My husband loves peanut butter. He’s kind of a snob about it, though. He only likes JIF. Any other brand is sub-par in his opinion. Our girls know this and always apologize if they only have the Aldi brand in the pantry when he visits (or in the case of our overseas daughter, something called Pindakaas!). We buy the jumbo-sized 2-pack at Sam’s. It’s a good day when Todd can peel that foil seal off a brand-new jar and dig in for the first, perfect spoonful. It’s especially rewarding after you’ve smeared peanut butter up to your wrist trying to dig out the last (expensive) scoop at the bottom of those big jars!
That brand new jar, with its perfectly smooth layer, is kind of silly in light of our topic today, but it’s a good example of a common trait of human nature: we all love new things, even something simple as peanut butter. We innately know the value of newness; we were born knowing we needed it.
That’s our gift today: in Christ, we are made new.
My goal is for the last three days of gifts to focus on salvation. Yesterday we saw that we are rescued; we’re rescued from spiritual death, but we’re also rescued from our past. Today, we’re focused on the present, in which God makes us new in so many ways. Here are just four.
We are a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Salvation gives us a new nature; we are remade in the image of Christ, restored back to the original blueprint God used to make Adam and Eve. We are gifted with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 2:3-4), and the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We are made holy, sanctified, now acceptable to God because we are in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10,14).
We have a new citizenship.
Ephesians 2:4-6 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were rescued and transferred to the kingdom of Jesus. We got a new passport, so to speak; one that allows us an entrance into our new home. We renounced our citizenship to our old country and have pledged our allegiance to the Most High God, the King of kings and Lord of lords. We now serve the Sovereign Ruler of all that exists. We are “on mission” here on earth until we are called back to the “home office!” I absolutely love 1 Peter 1:17, where Peter tells us to conduct ourselves in fear [reverence for God] during the time of our stay on earth. What a great way to express our citizenship!
We have a new life.
Romans 6:4 – Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
I have personally experienced new life, and I’ve also observed it up close in others. Salvation brings transformation. Notice this new life is a “walk.” It’s a process of learning who we are in Christ and how to live in Him. When our daughter and her family moved overseas, they had to learn a new language, new customs, new laws, new traditions – a whole new way of life. In the same way, in Christ, we are given the opportunity for a whole new life here, right now, in the present. We don’t have to walk in the old, sinful, destructive habits of our former life. We are given a new life.
We are in a new covenant.
Hebrews 9:15 – For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Before Jesus came, mankind was bound to God in the old covenant of law. God said, “If you obey me perfectly, I will accept you.” Of course, NO ONE could obey Him perfectly. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That old covenant was done away with when Jesus died and rose again. Remember, He said, “It is finished!” Now, we are in a new covenant with God, through the blood of Christ. Christ kept the law perfectly in our place, and we are accepted by grace, through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). The best part? It is a secure covenant; we are eternally safe in Christ (John 10:27-29).
Like Todd’s old jar of peanut butter, our old life is messy and empty and has nothing to offer us. Wouldn’t it be foolish for him to repeatedly go back to that empty jar, willing it to produce new peanut butter? He would be disappointed every single day. No matter how we try, we can’t make something good out of our old life; we need a brand-new one, and only God can make new things.
Jesus came to make us a new creation.
Jesus came to give us new citizenship.
Jesus came to bring us new life.
Jesus came to initiate a new covenant between us and God.
Have you opened the gift and been made new?