New Series: The renewal of all things
I think this series was inspired by thinking about the New Year, although I realise that by the time the first instalment is posted more than half of January 2016 will have passed. Still, I hope my reflections on New Testament references to new things will be helpful.
In Matthew 19:28, Jesus refers to the “renewal of all things”, a future time of judgement when those who have followed Him will be rewarded for the sacrifices they have made in the present. The Greek word here translated as “renewal” could also be translated “regeneration”, a word that theologians more commonly associate with the salvation of individuals, as it is used in Titus 3:5. The amazing truth Jesus presents here is that the whole universe will be born again at the future time when He returns in glory, just as individuals who believe in Him are born again in this present age.
The renewal of all things is a future hope for the Christian – we know that it cannot occur until Christ returns in glory and power. Yet, we also know that the new life of the Spirit is our present experience and that His power can transform the lives of people who come to faith in Christ. Those people then become agents of God in the world, committed to doing the good works He has prepared for them. To this degree, then, we bring hope of personal renewal and of the potential for the renewal of cultures and societies. I hope to explore these themes over the next 11 weeks (I’ll be posting on Fridays again as I did in 2015) as I consider the following passages:
New teaching (Mark 1:27)
New treasures (Matthew 13:52)
New wine (Luke 5:37-39)
New covenant (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6)
New commandment (John 13:34)
New life (Romans 6:4)
New way (Romans 7:6)
New lump (1 Corinthians 5:7)
New creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15)
New humankind (Ephesians 2:15)
New self (Ephesians 4:14)