Here we are at the beginning of a new year. All of the joys and heartaches of the past year are but memories and we look with great anticipation to the unfolding prospects of another year before us. At no other time of the year are we as hopeful as at this new beginning. It is with this thought in mind that we look at the new things which the The LORD of Glory has promised to HIS children.
The new birth!
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of GOD.----Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again." JOHN 3:5,7
Nicodemus of old was startled at this declaration by our LORD just as we should be today. The LORD told him that a man must be fundamentally changed in order to see (i.e. understand) the kingdom of God. Because we, by nature, are dead in trespasses and sins we are not able to comprehend spiritual things. Apart from the SPIRIT OF GOD changing the very nature of our understanding we shall continue in a spiritually dead condition. But GOD who is rich in mercy does reach down in HIS sovereign grace and remove the blindness of dead sinners and gives light to them which sit in darkness. He opens the ears of the deaf and gives sight to blind eyes that we may behold the glories of HIS kingdom and live. Man in his natural state may be able to comprehend the basic truths of the gospel. He may even express a belief and acknowledgment that JESUS CHRIST is the Savior. Yet, unless and until he is born again by the SPIRIT OF GOD he cannot see the glory which surrounds the LORD. He may be baptized and follow a rigorous course of disciplined religious conduct, even do so with great fervor. Yet without the new birth he cannot understand the awfulness of sin nor the sweetness of having his guilt taken away. A man in his natural state may seek and find comfort in religion yet until he is born again he will not experience that peace which passeth understanding.
A New Creature!
"Therefore if any man be in christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." I CORINTHIANS 5:17
When GOD gives a man the new birth, HE sets a whole process in motion. As a man by the grace of GOD begins to see and understand spiritual things, he is transformed by the SPIRIT OF GOD into something he was not. His comprehension and love of GOD's truth are magnified. His basic concepts of right and wrong, of good and bad undergo startling changes. He can never be the same again. The objects of his deepest affections and the direction he is traveling are forever altered. Whereas once he may have served GOD out of fear or for some thought of reward, now he does so out of a genuine desire to bring glory to the KING. He who once learned about JESUS CHRIST now bows down before HIM in true worship. He who once rendered service now gives allegiance.
New Heavens and a New Earth!
"NEVERTHELESS WE, ACCORDING TO HIS PROMISE, LOOK FOR NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS." II PETER 3:13
A love of this present world is the natural state in which man dwells by nature. But when GOD makes a sinner into a new creature his affections and allegiances are changed. He can no longer totally identify with the present world system and he must confess that he is a stranger and a pilgrim in the earth.(see Hebrews 11:13) He looks for "A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD." HEBREWS 11:10 "BUT NOW THEY DESIRE A BETTER COUNTRY, THAT IS, AN HEAVENLY: WHEREFORE GOD IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THEIR GOD: FOR HE HATH PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY." HEBREWS 11:16
HAVING LOVED HIS OWN HE LOVED THEM TILL THE END
AND HE GAVE HIMSELF AS PAYMENT FOR THEIR SIN
HE WEPT AND CRIED
HE BLED AND DIED
THEIR FREEDOM TO WIN!
HAVING LOVED HIS OWN
HE LOVED THEM TILL THE END