Volume. XIX, No. 43
Making All Things New
I have been wondering as to what I should be writing for the Lively Hope this time. So many thoughts have been coming into my mind about so many things that I have heard and of so many things that I have read. And I began to think that there is fundamentally nothing new in all these things. I have shared quite a few messages, however I feel that I have been expressing the same things in different words. In fact every message that we hear has fundamentally the same theme behind it, the main concepts are still the same. We all know the basic tenets of Christian life of how a person ought to live. We know that we are sinners and that we are saved by grace, because Jesus Christ died for us. Now we ought to live for Him and to be like him. We have heard of many messages on being like Jesus, of leading Christ-like lives, of being charitable, holy, loving one another as Christ loved us, of being selfless, obedient to God’s commandments and so on. The whole Bible talks of these things. The Bible is a Book containing many books. It is not a book that we can read in one day. If one reads it continuously and very carefully for about eight hours a day, one may finish reading it in about a month. Yet in spite of it’s immensity and it’s complexity, the same message is repeated all throughout the Bible. In all of Paul’s letters, he gives the same exhortation to his readers after expounding on some very in-depth theological doctrines. He tells us to forbear one another in love, receive one another as Christ has received us, be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us, keep away from sexual immorality, and so on.
Why does Apostle Paul give the same word of exhortation all the time? He tells us why - “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” (Philippians 3:1). It is safe and beneficial for us.
All throughout the ages, the Holy Prophets of God kept proclaiming the same message to the people of God – keep away from idolatry, keep the Sabbath Day for the LORD, offer right sacrifices, repent of all wickedness, be holy and keep all of God’s commandments. For example Micah says in Micah 6:8 - “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” The Preacher (King Solomon) said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, that there is nothing new under the sun and then finally concludes by saying - “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
The reason why the same message is given continually is quite obvious – because we are human beings and we forget. It is so easy for a person to be drawn away from the things of God into the things of this world. Hence we have to be preached to every day, either by ourselves in reading the Bible or by hearing it from others. A familiar analogy is “our daily bread”. We eat almost the same food every day, though with different ways of preparation, however the basic contents are still the same – fruit, vegies, cereals, meat, milk and so on. And interestingly we never seem to question as to why we eat the same things all throughout our life.
Other reasons that Paul gives us as to why He would write the same thing is because many of his readers would not listen. They were still like infants living on milk and so he could not teach them highly spiritual things (1Corinthians 3:2). If a person is unable to digest simple liquids, he is no position to eat solid meat
Now even though he fundamental message and commandments of God of how we are to live in this world are being proclaimed all throughout the pages of the Bible, yet there are innumerable things in the Bible which are meant for us to think beyond the earthly plane, into the high spiritual plane. Our God is an infinite God who had made us in His own image. We are not infinite as God, however the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God has put the whole world (KJV) or eternity (NKJV) into our hearts. The heart or soul of man has potentially infinite capacity to receive and understand new things from God. God who is an unchanging God says that He makes all things new (Revelation 21:5). For whom does He make all things new? It is both for Him, for His good pleasure and for His image, His Children through Christ for their spiritual enjoyment. God is not going to make anything new in the existing physical world, though He does provide our material needs. The existing physical universe is being reserved to be burnt up in fire (2Peter3:7). But God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2Peter3:13).
The new things, which God is making, are spiritual things. He made you a new creation, given you a new heart and a new spirit, when You received His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You were born anew, by the living Word of God. This living and active Word of God is constantly giving you new insights into both human nature and into the nature of God. You come to realise “what a wretched man I am” apart from Christ, You come to realise the goodness of God, how He has been gracious to you full of mercy and compassionate. You want to know more and more of the deep, deep love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, and you want to be filled with all the fullness of God. He is constantly revealing new things to you from the Scriptures. Your eyes are now opened to the things, which were hid before, as you constantly live in the presence of God and allow His Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you. You are no longer carnally minded, going only after things which gratify the senses, but you become spiritually minded seeking the higher gifts, which can never be given to the carnally minded people of the world. And like the Apostle Paul who was given an abundance of revelation, being caught up in the third heavens, you also desire to have the same experience and to behold the Lord in all His beauty.
He makes all things new and He gives you a new commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”. Apostle John said – I am writing you no new commandment, but an old one, which you have heard before (1John 2:7)– to love one another. Loving God and loving our neighbour was the first and oldest commandment, So when our Lord Jesus Christ said that He is giving us a new commandment - “...love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34) it was new in that Jesus showed us a new way of loving, by dying for sinners who only deserved eternal punishment. Paul said that scarcely a man will die for a righteous man, but for a good man one might even dare to die, but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:7,8). When Jesus preached to the people in His time, they were astonished, because He spoke as one who had authority and not as their scribes and Pharisees. They exclaimed saying – what is this, a new teaching! Yes it was new. Christ fulfilled all the Judaic laws in Himself and gave His people a new law, a law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which sets us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). And He is constantly renewing you, making you more and more to be conformed into His own image, by the power of the Holy Spirit working through you and in you.
Deacon Edwin D’Mello