By Bill Brandstatter
Now that 2020 is here, we are looking at “new” items. The Bible uses the word “new” in a number of very important ways.
A New Name -- Isa. 62:2 indicates that God’s people would be called by “a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” This new name obviously is not Jew since that was an old name. Rather the new name is Christian (Acts 11:26). Isaiah also says God’s servants would be called by “another name.” So no longer is the Old Testament name authorized. Spiritual Israel today is the church (Gal. 6:16).
A New Covenant -- God gave us a new covenant. The Hebrews writer indicates that in using the word “new” to describe his covenant, the first covenant (Old Testament) was ready to vanish away. (Heb. 8:13). We are, therefore, not subject to the Old Testament and its ordinances since they were nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14).
A New Birth -- Jesus spoke in John 3:3, 5 of the “new birth.” This new birth is a spiritual one, not a physical birth. This new birth is required for a person to be identified with Christ. Jesus mentions two elements of the new birth, spirit and water. Many commentators agree the “water” here includes the water of baptism.
A New Way -- The old way to God included a priest who made sacrifices once a year for the people. (Heb. 9:7) Now individuals can approach the Father directly in prayer. (Matt. 6:9) Christianity, therefore, is a new way of approaching God as compared to the old way of Judaism.
With all the new events that are taking place this year, don’t forget the new ways of God. Remember to read and study the Bible, attend worship services, and obey God as the Bible directs.
- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/