Saturday, August 25, 2007

Being Made New

"The message of the action of God in Christ is concerned with the creation of a new identity, namely, the redeemed person participating in the reconciled society, enjoying fellowship with all creation and with the Creator."~ Stanley Grenz; Theology for the Community of God

The mission of Jesus Christ was not just to save people from our sins, but it also included providing the opportunity for all creation to be made new. Things are not the way that they should be, and Jesus came in order to make things right. Without Jesus there would be no hope for the future because the breakdown of society and the environment is all that we would have to look forward to.

Since Jesus came we have the hope of things being made new. This process of being remade does not just happen at some time in the distant future, but it happens the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17; NLT).
The Apostle Paul tells us that becoming Christians means that the process of being recreated has begun in our lives.

This process begins only when we choose to become disciples of Jesus. The problem this raises is that while we are becoming new the world around us continues the life cycle of becoming older and breaking down. The recreation of the world has to wait, but it it will happen.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God's curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God' children in glorious freedom from death and decay (Romans 8:18-21; NLT).
This time that God has given us provides us with the opportunity to learn how to interact with the world around us. While things are not what they should be we have this time to treat things as though they were right. That way when the time comes and things are made right we can be counted on to do the right thing.

As new creatures it is not just about us and our relationship with God, but it also includes our relationship with other people and with the world around us (society and environment). One of the mistakes the American Church has made has been to neglect the wider world. We have not talked about being stewards of the world God has given us. We have done a poor job at taking care of the poor and needy among us. We have not started meaningful relationships with other Christians. We have allowed out relationship with God to consist of just a Sunday morning experience. It is time for us to change these things. To be a new creature is not just about us, but it is about how we relate to the larger world around us.

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