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The Former Things Have Become Former

30 Jun

Hello again!

This is what God gave to me in his word today:

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. (Isaiah 65:17)

Yeah, OK sure, but what exactly are the “former things” referred to here?

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. (Isaiah 43:18)

So the former things being referred to here are the Israelites past, what you used to have to do to be saved, which I suppose fits with the context (such as Isaiah 65:5). So, if not the past, what am I to think about, nothing?

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

So we should focus on things above, like for example; Jesus… So let me get all of this straight; the old things, namely the old Law, have passed away to be replaced with the New Law, Jesus… But if Jesus replaces the law, what’s to keep me and everyone else from sin? If Jesus took all of our punishment for the disobeying the law, what’s to keep us from using our new-found freedom? I mean, becoming a Christian practically gives us a licence to be able to sin!

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4)

So what you’re saying is that being a Christian not only doesn’t give me and everyone else a licence to sin, but in fact means that we should do nothing but good, after all, if our old nature was crucified, isn’t that only to be expected of us? … And if so, it’s an impossible expectation for us to meet, there is no way I can be perfect of my own volition.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)

So in the whole, because Jesus died for me, the old things – namely the old Law – have passed away. And because the old things have passed away, the barrier between God and us (the vail) has been torn, and because of that Christ can and does live in us… And because Jesus lives in us, he empowers us to will and to do his good works.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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