Wednesday, May 29, 2013

                                           THE NEWNESS OF LIFE
      Being able to possess something new brings a certain excitement to life, and we promise ourselves we will take care of that new possession so the newness lasts a long time.  Eventually the newness wears off and so does the care we provide.
     I often wonder if that same attitude is present in our spiritual walk with God.  If owning something brand new demands our care, how much more wonderful is a new life in Christ?  If it's so wonderful how much care are we giving to it?
     The phrase "newness of life" is a familiar one for we memorize the passage where those words are found.  Romans 6:4 tells of the saving work of God who raises us up out of the watery grave of baptism, just as He raised up Christ from the dead, so we might walk in the newness of life.  But do we really live as though we have a new life?  Have we really changed our lifestyle to one that glorifies God? 
     Paul tells the Ephesians (2:1ff) they were made alive spiritually upon their obedience to the gospel so their walk (lifestyle) should reflect that change.  Being at one time dead in our sins we have now been made alive through the blood of Christ, but that life must continue beyond the baptism and actually become our new walk.
     The same thought is expressed in Isaiah (65:17ff; 66:22ff) as Isaiah writes of a new heaven and new earth.  Many hold this to mean what will take place when Jesus returns and establishes an earthly reign that will last for a thousand years.  This is a false teaching not supported by Scripture.
     Isaiah is writing to a people who will be brought back from captivity and allowed to live in their land once again.  Following years of oppression and death, they will experience a newness of life in this new heaven and new earth.  Not a newly created heaven and earth, but a new life free from the bondage inflicted upon them.
     Peter writes of a new heaven and new earth in 2 Peter 3:13.  In the context of the passage Peter is speaking of the second coming of Christ and the end of time as we know it.  The new heaven and new earth Peter speaks of will be our release from the burdens and travails of everyday life on earth into a place where righteousness dwells.  That is heaven itself.
     The Father desires that all men will come to repentance and be a part of that new heaven and new earth.  For that to happen we must be washed by the blood of Christ and upon being raised up by the Father live in such a way so as to reflect our walk in the newness of life.  Rodger

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