New Life – New Purpose!
Renewal, it is something that we tend to all long for. Many over time grow weary of the artificial renewal that comes with every new year. We structure a holiday around the change of the calendar, have parties, make resolutions and plot to start a new. While in our youth it was fun, as we progress in the years most of us realize more and more that it’s not some external event that changes our prospects, it is a change of the heart.
What some do not realize even then is that renewal can take place constantly!
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT
Contrasting life before giving one’s heart to Jesus and the impact on it after is something that maybe we should do more often.
Jesus, in the sequence of events from His birth through to His ascension into heaven, following His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, fulfilled all the requirements of the old covenant established with Moses. God used several covenants over time to redefine His relationship with mankind. The establishment of the covenant that was under Mosaic law, endured for many years.
But the law was imperfect in that it didn’t cement the relationship between God and man. Constant sacrifices were required and repeated over and over to wipe out new sin and stave off the punishment for disobedience. In addition to the sacrifices for sin, there were purification rites and sacrifices as well to cover guilt and peace.
In every realignment that took place as a result of sacrifice almost immediately the need to repeat it came into being.
Jesus fulfilled this law that required action on the part of the faithful to obtain and maintain the relationship with God.
Fulfilled it so that no longer were sacrifices of grain, and blood required because His sacrifice was complete and comprehensive.
He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 (CSB)
What God sought for in the Old Testament is not any different than what He seeks from us in this new covenant. Both the old and new covenants required sacrifice. The difference in the sacrifice was the one who offered that sacrifice and it’s totality.
What is consistent between both covenants is God desires one thing of those covered by the sacrifices in question, obedience.
Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22 (CSB)
Our obedience is an offering to the Lord every day. An offering that He is greatly pleased with. We aren’t called to daily weekly and regularly scheduled sacrifices as part of this new covenant, as Christ’s sacrifice was complete and perfect, but God still wants our obedience!
There is one sacrifice that God does ask us to present to Him, that is subsequent to His Son’s sacrifice. But it’s not a sacrifice in the sense of what took place under Mosaic law. You might call it a ‘love offering’.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (CSB)
Devoid of conformity to the world around us, God seeks for each and every one of us to give ourselves not as a blood sacrifice because Jesus has made that complete on our behalf, He desires that we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him and His service.
Departing from that conformity with the world so that God may affect in us a transformation of our minds and be able to discern that good, pleasing, perfect will He has for us.
I See Renewal!
Transformed sounds an awful lot like ‘renewal’ does it not?
This ‘new life’ He ushers to us is constant renewal.
With every new revelation His Spirit discloses to us from His Word and our consequential repentance in obedience, we see further growth and new life added to the marvelous transformation He has already accomplished in us.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
With each and every spurt of growth that takes place in the life lived in obedience to Jesus we see new life ever present.
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!
I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 (CSB)
The blood of Jesus covers us completely and as a result, we are compelled to give ourselves fully to God as a ‘Living Sacrifice‘, so that we might see new life and new purpose with each new day.
Lives that are constantly refreshed and a purpose that is constantly deepened and growing.
The person that thinks that accepting Jesus is a ‘fait accompli’ have it all wrong! Yes, giving our hearts to Christ Jesus in faith is the path to salvation but it doesn’t stop there.
God wants us to have life, new life, and have that life more abundant with every passing day! Jesus said,
“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
John 10:10 (CSB)
Life in abundance is what obedience is all about! Renewal every day, every moment, with each revelation received and responded to with obedience we grow in new life more and more.
This is the essence of being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s not only that event when we surrender to Him and give our hearts to Him, that is but the beginning.
We are born into a new life in Christ and as newborn baby Disciples of His, we are to grow in Him through our obedience.
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.
My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
John 15:5-8 (CSB)
New Life! New Purpose! Comes with obedience, with constantly remaining in Christ Jesus and allowing His Word to permeate our entire being.
It is only by faith we are saved. Faith in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. But it is through our commitment to His Word and being obedient to it that we grow and take that spark of a New Life He gives us at the point of our salvation, and transforms that into a burning light, which brightly lights the path for others. Not through us, but through Jesus in us!
New Life – New Purpose! Every day!