“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may have a new life.”
(Romans 6: 4)
Just recently our young grandson came bouncing into our apartment in his usual exuberant style and leapt into his grandfather’s lap for a cuddle and then turned to me with another leap. He is nearly five years old and seems to be all arms and legs, so fitting into our laps is proving to be a bit awkward!! He then quite seriously studied us both and exclaimed;
You two are shrinking!!
He was probably right there, but when I tried to explain he too was changing, he was unable to grasp that he was growing and that was partly the reason for not much room on those laps. A new era was beginning for him.
Sometimes we are like my little grandson, accepting the “new” in our lives is difficult to achieve. We want to hang on to what is familiar, even though the familiar is sometimes painful. We want to accept newness in our lives, but still get entangled in the old doubts, regrets, failures, guilt. Sometimes we want to hang on to what we thought made us happy, but in reality, can be destructive, causing us to falter and not be flooded with the joy of being new creatures. I read a fitting description of this;
Jesus brings a newness that cannot be combined with the old.
Our greatest promise in accepting Jesus’ gift of forgiveness is his promise of making all things new. We are given a new self and Paul urges us to put on that new self, bravely.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4: 22 – 24)
I like the imagery of “putting on the new self” I can see myself going to my wardrobe cupboard and viewing my clothes and deciding that I no longer need that drab lifeless piece of clothing I can choose to discard it and choose a fresh new apparel to clothe me today. Paul advises us to be clothed with the Lord Jesus himself and certainly that would give us a fresh outlook on the day;
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13: 14)
Sometimes newness in our lives comes from circumstances that have shattered our familiar way of living and we flounder to cope with this new way of life. This is when we can take great comfort from knowing that the Holy Spirit will step in and give us just the new self we need, to do battle with all our fears and worries. We will be able to accept whatever life throws at us.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5: 17)