Paul describes conversion as 'new creation', which he understands as the ending of the old life and the beginning of a new life in Christ. The idea is one of a radical transformation, which parallels the passing away of the present heaven and earth to make way for the new, radically transformed recreation when Christ returns to consummate God's kingdom. Thus, Paul calls the believers at Corinth to see the world through the fresh eyes of the gospel instead of the old corruptible way before their conversion. They are now 'in Christ' and reconciled to God; therefore, they are called upon to live new, transformed lives. Because from the perspective of 'new creation', everything looks different, and everything has changed.
Now I understand that different people come to Christ in different ways through varying processes, each legitimate. I came to Christ over an extended period; however, the conclusion of the process was rapid, if not dramatic. Now whether the process is dramatic or seemingly ordinary, immediate or prolonged, there will come a time when each person begins to see the world through new eyes. But what stands out to me upon reflection is that once I was finally converted, it was as if the lights had been switched on. Everything became new, and I saw the world from a radically new perspective. I saw it through new eyes, so my life and values slowly began to change.
However, 'new creation' means more than converting individuals or groups of people. It also impacts the whole of the created order in which we live. Everything that was affected and distorted by the fall is through the reconciling work of Christ being made right and whole. Thus, the whole of creation has been, is being and will be reconciled to God as it waits for its final consummation in the new heaven and new earth.
Lord, teach us to see with new eyes, hear with new hearts, live in new ways, and perceive the world as being in the throes of becoming a new creation. Amen.