Tuesday, November 03, 2009

All Things New

Rev.21:5 - And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

II Cor.5 – 16-19 - Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Jesus makes all things new. Read the words of Paul when he says that we are not to know men after the flesh anymore. We as believing followers of Jesus are now to look at our neighbors through the eyes of redemptive love and not the eyes of flesh which looks for and sees their sins first and foremost. Why? Because our ministry is one of reconciliation and not of condemnation.

II Cor.3: - 6-12 - Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

Paul makes an unmistakable distinction between the ministry of condemnation which came by the law of Moses and the ministry of glory which came through Jesus Christ. The law kills while the Spirit gives life. And even though the ministry of condemnation had glory, how much more glory is in the ministry of the Spirit in the New Covenant? The Old Testament pointed forward to hope, but the New Testament brings hope. Moses brought a message of don’ts while Jesus brings a message of freedom.

He who the Son has set free is free indeed.

Look how many Christians believe it's their God given mission to herald the sins of others, including lost people. Some even seek out information that would not normally come their way so they can spread the news and condemn. This is not New Testament Christianity. Just suppose there were blogs in the book Acts. Can you imagine the posts:

Mars Hill Humanists Ruining the Culture
Israel Departing from their Judeo Principles
The Apostles Beaten Unjustly – Write your High Priest
Cornelius – Real or Fake?
Jerusalem Council – James Compromises – Should He Step Down?

You laugh at my satire, but read the ridiculous posts around the kaleidoscope called the blog world. This is exactly the difference between New Testament ministry and the Old Testament ministry of condemnation.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Jesus makes all things new and it is against the Holy Spirit to retreat into the ministry of law which has been done away with. This condemnation is empowered by self righteousness and a misguided desire to change some artificial culture by condemnation and not by the gospel of grace. We are not called to condemn the culture, we are called to bring the light of Jesus Christ into this world which is covered in darkness. We are candles not tabloid journalists; we are epistles not stone tablets; and we are salt not judges.

We have been set free and we must tell others that this same Jesus beckons them “Come forth!” There is coming a judgment, but the door to God’s gospel ark is still wide open for whosoever will. Ours is a pleading not a stoning. We are filled with Jesus not Moses, and the spirit of John the Baptist must give way to the Spirit of Him who is filled with grace and truth. We bring “good news of great joy” to all people; a Savior has come and God calls men everywhere to change their minds and hearts and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace is dangerous and a real risk to your reputation, especially around religious circles. Unless you are ready for criticism you should continue to judge and project yourself as a righteous template. But if you are willing to swim in new oceans that are surrounded by God’s power and grace, then we can be Jesus to a world that is on a treadmill to nowhere. We are new creatures, certainly not in any of our strength, but we have been declared new creatures. We no longer have a need to lift up ourselves and justify our lives before men. We are free to wade into treacherous waters that depend entirely on God and His redemption rather than the sinking ships of our own self righteousness.

That means we can breathe the free air of grace and not only speak to sinners at a distance, we can embrace them with the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can eat with straight and gay; we can fellowship with liberal and conservative; we can company with the poor and the rich; we can love the law abider and the criminal; and we are free in the Spirit to shine in the darkest corner of any den of thieves. Leave your old life of religion and rules and serve Christ in the freshness of His love, which is never a license to sin, but is a license to love sinners. The whole thing is staggeringly new!

This New Testament ministry is eternally new each morning. The world searches for something new that will satisfy the insatiable desire for purpose and security. They chew the gum of temporal things only to have its flavor disappear rapidly, but we have been changed forever realize our newness is replicated daily. How can they know who He is? By experiencing who we are! We are His epistles written to the world and most sinners will never read one ounce of Scripture, but they will respond to someone who is profoundly different and arrestingly unprocessed by the trappings of culture and selfish goals.

Eternity is the constant state of everlasting newness. This world needs to see that kingdom come to this earth through transparent vessels who know Whom they serve and are undaunted in their ministry that shares, preaches, worships, serves, and lives Him with selfless abandon.

4 comments:

Kim K said...

Again a prophetic call, Rick, and to answer it will take a lot of repentance and forgiveness for many of us believers.

Worthy the Lamb!

Rick Frueh said...

Someone said he could not comment. Just testing.

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