I love old things. I could stay "lost" in an Antique Mall for days. Each item holds memories for someone, if not for me. I imagine what it would be like in those old days, or how an item was used, or who owned it.
It is especially fun when I see something from my own childhood. Like two days ago I was walking around another Antique store on our downtown square and I saw a little round gold colored compact. I knew exactly what it was! My great-aunt always had one just like it on her make-up table. When we were visiting we got to give her those big 'clown-like' rosy cheeks as we helped her get ready for the day.
It was $10 so I passed on it. This is only the second one I have seen since I have been an adult. I need to go back and get it. Every-time I hold one in my and, you would think I was holding the 'hope diamond' kept in a special lighted case in the Smithsonian Museum. It is special because the little rouge compact is connected to happy memories of times long gone, but the impact of those memories remain endearing to my heart.
The Bible verse I read this morning is 2 Corinthians 5:17:I am reading both the New American Standard Bible and the New King James Version. These versions are very close, but I figure I might be able to glean something from one that I miss in the other translation as I meditate on the verse.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASB) or
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (NKJV)
This year I am going to study a verse a week. This doesn't mean I wont be reading any other Bible. It just means I am setting a small obtainable goal for spiritual growth.
So let me share what I have pondered about this verse:
"Therefore" - that tells me this verse is in context of the Chapter. This statement is a summary, or conclusion thought to the previous verses.
"if anyone is in Christ" - the point of this verse, the truth of its words, apply to people who are truly Christians, born from above, living in a Master/servant, Father/child, Authority/subject relationship. And being born again, being indwell-ed by the Holy Spirit, living in Christ.
"he is a new creation," "he is a new creature" - When we are in a right relationship with God, we are new. We still have our same old body, thoughts, feelings,etc. But this verse is talking about our spirit, which was dead in sin, under condemnation and penalty of death.
We are new in our spirit; our spirit is alive! We are forgiven, and have access to God's unlimited grace. We no longer are bound in the power of perpetual sin, but we have a choice. We can choose to walk by faith, repenting and asking for forgiveness when we fail. Sin no longer has control over us. Sin no longer has permanent power over us.
"The old things passed away" "old things have passed away" - The sacrificial system is over! The inability to have access to God is gone. In the old ways, once a year a priest was able to step into the holy of holies and complete the sacrificial ceremonies necessary to gain forgiveness of the sins of all the people. This way of reconciliation passed away with Christ! We can boldly enter God throne of grace any moment of every day.
"Behold" - Listen up, something important is going to be said.
"All things have become new" "New things have come" As our old desires of the flesh, our desires to sin, no longer have a hold on us, our spirit, alive in Christ, desires to please God. We are new! We have new desires. We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to Jesus, seeking to know Him and live for Him. Our life purpose is new. Our priorities are new. Our goals are new.
We are living under a new set a laws - God's law of grace, not legalistic laws of outward righteous living. We are new driven by our inward righteousness of Jesus that has been given to us, not because we were good enough and deserved it.
Jesus died for us and made a right relationship (righteousness) possible while we were still sinners. Grace has nothing to do with what we do. It is all about what Jesus did.
So, as you ponder the beginning of this new year,
- Are you in Christ?
- Are you living life in a new way from when you were bound to sin?
- Is there anything you need to repent of and receive His graceful forgiveness?
- Are you letting go of old sinful patterns, and being holy?
- Are you living with a new set of priorities, according to God's will?
Do you glean anything else in this verse that you would like to share?