2Cor 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
As New Year’s Day approaches, we all have a tendency to reflect upon the events that have taken place in the previous year and look forward to what the coming year may hold for us. Although this earthly experience of a new beginning is profitable, there is an even greater time of new beginnings that is offered to us in the pages of the Bible. I would like us to look at this wonderful time of “new beginnings” that is graciously offered to us through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find teaching summarized in 2 Cor 5:17.
In our previous devotions, we have seen that it is only through the “new birth”, or becoming a “new creature” in Christ, that we can receive this new beginning in Christ. We also have seen that becoming a new creature involves leaving behind our past life of rebellion and failure to achieve God’s desires for our life. For this devotion, we will be looking at what some of the blessings we receive when things are made new…
“… all things are become new”
When we are made new creatures there are wonderful aspects to the new birth that we experience. Here are just a few:
1. a new life – The Bible pictures man’s natural state as being “dead in trespasses and sins”. By this we mean that mankind, due to their acts of rebellion against the Lord, are spiritually separated from God and unable to bring themselves into a relationship with Him. But through the work of Jesus, those who are dead are brought into a relationship with Him (John 6:32-40, Col 2:13-15)
2. a new freedom – All men have entered into a state of spiritual bondage, unable to escape the effects and control of sin in their lives. Christ, through His death on the cross paid the needed ransom to deliver us from sin’s bondage and give us freedom in Him. (1 Tim 2:3-6, Rom 6:17-18)
3. a new relationship with our Creator – After the new birth, we can enjoy unhindered fellowship with God, being made an adopted member of His family and citizen of His spiritual nation. (Eph 2:13-15, 18-19, Gal 6:15-18)
4. a new ability to understand His Word – Along with the new birth, we are given eyes that are opened to the truth. We are also given the Holy Spirit to indwell us and give us an understanding of the teachings of God found in the Bible. (Isa 42:6-9, Acts 26:18, Eph 1:16-18, John 15:26-27)
5. a new set of fruits – At the new birth, we are given a new nature within us, giving us the ability to bear fruits that are pleasing to God through the Holy Spirit’s intervention. (Gal 5:19-23, Eph 4:22-24)
6. a new eternity – Once we have been brought into communion with the Lord, we are promised many wonderful blessings as we enter into eternity in the presence of God. (Rev 21:-22:, John 14:1-3, 2 Cor 5:1, Heb 11:10-16 etc)
As we quickly approach the New Years, let us all keep in our minds the new beginning that our Lord has graciously given to us. By His grace, motivated by His love for us, He has made us into “new creatures” allowing us to put behind all of our “old things” and being able to experience a newness of life in Him. Let’s praise and honor the One who has given us such a wonderful set of blessings to us.
Finally, please remember that our praise to Him should not be limited to our speech, but should encompass our actions as well. This means during our New Year’s celebration we should keep our minds on our Lord and His workings, and celebrate the New Year in a way that is God honoring, setting the example for all those around us. We can do this by putting aside the “old things” (drunkeness, gluttony, and the such like) and putting on the “new man” dedicated to pleasing our Lord.
May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”
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