One thing I love about playing golf with friends is that sometimes they let me take “mulligans” after errant shots. A mulligan is a “do over” or a “second chance.”
With the start of a “new” year, God allows “second chances” or a NEW time to “start over.” Jesus stated in the Revelation of John in the context of the description of the New Jerusalem and the New heavens (Rev. 21:5) that He came to, “Make all things new.”
The Greek word used here for “new” also gives us a greater description of its meaning. There are two Greek words used in the NT for “new.” They are very similar in meaning and actually overlap in some instances. However, there are a couple of distinctions.
The word, νεος (neos) is used in Mark 9:17 (new wine), Luke 15 (younger son), Hebrews 12:24 (new covenant). As you see in the Luke 15 passage, this word is used in contrast with “old” while the word καινος (kainos) Matthew 26:28 (new testament), Mark 1:27 (new doctrine), John 13:34 (new commandment), means something entirely new or fresh. Neos relates to time, while kainos relates to quality.
Jesus wants to make you new. The song, “Mary did you Know?” by Mark Lowry includes the line, Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This is not “new and improved” but rather what Paul speaks of to the Corinthians, If any man/person is in Christ, he/she is a NEW (καινος) creation…”
As a result of our continuously changing culture in which our church finds itself, we will be seeing some “new” methodsand approaches. One of the “new” processes we will be involved in is really not new. In fact, it is as old as the Great Commission. All of us will commit to personal/small group discipleship. We need to grow in order to be ready and prepared for what God is going to do.
I have observed that many believers are a mile long and only an inch deep. When trials and tragedies come, they act confused or angry or emotional as though some strange thing were happening to them. When a person becomes a mature follower of Christ, they realize that life is unpredictable and loss takes place, but we move on and mature in the process. Paul stated to the Hebrews, “There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding.” (Hebrews 5:11-6:1 NLT)
READY FOR THE NEW!
- Pastor Cliff
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