The Newness of New

According to William Mounces, the word new has two distinct meanings. First, this word new “denotes the state of being different, new, and superior to a previous state.” An example of this meaning is best understood from the biblical example of ‘a new covenant.’ (Jer. 31:31) In this sense, the new covenant is not only different from the old covenant but is much more superior in its promises to those who believe. Next, this word new carries the meaning of “new in contrast to something old.” Here it can carry the meaning of ‘new’ in the sense of something unused. For example, Matthew (9:17) talks about ‘new wineskins that can only hold new wine.’ In other words, old wineskins do not have the capacity to hold new wine. The application of this definition simply implies that ‘as new creations in Christ Jesus’ we are so different that old habits are no longer able to manifest in us because we are no longer the persons we used to be.
In similar fashion, it is our tendency to make ‘New Year’s resolutions’ as we transition from the old year to the New Year. However, all too often we fail to keep the commitment necessary to experience the fruits of the resolutions made. This is not because we don’t believe in the resolution itself, but rather our failure to appreciate the value and benefits that come with being committed. Put another way, one must be more committed to the vision (the end result) than the challenge of getting there. The resolution represents the goal but requires a commitment to sacrifice in order to accomplish it. From a spiritual perspective, faith allows us to see ourselves as having accomplished the goal even though we are still in the process of achieving it. God is faithful in that He is committed to the goal in spite of our struggle to achieve it. From the Father’s position, we have become new and the old has passed away. Let me say it again, “we have been made new.”
This is “the newness of new!” This point must be understood because every person sincerely wants to become new. This is the reason why we make resolutions in the first place. It has always been the Father’s will that each one of us truly experiences the newness of life. But one cannot experience this newness if he or she is still bound by the mentality and experiences of the old person. This perception is usually tied to one’s successes or failures. This attempt to gauge whether one is new or not (or able to make progress towards the new goal) is always limited by the reality of either failure along the way or a lack of ability to remain focused on the goal. However, when it comes to this concept of newness from a spiritual perspective, God has already finished what we are attempting to begin. He has made us new! Whether we succeed or fail, we have been made new. When one realizes that they are new and this has been done for them in Christ, they also should realize that they can experience this newness in every aspect of their lives. One’s ability to accomplish the goal no longer depends on whether one fails along the way. This revelation requires a change of mind and focus.
In this New Year may your mind be renewed and your focus shifted to the truth that all is new because God has already completed this process in your life. As a result, there are certain things in your life that cannot remain because they no longer represent the new person you are becoming. This is “the newness of new.”  God has already completed this work in you by declaring and justifying you. Now you must allow Him to help you experience all the promises that are yours in Christ Jesus. In this New Year may your motivation no longer be limited to the resolution, but to the one who empowers and enables you to achieve it. May you focus on God’s faithfulness, not just His promises…And may you be new as well in this New Year! 

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

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