Posted by: rcottrill | January 1, 2012

“News” for the New Year

I want to talk to you for a few minutes about the word “new.” When the church bells rang at midnight, I’m sure some folks said, “Ring out the old, ring in the new.” We call today New Year’s Day, and speak of 2012 as the new year.

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Some we keep, and many we don’t. We’ll pledge ourselves that in 2012 we will: eat more healthy food, and lose weight; get more exercise and get in shape; get out of debt; or spend more time with family and friends. And those are good things. It’s a fine thing to make a new start. But often, before January’s done, we’ve broken many of those new resolutions!

When we turn to the Word of God, we won’t find phrases such as new year’s day, or the new year. But the Bible does talk about other new things. So here are four “news” for the new year.

1. There’s a new CREATION.
When a person get’s saved, the Bible says this about him or her: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

When we trust Christ as Saviour, we experience a spiritual birth, a new birth. And Romans says that, as new creations, we should “walk in newness of life” [Rom. 6:4]. In other words, we should live like the Christians we’ve become, through faith in Christ.

2. There’s a new SONG.
A song of praise arises in our hearts, when the Lord delivers us and comes into our lives. The saints have a new song, or they sing the old songs with new joy, and fresh enthusiasm. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine…!”

In Psalm 40, David says: “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth–praise to our God” (Ps. 40:3-4). Our songs testify to our new experience with God, and the new joy we have.

3. There’s a new COMMANDMENT.
In the words of the Lord Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn. 13:34).

Not that it was a new thing for God’s people to love others. That’s talked about in the Old Testament (cf. Lev. 19:18, 34). But what was new was that “as I have loved you.” When the Lord Jesus came to earth, we were given a new and perfect illustration of love. Love that took Him all the way to the cross to die for our sins (Gal. 2:20).

That’s an infinitely high standard. Our love is to be like the love of Christ (Eph. 5:2). None of us is there yet! But by the empowering of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we seek to emulate and express the love of Christ to others (Gal. 5:22).

4. There’s a new HEAVEN and EARTH coming.
God has a new future for the redeemed, and new dwelling places the Lord is preparing for us (Jn. 14:2-3). What a wonderful future we have to look forward to!

In the book of Revelation, John says: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” Rev. 21:1). And of that new world it says: “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (vs. 4).

Four great “news” for the new year. We’re new creations, through faith in Christ. We have a new song of praise to sing, a new commandment to guide us, and a new future coming up ahead. Praise the Lord for it all!

There’s a little chorus that sums up the state of things, for the Christian.

I sing a new song, since Jesus came,
Serve a new Master, wear a new name;
Walk a new road, have a new goal,
Know a new peace, down deep in my soul.


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