“Now that Christ has come and has launched a new cosmos, the old cosmos has begun to be destroyed. The only element or fundamental building block of the new creation is Christ.
And since there is only one Christ, of whom the new creation consists and upon whom it is built, there can be only one newly created people subsisting in that renovated creation. In what sense can it be said that the old world has already begun to be destroyed?
The elements of divisiveness that sustained the sinful structure of the old world have been decisively decimated by Christ, and He Himself has replaced them as the only foundational pillar of the new world.
This is what Paul has in mind in Gal. 6:14–16, where he says that through the cross of Christ ‘the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by the elements (stoichēsousin) of this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, even upon the Israel of God.’
That is, those who conduct their lives on the foundational ‘elements’ of Christ, who is the inaugurated new creation, are partakers of the new creation, and they will experience the peace and unity promised to occur in the new heaven and earth.
We could picture Christ as a hermeneutical filter through which the law must pass in order to get to the new creation.”
–G.K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 874–875.