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The Athenians spent most of their time in telling or hearing “some new thing” (Acts 17:21).  People today still gravitate to what is new -  new inventions, new discoveries, new ideas, and new religions.  The word “new” in the New Testament usually comes from the Greek kainos.  It has a specific meaning of novelty, “as set over against that which has seen service.”1  The “new” is of different nature (form or quality) from what is contrasted as old.2  It denotes what is “far different from what they were before.”3

The Scriptures tell us of several things that are NEW.  The covenant agreement between God and man which Christ orchestrated was a “new covenant” (Hebrews 8:13).  The “first, old covenant” contained the “law” (Romans 9:4;  Romans 7:7), “ordinances of divine service” (Hebrews 9:1; Isaiah 24: 5; Colossians 2:14) and  “a worldly sanctuary” (Hebrews 9:1).  The words of the Lord were written by Moses (Exodus 24:4).  All of these instructions were “nailed to the cross” of Christ and “blotted out!” (Colossians 2:14).  The “new covenant” was instituted at the death of the testator (Christ) (Hebrews 9:16-17).

Christ’s covenant was dedicated with His own blood (Hebrews 9:15-22).  At the Passover feast with His apostles, Christ said of the fruit of the vine, “This is my blood of the NEW COVENANT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26: 28 NKJV).

We today are under a NEW COVENANT unlike the one delivered by Moses (John 1:17; Hebrews 8:9).  Now Christ alone is God’s spokesperson (Hebrews 1:2).  We must be judged by His words (John 12:48-50; Acts 17:31) and those of no others (Matthew 7: 24-27).

The apostle Paul also describes for us what it is to be a “New Creature” (Creation).  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17  NKJV).

Again he writes, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation”  (Galatians 6:15 NKJV).

Once more the new is set in contrast with the old man of sin, the body of sin.  A new creation emerges from our obedience to Christ.  By our faith, repentance, and baptism we become “children of God” who are new in Christ, having put on Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).  We become “one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  As such we are made NEW by the blood of Christ.  Our sins have been removed and we stand justified in the sight of God (Romans 8:1).  The life of  a Christian, following the teachings of the Holy Spirit (Colossians 3:10), is described by Paul as “walking in Newness of Life” (Romans 6:4) - dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11).

May you experience Happy New things in the coming months!


Endnotes

1.  Synonyms of the New Testament, Richard Trench, Grand Rapids, Michigan , page 206.

2.  An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words Volume III, W.E. Vine, Fleming H. Revell Company, New Jersey, 1966, page 109.

3.  Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, Joseph Thayer, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, page 318.

New Things For A New Year