A Radical Change - Charles Spurgeon
"Therefore 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.
My line of discourse will be as follows: according to our text and many other Scriptures, a great change is needed in any man who would be saved…and this change is recognizable by distinct signs.
In Order to Salvation a Radical Change Is Necessary. This change is a thorough and sweeping one and operates upon the nature, heart, and life of the convert. Human nature is the same to all time, and it will be idle to try to turn the edge of Scriptural quotations by saying that they refer to the Jews or to the heathen, for at that rate we shall have no Bible left us at all. The Bible is meant for mankind, and our text refers to any man, of any country, and any age: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
We prove this point by reminding you, first, that everywhere in Scripture men are divided into two classes, with a very sharp line of distinction between them. Read in the Gospels, and you shall find continual mention of sheep lost and sheep found, guests refusing the invitation and guests feasting at the table, the wise virgins and the foolish, the sheep and the goats. In the epistles we read of those who are "dead in trespasses and sin" (Eph 2:1), and of others to whom it is said, "And you hath he quickened" (Eph 2:1); so that some are alive to God and others are in their natural state of spiritual death. We find men spoken of as being either in darkness or in light, and the phrase is used of being brought "out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1Pe 2:9). Some are spoken of as having been formerly aliens and strangers and having been made fellow-citizens and brethren. We read of "children of God" in opposition to "children of wrath." We read of believers who are not condemned, and of those who are condemned already because they have not believed. We read of those who have "gone astray," and of those who have "returned to the shepherd and bishop of their souls" (1Pe 2:25). We read of those who are "in the flesh and cannot please God" (Rom 8:8), and of those who are chosen and called and justified, whom the whole universe is challenged to condemn. The Apostle speaks of "us which are saved" (1Co 1:18), as if there were some saved while upon others "the wrath of God abideth" (Joh 3:36). "Enemies" are continually placed in contrast with those who are "reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Rom 5:10). There are those that are "far off from God by wicked works" (Eph 2:12; Col 1:21), and those who are "made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph 2:13). I could continue till I wearied you. The distinction between the two classes runs through the whole of the Scriptures, and never do we find a hint that there are some who are naturally good and do not need to be removed from the one class into the other, or that there are persons between the two who can afford to remain as they are. No, there must be a divine work, making us new creatures and causing all things to become new with us; or we shall die in our sins.