Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NEW



“NEW”
Here we are just over a week into the New Year, so it seems natural that our minds are still on new things.  Some of us may be facing new challenges in our lives; some of us may have new health issues to deal with; some may even be facing new situations we don't know how we will deal with. All of these might be new, but not necessarily in a positive manner.  On the other hand, some of us may be contemplating some wonderful new things, such as newly born children or grandchildren, new jobs or new opportunities.  

All these new things that may come with this NEW year, led me to do a survey of the word “new” as found in our New Testament.

What I found is that the word "new" is used 61 times in the New Testament.  Interestingly the most numerous of the uses is as an adjective describing wine, which occurs 12 times.  This is in a large part due to the parable Jesus told of the need to put new wine into new bottles along with the folly of using new cloth to mend an old garment.  In fact, if one adds the times the word new is used to describe wine, bottles and cloth, it accounts for over one third of the total. 

In a similar manner, if one adds all of the occurrences of the word “new” used in regard to prophesy of our future, where it is used to describe the new heavens and new earth which we look forward to, the new name God will write upon us, the new Jerusalem which is the city of our God, and the new song we will sing, the total is 10.

In John 13:34 we find the word “new” to describe a new commandment given to us by Jesus.  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  That verse serves as a good example of the bulk of the 6 verses using “new” relating to a commandment or doctrine.

Nine times “new” refers to the new testament or new covenant:  Matthew 26:27-28  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  

If I may quote John Gill here, as to the significance of thispassage: “ … the cup, was an emblem and representation of his precious blood, whereby was exhibited a new dispensation, or administration of the covenant of grace; and by which it was ratified and confirmed; and whereby all the blessings of it, such as peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, come to the people of God: the allusion is to the first covenant, and the book of it being sprinkled with the blood of bulls, and therefore called the blood of the covenant, But the second covenant, or the new administration of the covenant of grace, for which reason it is called the New Testament, is exhibited and established in the blood of Christ the testator.

Finally, 6 times we find the word “new” describing a new man; a new person. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  
Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 

Of course, in both of those passages the term used instead of man is creature, or creation as many translations put it.  Either way, the point is the same; being “in Christ” results in such a change that scripture refers to it as a new creation or new man.  We find that reinforced by the following:

Ephesian 4:22-24  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation [way of life] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:8-10  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Both of those passages give a contrast between the old man and the new man.  The old person who is satisfied to continue in sin versus the new creation in Christ Jesus.  And depending on where you find yourself in your relationship to God, these may be among the most important uses of the word “new” that we find in the Bible.  This experience of becoming a new creation can often serve as a checkpoint for us, giving assurance of salvation to those who have experienced it; as the Bible promises Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 

On the other side of that coin is that the lack of the experience of becoming a new creation should serve as a dire warning. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Being a new creation in Christ is not optional! If any man is not in Christ, he has no salvation for there is no salvation outside of Christ.
I would caution you though, that we need to trust the Bible over our experiences.  It could very well be that some of you trusted Jesus as your Savior at a young enough age that this change into a new person was not as drastic or apparent as for some of us, such as myself, who were real scoundrels before God brought us to salvation later in life.  If you have loved Jesus, and truly followed him for as long as you can remember, then you have your assurance.

If, however, you have never trusted Christ as Savior; never experienced this supernatural act of God wherein he made you a new creation and all things became new, today is the day you can change all that and begin a new life in Christ. If you understand that you are a sinner who deserves the judgment of God, and believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took on human flesh and lived a sinless life so that he would be an acceptable substitute for you, died on the cross to pay for your sins and in return gives you credit for his righteousness, then you are on the verge of beginning a new life.

As we read in Romans chapter 10: The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

1 comment:

Thomas J Starling said...

Really good and eye opening post Lee. Caused me to stop and think (personally), thanks for your thoughts, Theological and Motorcycle!

T J STARLING