Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | September 13, 2022

What’s New?

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

The word “new” can be used in a lot of ways. I’m a huge fan of recycled clothes, hitting thrift stores and consignment shops regularly. When I make awesome finds (which I do too often), I have “new” pieces in my wardrobe. This clothing had been purchased and worn by others, but it’s new to me. Maybe you’ve bought a “new car” that was preowned by one or more people—but it’s your new mode of transportation. There are “new-new” cars too, of course, fresh off the factory floor and complete with that new car smell. For all of these things, we have one word in the English language: new.

Other languages have lots of words to a single English word that helps distinguish meanings and differentiate subtleties. New Testament Greek is a wonderful example of this. We see it with the word “love” parsed out into: eros (passion), philia (friendship), storge (family), and agape (unconditional). Also in the New Testament, we find a word for “new” that is completely different. In fact, it means “completely different in quality or kind.” The Greek word “kainos” is used in some form 44 times to describe “new” throughout the New Testament. One of my very favorite verses—2 Corinthians 5:17—uses this word not once, but twice. And the implications are pretty awesome.

First, the definition of this word for new: unprecedented, novel, unheard of; previously non-existent; far different from what they were before; completely new in form or quality.

Upon salvation—our recognition that we’re sinners and our total surrender to Jesus as Lord—we are transformed. Completely. Not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated. We’re resuscitated—we were dead and now we’re alive. We don’t turn over a new leaf, we receive new life in Christ. The “old has passed away”—gone.

Secondly, “new things have come”! What are these new things, exactly, that come to everyone who is transformed by the saving grace of Jesus? Theologian James Butler succinctly delineates three specific new things that occur:

  1. A change in devotion and interests—a saved person will be devoted to Christ and have interests in spiritual things (like a desire for God’s Word).
  2. A change in demeanor and behavior.Reconciliation with God changes everything—our thinking, our words, and our action.
  3. A change in destiny. This is the greatest and most important change. The eternal destiny of the reconciled soul is heaven. The unreconciled soul is headed for eternity in hell.

For three decades, I attempted to make my life “new”—year by year, week by week, day by day. I tried my hardest. I even bargained with God regarding my good/bad list…promising to “do better” next time. But, friend, this effort is impossible on our own—it’s a losing battle because every one of us is wholly unrighteous, fallen. But we can be transformed and made new! And the only “effort” involved is accepting the free gift of God’s grace, salvation through Jesus. When I finally recognized this, everything did indeed change. I was made a new creation, with new devotion, demeanor, and destiny. I finally had peace with God—no more battling against Him. Completely new in form and quality. Not perfect, mind you, but continually growing and maturing in my walk of obedience and holiness.

What about you? Are you done trying to “renew” your life on your own terms and by your own efforts? You can be made new—a new creation in Christ—right now. Just believe that Jesus paid the price for your sin, exchanging His righteousness for your sin, freeing you from the penalty of death and hell. You can stop fighting now, the battle’s been won.

“Lord, if there is just one person reading this who is tired of the struggle to “renew” their life, let them turn to You for rebirth…to be recreated as something entirely new and beautiful.”


For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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