Monday, June 21, 2010

The Spirit of the New Creation

In our sermon text today, Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new. One of the things this means is that every new life, every new generation of believers is a new act of creation by the Spirit. There is continuity in history just as we might see continuity in the original creation week: God creates the firmament, places stars in it, and then makes birds to fly across it. It is the same overall project of creation. But there is another sense in which stars are completely new, birds are completely unexpected, and who could have anticipated Zebras? Being a new creation in Christ is a promise and blessing to every new creature in Christ. Just as God created Adam and Eve, showed them the new world, and then set them free to work it and make it beautiful, so too every new creation in Christ by the working of the Spirit is set free to make this new world beautiful and glorious. But this also means that this Spirit of new creation continues to be the Spirit of newness throughout our lives. This means that there is never a point in a believer’s life when the Spirit stops being the Spirit of the new creation. Individuals may harden themselves in sin and grieve the Spirit of God. The are real warnings about that. But for believers who stumble and fall, believers who make enormous mistakes and regret it, believers who wonder if they have spent many years of their lives well, believers who may wish they could do some things over again, for you, there is all kinds of hope because you have been given the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of resurrection life, the Spirit of the new creation. And the mercies of God are new every morning. Every morning is another day of the new creation. Do not say it is too late. Do not fret away hours or days or months wishing you might have done it differently. You have the Spirit so that you can begin again every day. Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness, do whatever restitution is necessary, and then get started. There’s a world before you, and God loves to do new things.

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