I know you," said the landlord. "You are old drunken John, the fisherman."
"I know you are quite mistaken," said John quietly. "You have never seen me before. Old John is dead and I am new John, a new creature in Christ Jesus." He opened his purse and poured out a good handful of gold coins on the table before the eyes of the astonished landlord. I do not know whether the man was convinced by the testimony of the new John, but he was convinced by the sight of the gold coins. Soon, new John was living in a new house.
From our perfect standing under justification, the past life of every born-again man has ceased to exist so far as God is concerned. I suppose that there were people who lived in that village who still remembered, even after years and years of calm sobriety, that new John had once been old John. The world has a tenacious memory for past sins.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old things have passed away: behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
1. Which “John” do your family and friends consistently see: the old or the new?
2. What is the connection between 2 Cor.5:14, 15 and 5:17? How does the one lead to the other ?
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