Notice the purposeful interchange of verb tenses in 2 Cor. 5:17.

A. "old things passed away" This is aorist tense in the indicative mood, often referring to a completed act in past time. This refers to conversion.

B. "new things have come" This is perfect tensewhich refers to a past completed act with abiding results. This refers to discipleship.

This concept of "new" is part of OT terminology for the eschaton. The OT prophets spoke of this new age.

1. "new things" (cf. Isa. 42:9; 43:19; Jer. 31:22)

2. "new covenant" (cf. Jer. 31:31-34)

3. "new heart, new spirit" (Ezek. 11:19; 18:31; 36:26)

4. "new name" (cf. Isa. 62:2; 56:5; 65:15)

5. "new song" (cf. Ps. 96:1; Isa. 42:10)

6. "new heavens and new earth" (cf. Isa. 65:17; 66:22)

This eschatological newness had come in Jesus, but the old was still present. The new has not been fully consummated. The overlapping of the Jewish "two ages"  (see Special Topic: This Age and the Age to  Come) by Jesus' two comings was unforseen by OT prophets though they did depict the Messiah in lowly servant terms as well as victorious royal terms. He fulfilled the first imagery with His first coming and will fulfill the second imagery with His second coming.

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