Published April 18, 2017

Paul's Epistle
"Newness of Life"

Romans 6:4 tells us that "just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

That verse struck me in a new way this Resurrection season. "Newness of life." What does that mean?

Well, of course, our Lord's resurrection showed the "new life" that Christ Himself had. He was raised from the dead by the Father, as that verse tells us. But note that the verse says we are to be like Him. We are to live a Christ-like life that exhibits this "newness of life."

Just as Christ was raised from the dead, when we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, He brought to us new life. And this is not only for the promised resurrection of the dead when He returns. He brought us new life in the here-and-now, as well. He brought us a "newness of life" in how we live our daily lives.

The Greek word which is translated "newness" means a total renewal. It is "not simply an experience similar to the past, but a qualitatively different one."* Scripture tells us that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).

"All things" means that everything about your life should, in some way, be changed — should be new — since you became a Christian.

Quite simply, we are to "put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him..." (Col. 3:10).

When the Lord saved you, He gave you the ability to walk in that "newness of life." He did, after all, give us a clean slate. Scripture says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" ( Rom 8:1).

The problem is that, all too often, Christians fail to take advantage of this "newness of life," failing to abandon some of their old pre-salvation ways. In such times, they seem to prefer the "oldness" of life that they once had. But Paul writes in Romans 7 that we should have "died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the [law]" (7:7).

"Newness of the Spirit" uses the same Greek word for "newness" mentioned earlier. So we have "newness of life" and "newness of Spirit." We are to be new creatures — creatures who have repented, turned away, from sinful ways!

But "new" means "new" – and by sticking to the "old" we are undoubtedly failing to receive God's full blessing in our daily lives. Jesus said He came so that those who accept Him "may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). How much of that "abundance" do we squander by not walking totally in the newness of life God has promised?

Paul is quite clear: " not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).

Of course, all of this is just a prelude to that day shown to John the Revelator when God will provide a "new heaven and a new earth" and old things are "passed away" (Rev. 21:1).

Until then, live in — and enjoy — your "newness of life" through your "newness of Spirit." And thank God — the only One who could — for making you "new."

- Paul
* "The Complete Word Study New Testament," Spiros Zodhiates, p. 912.

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