A short, but compelling, word found throughout the New Testament is the word “new”. It is right there in the title and appropriately so. After all, the essence of the New Testament message is a description of and invitation to join a new covenant, a new arrangement, a new agreement between God and us.
In the gospels, Jesus ushered in a new covenant, and with it a new kingdom. In the parable of the wine and wineskins, Jesus referred to His ministry as “new wine” (Mk 2:22), indicating that it is not just an add-on to the old covenant, but something new and as we will see, nothing short of revolutionary. From the outset, the crowds who followed Jesus were “amazed, saying, ‘what in the world is this? A new teaching with authority!’ ” (Mk 1:27). And finally, when we enter into this new arrangement with God, we become a “new creation” (II Cor 5:17). We are raised to a “new life” (Rom 6:4). We are literally “indwelt by a new Spirit” (Rom 8:11).
In Ephesians chapter 4, the apostle Paul encourages us to clothe ourselves in this new covenant by “walking in a manner worthy” of our new arrangement with God. “Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph 4:24). Do you know that you have a moral resemblance to God Himself by virtue of your new self being created in righteousness and holiness? Does the phrase “moral resemblance to God” sound prideful and too elevating of ourselves?
For the next several weeks, we will explore this topic here at jaylehman.com with an eye toward the incredible spiritual capacities God has given new covenant believers, our “new” relationship with sin, how love trumps knowledge in our dealings with each other, and many other topics related to “putting on the new self.” We invite you to join the discussion.