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Words of Grace – Newness

Newness is the theme of the gospel. The direction in which the plan of God is moving is toward newness. The final state, after this world passes away, is one of newness. This is why the one who is seated on the throne of heaven said to the Apostle John in Revelation, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

The plan to make all things new was announced before the coming of Jesus Christ. Isaiah
prophesied the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, with the former things no longer being remembered (Isaiah 65:17). Jesus announced a new world to come, where he will sit on the throne of glory, sharing it with his followers (Matthew 19:28). Paul reminded us that if we are “in Christ,” we are new creatures, which is a requirement for living in the new world (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Revelation 21-22 are the chapters in the Bible where the new world is described. It’s called a new heaven and new earth. There will be a city there, called the new Jerusalem, which is the dwelling place of God. The new Jerusalem is said to be like a bride prepared for her husband, meaning that Christ dwells with his people.

In this new world, there will be no more chaos, tears of sorrow, pain, or death. Every former thing that is the result of sin and evil will have passed away.

All things will be new. New light, new love, and new peace will abound. There will be a new kind of worship, full and unhindered. There will be new relationships as the people of God live in perfect fellowship with one another without division or isolation. Everyone will be satisfied in the soul because they will drink from the water of life and eat from the tree of life. The Lord will reign and we will live, forever. This is the newness that is granted to us by grace through faith, and awaits us at the return of Christ.

Jesus Christ is the key to the newness that is to come. The reason that chaos, sorrow, pain, and death exist is because humans have rebelled against God. Human sin is the cause of brokenness in this world that is wasting away. Jesus took the curse of sin upon himself and died to abolish death. “It is finished,” he cried from the cross. The sentence was served, and the demand for justice satisfied.

Then Jesus rose from the dead. He not only put to death the old order, he brought about a new order in his resurrection. He rose in a new body, and he will give one to all who follow him. He will return with a new heaven and new earth, and he will receive all who follow him to live there forever.

While we wait for this future, we still have to live now. What does the newness to come have to do with life in the oldness of today?

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Since God is making all things new, we should bring newness to all things. God has made us new creatures in Christ for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Our work now, in light of the newness to come, is to bring the new life we have in Christ to the things of this world. We will not make heaven out of this world, for it is passing away and a new one is on the way. But we will bring glory to our Father in heaven, and give testimony to the new word to come.

So, put on the new self that you are as a Christian, and bring the newness of the life of Christ to your relationships and labors while you wait for the new heaven and new earth when he returns. No good work will be in vain.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday.

-Scott

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