Gospel-Centered Renewal: I Will Be Made New

:: The Series ::
I Have Been Made New (Justification)
I Am Being Made New (Part 1) (Sanctification)
I Am Being Made New (Part 2)

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Colossians 3:5-10
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18

What we often fail to consider is the eschatological hope of renewal in the glorification of the saints–the future tense of the gospel.  As those who enjoy the good of the gospel through repentance-driven renewal, we are “waiting for new heavens and a new earth” according to His promise (2 Pet. 3:13).  We who have been made new through the promise of the Father in the new covenant, purchased by the Son in His death, and applied by the Spirit in His regeneration, are awaiting the day where we will be changed so that mortality will taken on immortality and corruption will taken incorruptibility (1 Cor. 15:52-54).

This is only possible because the “second Adam” brought new life where the first Adam brought death (Rom. 5:12-21).  Where sin brought death and condemnation, grace brought life and acceptance in the beloved–and it is this reign of grace that will persevere to glory and usher us into His presence.   Paul tells that the first Adam was merely a living creature, but the “last Adam” is a life-giving spirit because of whom those bearing “the image of the man of dust” will also bear “the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:45-49).  This is a picture of the progressive renewal of the image of God in man through the application of the gospel in apprehending our union with Christ which satisfies the heart of the one who treasures Jesus.

In the meantime, we join with creation with an eager longing for the coming of our Lord and the “revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19-22).  The whole creation is groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now, and so are those who have received the Spirit of adoption and are seeking to see Christ formed in them (Gal. 4:19).  It is not only what has happened to us in the past (having been made new) that should inspire continual renewal but what will happen to us when our Lord comes and changes us, renewing us fully for eternity in His glorious presence.

The covenantal union of Christ the husband with His bride the church shall continue in the new heaven and the new earth, as John describes in Revelation 21:1-5.

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Jesus Christ, seated on the throne where there is no more pain, sickness, sin, or death, wants us to know that even still he is “making all things new.”  God Incarnate came to dwell with us in humanity, and in the new earth we, His new humanity, will dwell with Him in glory.

To know that we have a Savior who is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2), to know a Father who began this “good work” in us and will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6), and to know a Spirit who breaths new life in us (Titus 3:5) and empowers us each day should dominate our lives as we dedicate them to His glory.  If you want to experience continuous renewal in your spiritual life, do not look to yourself.  Look to Christ as He is seen in the gospel and know there is where God is for us, Christ is with us, and His Spirit is in us solely on the basis of His passionate and perfect work on the cross to make us new.

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2 Comments on “Gospel-Centered Renewal: I Will Be Made New”

  1. […] 4. Tim Brister just did a great series on “gospel renewal.” […]

  2. […]  I Have Been Made New 2.  I Am Being Made New (Part 1) 3.  I Am Being Made New (Part 2) 4.  I Will Be Made New 5.  Renewal Through Remembering 6.  Gospel Renewal Through the Fear of the Lord 7.  Jonathan […]

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