Summary: God isn’t interested in patching up your old life. He wants to make a new creation out of you.
This week I had breakfast with our youth intern. Joe proudly announced that he and Cheryl are expecting their first child and that the due date is in February. As we talked, our conversation turned to all of the new things that will be happening in their lives over the next months and years. Joe and Cheryl will adjust to new schedules and new priorities in their lives as they become parents. They will need to learn new skills, and purchase new products. They will experience new joys and new concerns. Their lives will never quite be the same again.
There is nothing quit so wondrous in this world as a new baby. I remember the birth of our children. I looked in wonder at their tiny hands and feet wiggling and reaching for a new world. I thought about all of the experiences they would have in life: learning to crawl and then walk, swinging on a swing for the first time, eating their first birthday cake, getting their first big bed, and heading off to school for the very first time. But as children grow, the newness of these things begins to wear off. Things become commonplace and predictable. The bumps and falls of life start to destroy some of the wonder and spontaneous joy that so many children possess. We all grow tired, and weary, and more skeptical or perhaps even cynical with age. We lose our newness.
As I spent time in devotion this week, I was struck with how often the Bible speaks about newness and new things.
I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert! (Isaiah 43:19)
"The day will come," says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife," says the Lord.
"But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day," says the Lord. "I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their family, saying, ’You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will already know me," says the Lord. "And I will forgive their wickedness and will never again remember their sins." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. (Ezekiel 36:26)
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you—an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you. (Luke 22:20)
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making all things new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." (Rev. 21:5)
When we study scripture we see that Jesus came to make us new. He gives us a new commandment: That we love one another. He promises a new covenant that will be written in our hearts. He prophesies of a new heaven and a new earth where we one day will rule with Him. Christianity is not just evolved or patched-up Judaism, it is an entirely new work of God on earth in the hearts and minds of men.
There are 2 Greek Words in the New Testament that are translated new.
‘Neos’ has to do with chronological newness. Some things are new because they came after, or are most recent, like when you purchase a used car – but it is new to you and so therefore, you can say “I have a new car”.