|Behold, I Make All Things New
Christian life is that of constant renewal and transformation.
Day by day we are renewed by the Holy Spirit to put away our old sinful nature and
grow into the new and heavenly nature of the Son of God.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
[II Corinthians 5:17]
This renewal is the underlying theme of the whole book of the Bible.
Throughout the Old Testament we see the ever merciful God renewing his covenant with man
so that He can be more gracious and compassionate towards us.
This renewal is what David
prayed for when he said:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me."
"You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth."
Isaiah summarizes the blessed state of
those who wait for God's renewal:
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
This is the hope that is expressed
when Jeremiah prophesies:
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,
says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and
I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying,
'Know the LORD', for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest
of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will
remember no more."
and when he laments about the
destruction of Jerusalem:
"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness."
The essence of the ministry of prophet Ezekiel
was this renewal in the Holy Spirit:
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will keep My judgments and do them."
The rebirth and renewal of is the summary of New Testament.
Jesus tells Nicodemus who visited Him at night:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
St. Paul throughout his epistles emphasizes the need to 'put off the old man' and
renew ourselves into the 'new man'
"But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy
He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior."
"For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many,
may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing,
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory"
[2 Corinthians 4:15-17]
"Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
and have put on the new man who is renewed
in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian,
Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all."
St. John in his revelation assures us
of our ultimate hope:
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death,
nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain,
for the former things have passed away...Behold, I make all things new."
Let us pray that this New Year becomes an year of spiritual renewal and
transformation for the entire world.
Achen and web team of St. Gregorios, DC wish you a peaceful, fruitful and blessed New Year 2002.